Therapy sausage dog becomes fashion icon after appearing in Vogue
A sausage dog who found viral fame providing therapy to stressed out students has become a fashion celeb, appearing in Vogue magazine.
Popular pup Jimmy Chipolata works as the UK’s first in-house student therapy sausage dog with his owner Debra Easter, 45.
The impeccably dressed rescue dog was once twice his size and unable to walk without getting blisters due to rolls of fat on his legs, but now he spends his time soothing students who are struggling with stress.
After appearing in Vogue, Jimmy has launched his own line of luxury dachshund clothing after Debra couldn’t find clothes to fit his long body.
Head of student employability and mum-of-two Debra, originally from London but now living in Nottingham, said: ‘Jimmy absolutely loves the limelight and he actually gets down if people don’t take notice of him or give him a fuss.
‘His appearance in Vogue went to his head and we have now launched a dapper dachshund clothing range, specially designed for the dachshund body shape.
‘It’s difficult to find dog clothes that fit dachshunds because even the ‘small’ sizes don’t fit their unique body shape, so that’s why we’ve set up his clothing line.
‘Jimmy absolutely loves meeting people and the hats that he wears always grab people’s attention first!’
After Jimmy proved a success in his therapy work, Debra decided to branch out and set up the dog clothing line, which launched on 27 October.
The luxury collection includes tweed jackets, cashmere jumpers, scarves, velvet collars and little hats.
Everything is locally produced and a percentage of the profit goes to mental health charity Student Minds.
Debra said: ‘I wanted to pick a charity that was close to my heart because it’s where Jimmy started and he’s had such a huge impact on the university, I think he’s really important for student struggles.
‘There is lots of research to demonstrate the impact of pets on mental health and well being.
‘When I first started bringing him onto campus the impact on our students and staff was clearly demonstrated so I decided to register him with ‘Pets as therapy’.
‘Since Jimmy has been here, I’ve seen people come forward, who normally wouldn’t come and talk, such as those less engaged and shyer students.
‘We get quite a lot of students who miss their pets at home and are having a stressful time with workload and exams and Jimmy soothes them.’
Jimmy dresses up in outfits and spends a few days a week working in the office with Debra and attending student events.
Debra now hopes to stretch Jimmy’s fame further, by making a children’s book based on him.
Debra added: ‘He is not on the payroll, just payment in cheese, but I’m sure he would love to job share with me.
‘He will do anything for cheese and his current favourite is cheddar – his party trick is the meerkat pose which we are making into a sausage dog challenge.
‘He knows how to work a room and strut up and down the office!’
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