Gallery 3954 (3954 Magazine St., 504-400-9032; www.gallery3954.com) manager Trisha Hughes knows the power of social media for marketing purposes. But it's also how she found Yoshi, her shop dog.
"I saw him on [foster care network] Madison Arc's Facebook page and started dying laughing," Hughes says. "I knew immediately he was going to be mine."
A week later, Hughes, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, adopted the nine-month-old Japanese Chin. Today, three-year old Yoshi has gone from country canine to urbane city dog. "A year ago, he used to run and try to catch rats," Hughes says, recalling the time Yoshi spent on her parents' Mississippi farm. "Now he's a shop dog on Magazine Street."
Four days a week, Yoshi works alongside Hughes running Gallery 3954, home to Kathy Slater Interiors and table collection, Fifi Laughlin's handmade glass lamps, Sheila Favrot's lighting business Lume, furnishings by Austin, Texas-based ReWorks, and works by artists Julie Silvers, Adele Sypesteyn and George Marks. He also assists Hughes with her duties as executive director of the Magazine Street Merchants Association and her job as business manager for Silvers.
"At first everybody was starting to know me; now everybody is starting to know my dog and me," says Hughes, who regularly brings Yoshi when she calls on clients.
Originally known as the Japanese Spaniel and renamed Japanese Chin by the American Kennel Club in 1977, the breed is native to China and was later developed in Japan, where it became a favorite of nobility. Hughes named her companion accordingly.
"The previous owners named him 'Smokey,' so I wanted to name him something that was close to his original name and stay true to his foreign roots," she says.
Hughes says she's never seen another Japanese Chin in New Orleans. But plenty of locals have had the pleasure of meeting Yoshi. He's figured out how to escape and is fond of heading to Tooth & Nail, a neighboring shop, to visit its resident shop dog, Dottie.
Yoshi also is known as a sophisticate (he walks only on the sidewalks and will go to great lengths to avoid patches of grass) and as a dog who is committed to his career.
"I'm excited to give exposure to the gallery and to the Magazine Street Merchants Association through my dog," says Hughes, who also promotes animal welfare as a committee member for the Louisiana SPCA's Howling Success this November. "It's his job, too."
My favorite things
Dingo rawhide bones
Dog-friendly Magazine Street restaurants: Apolline, Ignatius Eatery, Joey K's, Reginelli's Pizzeria, The Bulldog
Bottom left side of the bed
Back seat, passenger side of the car