Aye Chihuahua

Palestine resident Bev Broughton holds four of her Chihuahuas, from left, Button, T’Molly, Josephine and Pinto Bean at her home near Palestine last week. Broughton enjoys making clothes for her dogs and other small breeds through her business Petite Pawtique.

Palestine resident Bev Broughton remembers well her first pet Chihuahua — a tan and white male named Tony purchased from a Nacogdoches breeder when she was just a girl.

Her love of the petite dog breed has remained constant ever since — melding well with her love of sewing and the creation of her dog clothing business, Petite Pawtique.

“When I didn’t have human babies around, I had ‘fur-babies,’” she said. “To me Chihuahuas are one of the best breeds out there — they are the longest living dog breed, they are half-cat, half-human and deep down they think they are rottweilers.

“If raised properly, they don’t bark, but they are good watchdogs and some of the best doorbells a person can have,” she added. “And they are one of the cleanest dogs; they groom each other and themselves often.”

Broughton and her husband, Dave, own five Chihuahuas — T’Molly, Button, Pinto Bean, Josephine Margarita Cuervo (aka Happy Feet) and Teddy Bear. Button’s brother, Bo, resides next door with her in-laws.

“We take them with us every where,” Broughton said. “I have a pink stroller they ride in for walks, and Dave takes Button with him to Sonic almost every day.

“I enjoy being able to talk to other people, especially children, about the breed and the proper way to approach a dog,” she said. “We really have a lot of fun with them.”

About 10 years ago, Broughton began making clothes for her dogs. She developed her own pattern and is able to make adjustments to them as needed.

“Every outfit is adjustable,” she said. “And, as a safety feature, each has industrial strength Velcro on the bottom and a hook at the top, so the dog can be easily lifted and carried.”

Broughton’s dog fashions have become so popular over the years that others have requested she make them for their dog. She takes orders and makes each outfit to the owner’s specifications.”

“I have had a couple of doggie fashion shows at Judith Summerville Arts, and have a third one planned during Dogwood Trails,” she said. “I make outfits for all seasons and occasions — Christmas, elections, swimsuits, pajamas and evening gowns.”

In addition to the clothing, Broughton also makes dog harnesses, doggie totes and snuggles sacks, which allow burrowing breeds to snuggle and sleep cozily.

“Everything I make is durable, washable and custom made to order,” Broughton said. “They fit Chihuahuas, poodles, yorkies and other small breeds from about 2 to 10 pounds.”

Broughton’s love of sewing go back further than she can remember. She recalls sitting in her mother’s lap as she worked the treadle machine.

“Before I had a sewing machine of my own, I was sewing,” she said. “I made my first baby’s layette by hand, and over the years have made all my grandchildren’s christening gowns.

“I also make clothes for the local reenactor groups,” she added. “If I could, I would spend 12 hours a day sewing. I love doing it.”

Broughton and her husband, Dave, have two sons, four grandsons and one granddaughter. Dave Broughton, a Palestine High School 1959 graduate, works at the Meadowbrook Country Club Pro Shop and is an artist.

To contact Broughton about items offered through the Petite Pawtique, call 903-724-2102 or e-mail txbroughton@hotmail.com.

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Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com

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