Beaded bandanas give dapper dogs something to bark about

Kahnawà:ke beadworker Tammy Kanáhne Standup kept looking at her dogs and saying, "It would be so nice if you were blinged out."

Kahnawà:ke beadworker wanted to create something unique for her pups

Lucy, 2, is a miniature poodle and Apollo, 4, is a Shih Tzu.
Tammy Kanáhne Standup's two dogs: Lucy and Apollo sporting their new beaded collars. (Submitted by Tammy Kanáhne Standup)

For avid beader Tammy Kanáhne Standup, inspiration for her latest project came from her furry four-legged best friends.

"Beading is a form of meditation for me… paying attention to what's going on around me or relaxing my mind is beading," said Standup, who is Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Kahnawà:ke, south of Montreal. 

"We love what we do, and we love who we do it for."

Standup beaded Haudenosaunee-style dog collars in the shape of bandanas for her two beloved dogs. Haudenosaunee-style beadwork uses velveteen with raised intricate florals, leaves, and rope stitches. 

Apollo, 4, a black and white Shih Tzu, wears a red collar with a large white flower, while two-year-old miniature poodle named Lucy has a turquoise flower with scalloped edging.

Standup beaded these two dog collars for her pets.
These collars were Standup's first two beading projects of 2023. (Submitted by Tammy Kanáhne Standup)

"Lucy is such a tomboy… I made her some cute little ribbons… well, within half an hour they were out of her hair because she's flying around," laughed Standup.

Now, she prances proudly in her new collar intact — even during a wild bout of zoomies. 

Standup has been beadworking for nearly two decades, after learning how to make moccasins for her children. Ever since, she's accumulated knowledge and skills from other beaders in Kahnawà:ke.

"It's nice to have a community of beadworkers that are so strong," said Standup.

Standup said she's always challenging herself to bead something unique beyond regalia. 

"I was tired of doing the same thing … I've been wanting to do something that was a little different and out of the box," she said.

"I kept looking at my dogs and going, it would be so nice if you were blinged out."

Gifting her creations

Apollo and Lucy aren't the only pups in the community who will be sporting beaded bling. Standup recently finished a third collar for a two-year-old French bulldog/pug mix named Josaphina. 

The dog's owner Catherine Diabo has been running the Jungle Love Pet Shop and Groomers in Kahnawà:ke since 2016. It's where Standup got her pups, and where they go for grooming.

"She's always been good to us," said Standup.

JoJo, a French bulldog/pug mix, wearing her newly beaded collar.
Josaphina, a.k.a. JoJo, is a French bulldog/pug mix. (Submitted by Tammy Kanáhne Standup)

The feeling is mutual, according to Diabo. In the past, she's been gifted a dog painting and other beaded items from Standup.

"She is so talented. When she showed me her fur babies' collars, and said she was making Josaphina one, I was so happy and felt privileged to be a person she picked out to get one," said Diabo.

"Apollo and Lucy look fantastic in their collars. I'm sure Josaphina will be just as beautiful as them, and she will show it off in the pet shop everyday."


Ka’nhehsí:io Deer is a Kanien’kehá:ka journalist from Kahnawà:ke, Que. She is currently a reporter with CBC Indigenous covering communities across Quebec.