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Sophie Gamand’s MacLovin-Inspired Holiday Gift Picks

A few of the artist and her rescue pup’s favorite things, from custom jewelry to DIY holiday ornaments.

by Avery Felman
December 2, 2021
Sophie Gamand with artwork collage
Milla Chappell; Kinship Creative

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

True animal advocacy begins from a place of selflessness that is innate to Sophie Gamand. The photographer first became involved in the harrowing, yet rewarding world of animal rescue through her work photographing Puerto Rico’s street dogs, and has since captured canines in need around the world, from Colombia to South Korea. But Gamand’s acclaimed photo series “Pit Bull Flower Power,” where she casts the misunderstood breed in a new light, artfully adorned with handmade flower crowns, has perhaps made the biggest impact. Hundreds of her subjects — adoptable Pit Bull-type dogs in shelters around the country — have found homes thanks to her portraits of them going viral and changing people’s perceptions of them. What’s more, she also uses her platform to educate people about the breed and encourage donations to animal shelters.

We asked the artist to share her favorite gifts to give for the holidays. Spoiler: It’s a mix of customized home goods, artisan jewelry, and even a DIY project! But first, not all gifts can be wrapped and placed under the proverbial Christmas tree, so Gamand got creative. “Last year, I gifted MacLovin, my husband, and I a photoshoot with local photographer Milla Chappell,” she says. “It was amazing. Little did I know we would be leaving Brooklyn to relocate to the West coast a few months later. I now treasure these photos for so many reasons, and our photographer captured so many sweet moments between us. There is nothing like letting a pro capture memories for you!”

Gamand also recommends donating to your local animal shelter. “As a rescue advocate, I know shelters are always in need of various items. Many animal shelters have an Amazon or Chewy Wishlist. I can’t think of a better way to give back than to buy a few items off a shelter’s wish list and pay it forward to pets in need. And if money is tight, your local shelter probably takes in-kind donations, such as gently used towels. It costs you nothing, is a great way to make room in your closets, and makes a huge difference for shelter pets.” 

the book

“You can choose a breed avatar that matches your doggie, and order custom products with it. My favorite is the “Where’s [Dog Name]?” book. It’s like a Where’s Waldo for your dog. Fun story: When I first heard of Yappy, I asked them if they could add a “rescue dog” selection of mutts. As a shelter dog advocate, I always encourage pet brands to be more inclusive. They said yes and even created a special MacLovin avatar!”

$25 at Yappy
the blanket

“MacLovin is a burrower and he loves nothing more than a soft, breathable, warm, blanket. And I love nothing more than a soft, resilient blanket that I can throw in the wash with no worries! Made of polyester fleece, these are the softest blankets I have ever owned, and I use them for everything — even as picnic blankets. I love snuggling with MacLovin and watching a movie together under one.”

$77 at Redbubble
the paper mache ornament

“I love a good DIY project, and this one is super easy and can be done with kids. And if the results turn out kind of ugly or freaky (like the one I did of MacLovin) I think it’s totally part of the papier maché experience! 

  1. Take a newspaper and tear it into small pieces. Place them in a bowl with water and let them sit.

  2. Using cardboard, thick paper, and aluminum foil, make the shape you want, and secure it with masking tape, shaping it as you go, wrapping it in masking tape. Remember to add a piece of thread or rope if you want to be able to suspend the ornament later. 

  3. Take the newspaper pieces out of the water and squeeze the water out. Cover the newspaper pieces with Elmer’s glue, stick them all over your shape, and smooth it out.

  4. Let your ornament dry overnight or in the oven (lowest setting and keep an eye on it — it should only take a few minutes).

  5. Once dry, paint it, let dry again, then cover it with Mod Podge resin (you can use special glitter Mod Podge for a fun holiday finish).”

$10 at Supplies from Michael’s

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is an editor at The Wildest. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her fiancé and cat, Chicken, and has high hopes that one of them will let her adopt a dog.