Roll out the red carpet

It’s time for Boutiques Unleashed!

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It’s an evening of great fashion, fun and hilarity, and all for a good cause.  Pets and pet people turn out in droves for DoveLewis’ annual fashion gala, Boutiques Unleashed.

Every spring, hip pets and people take to the runway in the latest styles from Portland-area animal and human boutiques in support of the DoveLewis Pet Loss Support Program — celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  The event happens Friday, April 1, at the beautiful Tiffany Center in downtown Portland.

Like a scene straight out of Portlandia, Boutiques Unleashed is haute couture meets Fluffy and Fido on the catwalk . . . all in the name of charity.  It doesn’t get more “Portland” than that.

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This may be the best show yet, as local fashion expert Jillian Rabe, who has worked on fashion shows around the globe, is supporting DoveLewis by working closely with the human models and boutiques in producing the show.  Making sure those at the other end of the leash are well dressed and comfortable, LexiDog Social Club & Boutique owner, Suzanne Hein, is coordinating the pet boutiques and four-legged couture. 

Tickets to Boutiques Unleashed include admission, hosted beer, wine, signature cocktail, hors d’ oeuvres, and sweet treats compliments of Cupcake Jones.  Also on tap will be a raffle, auction, and the company of some of the trendiest people and animals in town.  As is customary at these events, expect a few surprises, not the least of which is the annual Mystery Model (this year not one, but two).  Also, Project Runway winner and local designer Seth Aaron Henderson returns this year, designing one-of-a-kind pieces for a few lucky models. To learn more or to make reservations, visit

The purpose of the Party

Boutiques Unleashed supports the DoveLewis Pet Loss Support Program, which has been serving grieving pet parents for 25 years.  Recognizing the need for pet owners to talk, reminisce and share stories after losing a beloved pet, DoveLewis 24-hour Emergency and ICU Animal Hospital offers four free monthly Pet Loss Support Groups.  Each group is led by grief counselor, program director and founder, Enid Traisman M.S.W., C.T., who believes the bond between pets and people are some of the most important relationships of a lifetime.  Dove also provides a 24-hour message line and monthly Memorial Art Therapy Workshops every second Sunday.  Participants memorialize a pet through art, and find comfort and a creative expression of their love — all in kindred company.

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The program, pioneered by Traisman in 1986, was one of the first of its kind in the nation and is the only one serving the Northwest.  Traisman also authored “My Pet Remembrance Journal,” designed to be filled with personal stories and memories, allowing pet owners to navigate the grief of losing a pet through writing and reflection. 

Support from Dignified Pet Services made possible a recent redesign, as well the gift of a complimentary copy being provided to every person who experiences the loss of a pet at the hospital.  The journal is also available for purchase at, and at Powell’s Books for $9.95.  All proceeds benefit Dove’s Pet Loss Support Program