Bob Shaughnessy's life change in October 2006. He and his partner (now husband) decided to look for a Havanese puppy, only, if Bob were to recover from a very serious 9 hour operation scheduled for Halloween. They knew Bob would be home recovering for sometime and not returning to the corporate world. Well, all went well and Bob started searching the country for a black Havanese. Most people had never heard of a Havanese in 2006 and many said black Havanese do not exist. Not one shelter called, knew what a Havanese was and breeders on the AKC list were telling him, a 2 year wait list for a puppy. Well Bob's luck changed when he contacted a breeder who said she had a litter two weeks ago but was too busy to register the pups yet or advertise. She said she had two boys and two girls and two were all black and two were black and white. Bob almost fell out of bed, he said "you have a black male Havanese"? She replied "Yes he is adorable", Bob said, "please call him Cuba and I will fly up to get him in six weeks". So, Cuba arrived just in time for Christmas and for Christmas he received presents from family and friends. He had a couple of cute sweaters, a jacket, lots of toys but one friend gave him a Ralph Lauren sweater. Bob had no idea designers made dog clothes but this sweater looked adorable on Cuba.
In 2007, Bob and Cuba started attending many NYC dog events and since they live in Manhattan, the Pet Fashion Capital of the World, many of the events were related to pet fashion or dog fashion shows. Bob also built a private dog social site, by invitation only, which is still active and has 300 plus members from around the world. Many of the members enjoyed dressing their dogs in designer clothes. Bob became close personal friends with a few members from the private site who enjoyed pet fashion plus he met a few pet fashion designers who lived in NYC.
He was curious about the pet fashion industry, as he never knew it existed and started doing some research. He found nothing on pet fashion designer resources, no schools, no clubs, no organizations. Even today, Wikipedia says pet fashion designer "does not exist" Having been a president of an airline organization for 30 major airlines, he knew the importance of sharing certain information, discussing ideas, and being able to make friends working in the same field. So, Bob created a private Facebook group for pet fashion designers. The group was word of mouth and soon there were over 20 designers in the group. Last year, Bob said, we are leaving out one important part of the pet fashion world, the people who love pet fashion. So, PawVogue was launched in February 2012 and has become a very popular web portal for both designers and fans.
Cuba was busy with his career too. Being such an adorable pup who loves people, he was soon known all over his neighborhood and soon became a little celebrity from a few modeling jobs, and his private web site and his Facebook page. He entered a contest in 2009 to be crowned America's Top-Dog which he won with over 7000 people voting for him. In 2010, he was crowned NYC's Top Dog at the Pre-Westminster Fashion Show, (the biggest pet fashion show in the USA) In 2011, he was named as one of the Top Ten Dogs on Facebook. He has thousand of fans from around the World. He also has a girlfriend, who he fell in love with 5 1/2 years ago when they met in puppy school at 12 weeks old.