Toy poodle Bun Bun is a clothing model and companion

A Wellington toy poodle and clothing mascot is a model of loyalty and love.

Like many businesses, canine clothing and accessories company Sparkles the Dog was created to fulfil a need that wasn’t being met.

Back in 2006, Wellingtonian Catherine Young was searching for a natural sweater for Sparkles, her toy poodle. “I could only find acrylic and polyester clothing that made him irritable,” says the former banker, “so I created our own natural sweaters, T-shirts, leads and collars.”

Sadly, Sparkles passed away in 2018, and Catherine, her husband Darren and children Laika, 12, and Lucas, 11, filled the dog-shaped hole in their lives with Bun Bun, a now four-year-old apricot-coloured toy poodle, who often models for Catherine.

“Bun Bun is the sweetest dog. She charms everyone she meets. We’ve literally had people stop their cars in the middle of the road to ask about her.”

She’s also Catherine’s sidekick, a constant presence in the home office. “Bun Bun nestles against me when I’m watching TV but spreads her love around equally, taking it in turns to sleep on the kids’ beds.”

The couple bought their 1890s Thorndon house in 2009 to suit their growing family, and have renovated it. “My style is simple, contemporary and hopefully homey,” she says. “Everything is child-proof and animal-proof and nothing is too precious.”

That includes an impressive art collection that the couple bought pre-children. “There are always a lot of the kids’ friends in this house, but nothing has been damaged.”

Catherine couldn’t imagine life without a four-legged friend. “Dogs give out so much positive, happy energy. Our love for Bun Bun is unlimited.”


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