Cleo the Chihuaua: Sniffing New Canaan in Advance of Move to Town

Diana (pronounced DEE-anna) Demirjian is moving from North Stamford to New Canaan in two months. She was downtown on Pine Street this week—specifically, she said, to acclimate her 18-month-old Chihuahua, Cleo, to what soon will be her hometown. ‘Cleo’ is short for ‘Cleopatra,’ as Demirjian said: “We just wanted to give her a name that was as big as her personality, but that didn’t necessarily have anything to do with her body size.”

Sounded like a good candidate for “New Canine-ites,” so we probed further. Asked how much advance scouting in New Canaan she’s doing for Cleo, Demirjian said: “I’m walking around here right now because of her. Because I figure there’s a lot of smells and things to keep her attention occupied, and to make her feel social.”

Cleo’s vet is Dr. Paul Potenza at New Canaan Veterinary Hospital—where the staff knows a thing or two about caring for Chihuahuas—and the little dog eats Merrick wet food, Wingaling and Smothered Comfort, as well as dry food, Demirjian said.

Phoebe the German Shepherd: ‘There’s a String from My Heart to Her Heart’

We met Phoebe Feiner and her mom, Karen, while talking last Friday to the owners of newly opened Sorelle Gallery on Main Street. They came in together—and we soon found out that Karen, who works in the area, brings Phoebe with her to work and is by the dog’s side at pretty much all times (except when the sitter comes to take Phoebe home for dinner, served at 5 p.m. sharp.)

The New Canaan resident was kind enough to talk to us about Phoebe, who is a 13.5-year-old German shepherd, for this our “New Canine-ites” series where we profile local dogs. Karen is able to articulate what many New Canaan dog owners feel about their pets, so we’re transcribing our exchange here in full. New Canaanite: So Phoebe is 13 years old, you said. Karen Feiner: She’s my fifth German shepherd—and I’ve had more than one at a time, so I don’t want you guys to think I’m 50,000 years old here.

Everett the Black Lab: Wags His Tail So Much It Whacks the Wall and Bleeds

For this installment of “New Canine-ites”—our feature profiling New Canaan dogs—we meet Everett Zack, a 3.5-year-old black Labrador retriever whose owners describe him as “loveable and loving.”

“He loves everybody,” Edward Zack said as he and wife Ann walked down Elm Street with Everett on Friday afternoon. “He loves kids. He loves burglars. He would let anybody in. He loves swimming, he leaps off the dock [at Rye Yacht Club].

Sky the White Golden Retriever: Bribe for the Kids

Walking from New Canaan Library to Forest Street Deli on Thursday, I came across this family, with friends, sitting on a bench on Main Street near East Avenue. Transplants from Seattle who have settled into New Canaan, the Oyekanmi kids—10-year-old Maiah, a South School fourth-grader, twins Chloe and Jaden Oyekanmi, 8, second-graders at South, and mom Angela—were joined by family friends Jacob Kozar of New Canaan, 7, a West School second-grader (who knows what retrievers are all about), and Gabi Ewen, 10, visiting from Seattle. I asked about their lovely white golden retriever, whose name turned out to be Sky, and discovered the family dog has a weakness shared by many. Here’s my chat with Angela.  

New Canaanite: What’s her [the dog’s] name?

Emi the Chow Chow: Sniffing Planters a Favorite Activity


When New Canaan resident Noriko Hiraga’s Chow Chow died at 15, a rescue group for the ancient breed asked if she’d take on another one, from Long Island—and she said yes. Meet ‘Emi,’ a Japanese female name that means “Bountiful Beauty,” Hiraga said. Emi was five at the time of her move up to New Canaan and is now around 13 years old. Though the Chow Chow has become quite arthritic in the last three years, Emi still enjoys walking downtown—this day in a raincoat—and likes to break up a stroll with a favorite New Canaan pastime, Hiraga said. “She likes to smell every one of the planters,” Hiraga told on the corner of Park and Cherry, where we met Emi.