Bow Ties For Dogs Prompt Adoption

12-year old boy uses fashion to help dogs
By Karen B. London PhD, September 2019, Updated June 2021

Sometimes looking your best makes all the difference. That’s as true for shelter dogs as it is for people, which is why one enterprising and caring 12-year old decided to add a dash of style to the dogs awaiting adoption at shelters. Darius Brown makes bow ties for dogs in shelters. He firmly believes that a dash of style is just what some dogs need to stand out and catch the attention of a person looking to adopt a pet.

Darius is the founder and CEO of Beaux & Paws, a company that makes bow ties by hand and donates them to shelters. At first, he was donating them to shelters in New York and in his home state of New Jersey, but he has expanded beyond that region. His goal is to visit shelters to donate ties in all 50 states.

Though his goal is to help dogs because he loves them so much, his work has had a beneficial effect for himself. As a very young child, Darius was diagnosed with some delays in his speech, comprehension and fine motor skills. Making bow ties has helped him improve his motor skills and his sister Dazhai has noticed increases in her brother’s maturity and empathy since he began this labor of love. Dazhai is a fashion designer who used to ask Darius for help cutting fabric for her projects and taught him many sewing skills. Once he fell in love with bow ties, he decided to make some to help the many dogs left in need of homes after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. He was so upset about the dogs suffering after these storms and wanted to do something to help them.

Many people have supported the work that Darius does through Beaux & Paws. A very successful gofundme page has raised $20,000 to support his mission. It’s not cheap to pay for fabric, a new sewing machine, travel to and from shelters, setting up his business and shipping his ties around the country.

Former President Barack Obama wrote him a letter praising his kindness and charitable work, telling Darius that he is “rooting for you in all that you do.” Though my opinion does not carry the same weight, I am rooting for him, too.

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life