Puppy Influencer Birthday Party at DEN

by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

How would you explain to your grandfather that you couldn’t make it to breakfast because you were covering a puppy influencer birthday party at an urban dog retreat? Because I sure had no idea.

Before I arrived at DEN, I didn’t know what to expect: A Chihuahua with a Supreme collar and Yeezy booties? A French bull-dog that could sniff the amount of Instagram followers I had lost this morning? A Pomeranian that would only let me pet him if I was ‘verified’?

But to my surprise, once I arrived I was immediately greeted by the lovely Victor Solomon and Lindsay Velez, the founders of DEN, the urban dog daycare, grooming, and healing center nestled into a Pasadena bungalow. Think exclusive Abbot Kinney hideout aesthetic, lots of crystals. Instantly they whisked me away for a tour of the grounds, and I was just able to murmur, “How would you explain what a puppy influencer birthday party is to a grandfather?”

Solomon laughed and explained, “I would say it’s a dog that has inspired and reached over 100,000 people that daily check out what they’re doing, what they are eating, where they are going, what’s got their attention. Today, one of these influencer’s is having a birthday party. So these are some of the dogs that are coming in here today, one dog has got like 42,000 followers. Another has got 55,000 followers. Some that are coming in here have like a million followers.”

DEN was transformed into a birthday party fit for the puppy Arne Doodle, who has over 23k followers on Instagram. The patio and grass space was adorned with spray-paint balloons, a pinata in the shape of the Instagram ‘1 like’ graphic, a canine-friendly charcuterie plate and a cake with a hand crafted illustration of Arne Doodle’s face, complete with a glimmer in his eye. There were also several areas designated for prime photo ops, wreathed with rainbow streamers and hot pink backdrops.

“We’re on a spiritual mission to shift the whole industry,” says Solomon. “We have a healing room, the doors all close up, and we do one on one with you and your dog in here, so we can connect.”

One of the dog healers at DEN, Olivia, chimes in, and emphasizes, “We’re at a puppy influencer event, so it brings a bit of humor into it. We are willing to make fun of ourselves - this is such an LA thing, to have a wholistic center for dogs, but the deeper part is that we really believe that our dogs are like our spiritual guides, they’re these little masters, and they come in here and they hold onto energies for us, they allow us to bring consciousness to that energy if we’re willing to bring the awareness to our relationship with our dog.”

What surprised me the most was how well behaved these puppies were: there was no barking, play fighting, or even the innocent jumping up onto a stranger’s lap. Were they just well behaved, or lots of CBD Scooby Snacks? We may never know.

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff

Photo by Jessica Romoff