Monday, August 25, 2014

Store Spotlight: I'd Rather Be With My Dog + A Discount!

Today's Store Spotlight focuses on another small business with a big heart, I'd Rather Be With My Dog.

I've been a fan of I'd Rather Be With My Dog on Instagram for some time, so I was super excited to have the chance to speak to Doug Ratner, the company's founder, about everything from animal advocacy to the decidedly Swift-ian origin of the brand.

In case you aren't familiar, I'd Rather Be With My Dog makes tanks, t-shirts, mugs, and stickers with that exact sentiment. Buyers can choose to rep a specific breed or just share their love of dogs with a straightforward "I'd Rather Be With My Dog" message (I love the I'd Rather Be With My Rescue Dog top, of course!).

Doug was inspired to create the line after a song he wrote about his troubled love life, 'Dogs,' started to get a lot of attention for it's chorus ("I'd rather be with my dog, than be with you"). T-Swift, take note: Doug's little ditty has now turned into a way to raise money and awareness for pups in need across the nation! Check out the original song below, then read on for more on this pawsome brand and the rocker behind it!

Little Holly's Big World: Ok, first off, let's talk about the song: How did you go from a fun rock and roll tune inspired by girl troubles to a full fledged clothing (and mug!) company? Taylor Swift ain't got nothing on you!

Doug Ratner: It all was a very organic process. As the song began to spread, I was getting heart warming emails from people saying how much they related to the song. How it described their life to a T (And to this day some of those original people I connected with are some of my biggest customers and fans).  So it only seemed like the next step was to make a t-shirt with that phrase on it! I just shortened it up, and started getting them printed up! It was that simple.

The paw print tank is one of the store's most pup-ular items. Buy it here.

LHBW: Several of your own pooches are featured in the "I'd Rather Be With My Dog" music video. Besides helping with break ups and inspiring clothing lines, what would you say is the best thing about having a dog in your life?

DR: Oh man, where do I begin? I've always had a very strong connection with dogs, even as a baby my mom told me I loved our German Shepherd, Nina, so much. I certainly wouldn't call myself a dog whisperer, but I'm the guy who gets on the ground with the German Shepherd police dogs at my own risk to snuggle with them...I'm ridiculous.

Did I just ramble? Sorry! Dogs can teach us more about how to be an amazing human being more than people can. Think about it: Dogs love unconditionally, they never judge you, they just exist to be your companion. That kind of compassion and dedication takes a person a lifetime to understand. And I can really be myself around my dogs. I have a special language with them that nobody but them, or my mom, has ever heard. :)

LHBW: I'd Rather Be With My Dog is a big supporter of animal advocacy and rescue. How, specifically, does the company give back to these organizations?

DR: We make both public and private donations to different shelters and rescues throughout the country. I like to say that every time you buy something, you're improving the life of an animal somewhere around the world. My goal is that one day the company will get so big that I can create an I'd Rather Be With My Dog Foundation that will only be geared towards helping shelters.

LHBW: Do you find that a specific breed or style is a best seller on the site? Do you have a personal favorite item? 

DR: The tank tops have by far been the most popular item yet. I sold out of them so fast! I think it's because they're not breed specific so any dog owner can rock one with pride. And of course I'm biased towards the Shepherd shirt! 

The Pit Bull t-shirt is also one of the most popular, and that's because pittie owners have an enormous amount of pride towards their breed. They have to stand together in this world because the media unjustly bashes that poor breed, so when someone buys that shirt, they wear it with some serious pride. 

Pit bull (brindle) tee. In men's and women's styles. Buy it here.

LHBW: The line gets a lot of great feedback and social sharing across Instagram and Twitter. Do you have a favorite story or image a customer has shared?

DR: The image (below) is of a little girl with her pittie, Ava. This little girl wears her I'd Rather Be With My Dog Pit shirt to school because she educates her classmates on the beauty of Pit Bulls. And she's 8 years old! Never in my life did I imagine I'd start a company that could somehow change the world's incorrect view on a dog. It's really heart warming.

There are a lot, but I'd just get teary-eyed writing about them all!

This tiny animal crusader is doing her part to change the negative public opinion on pit bulls! 
LHBW: Through your work within the animal world, is there anything you have learned about animal welfare that you wish more people knew?

DR: I suppose one of the most terrible things I learned about is Beagle testing....the FDA allows pharmaceutical companies to test their products on Beagles, regardless of the outcome. I just can't stand knowing that this happens...we work with the Atlanta Beagle rescue, I like to think that the donations help.

And I just wish that people weren't so ignorant about Pit Bulls. I know I keep mentioning them, but they need so much help.

Holly with two of her "scary" pit bull friends, Dexter (above) and Jake (below).

LHBW: Anything else we should know?

DR: I guess I love for people to know that I'm a human being and a dog lover just like you, so any questions they have they can directly contact me whenever they'd like!

They might as well have made this mug with my name on it! Available in multiple breeds, Chihuahua here.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of the most amazing things about having this blog is all the incredible people I have met and brands I have discovered that care so deeply about animal rescue and advocacy. People like Doug are making sure that every pup has a happy, safe, and healthy life, and that is paw-sitively fabulous. 

If you want to show your support of your fave dog breed (or just show your non-dog friendly office your peaceful protest in shirt or mug form), be sure to check out I'd Rather Be With My Dog's website. Fans of LHBW get 20% off with promo code BIGWORLD. They even ship internationally, so get shopping!

Until Next Time, Darlings!


  1. Awww these are so cute! I'm a dog lover myself, I'll definitely have to grab one for myself :)

    1. I'm loving my "I'd Rather Be With My Rescue Dog" tee (yes, I caved haha)! It's long and fitted which is my absolute fave--super flattering!

  2. I love this!!! That littler girl teaching people about pitbulls makes my heart so happy :)

    1. Isn't she so sweet? I love hearing stories like that--especially since we have met so many sweet and loving pitties in our experiences!

  3. this is so lovely!
    i hope they also send it for world wide..
    because i'm not living in united states :P
    thank you for sharing this hon..

    1. I believe they do ship internationally!! Doug also recently showed a line on QVC so you might be able to pick up something from there to be shipped to you :)

  4. This was so lovely to read. Being a huge fan of dogs, I think I need that adorable tee. XOXO, Elif

    1. Thanks Elif! They are so comfy and priced really well--definitely worth checking out :)