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Bay Area Pets Get Festive in Holiday Gear

By Katie Sweeney

‘Tis the season for celebrating loved ones — and that includes our furry friends too. Pets provide companionship, pleasure and, often, comic relief. To make your spirits bright, we’ve photographed our favorite San Francisco mascots in holiday-inspired outfits.

Lox, Lillian Phan’s 10-year old French Bulldog. (Spencer Brown)

Lox (10-year old French Bulldog, owned by Lillian Phan). Preferred hangout: Lafayette Park and the beach. How you know him: Lox can sometimes be seen on the social media pages of Michael Mina’s restaurants. Phan is the senior director of sales and partnerships for the Mina Group.

Five-year-old LiLou, the City’s first-ever therapy pig. (Spencer Brown)

LiLou (5-year old Juliana pig, owned by Tatyana Danilova). Preferred hangout: Huntington Park. How you know her: A Nob Hill resident, LiLou is a member of San Francisco SPCA’s animal-assisted therapy program and the City’s first-ever therapy pig. She visits hospitals, retirement homes, schools and SFO. “LiLou helps people feel better,” Danilova explains. Follow her adventures on Instagram @lilou_sfpig.

Kukla, a four-year-old King Charles Cavalier owned by Sonya Molodetskaya. (Spencer Brown)
Sofia, German Shepherd, 9 months, owned by Sonya Molodetskaya. (Spencer Brown)

Kukla and Sofia (King Charles Cavalier, 4 years old, and German Shepherd, 9 months, owned by Sonya Molodetskaya). Preferred hangout: Rincon Hill Dog Park and Pier 27. How you know them: As San Francisco’s beloved Russian socialite and longterm companion of former Mayor Willie Brown, Molodetskaya has a large following on Instagram. Her dogs are featured on @sonyaandthecity, but she’s also created a profile — @kukla_and_sofia — so fans can follow the canine couple’s fashionable adventure.

Riley (9-year-old rescue mix, owned by Kelli Johnson). Holiday wishlist: “It’s always going to include food,” says Johnson, an anchor on NBC Sports Bay Area and co-host of SportsNet Central. Riley’s favorite snacks: Jeffrey’s freeze-dried chicken, turkey and beef. Fun fact: Johnson, who lives in North Beach, rescued the pup from Berkeley Humane Society. “She’s my little partner in crime. She’s a tough nugget.”

Manchego and Chipotle (8-year-old Chinchilla Persians, owned by Veronica Lujan and Walter Korman). Preferred hangout: These half brothers enjoy lounging around their cozy home in San Francisco. How you know them: They were profiled in People magazine, which declared that the fantastic felines “are leading an alien cat invasion on Instagram.” Follow their shenanigans at @vhamster. Fun fact: Chego and Chip are foodies. Their favorite snack is bonito flakes. They can’t get enough of the crunchy, fishy Japanese garnish.

Penny, a 3-year-old mix whose preferred hangout is Fort Mason. (Spencer Brown)

Penny (3-year-old mix; owner Stephen Brown thinks she’s a blend of terrier and miniature Dachshund) Preferred hangout: Fort Mason. Holiday wishlist: “Maybe a sibling, who knows,” muses Brown, the founder of Fit Life Training Studio on Bay Street between Mason and Powell. Fun fact: She loves to eat jerky. She’s obsessed! “Also, she drags herself around on her belly. She’ll do it for 10 minutes at a time.

Flora, Fauna and Tip, ages 11, 10, and 1, owned by Lynnet Spiegel.

Flora, Fauna and Tip (Chihuahuas, ages 11, 10, and 1, owned by Lynnet Spiegel). Preferred hangout: Fort Mason. How you know Spiegel: She’s the cheerful, Kathleen Kelly-esque proprietor of Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods. Her adorable Chihuahuas can be spotted running around the stores, taking one of Jeffrey’s classes or on Instagram at @jeffreyspets and @little_blue_eyed_tip. Fun fact: Spiegel’s roommates spotted Flora in the window at Macy’s during Christmastime. They told Spiegel about her, and it was love at first sight. “A couple of nights later, I went to dinner,” Spiegel reminisces. “There was a woman who came up to me and said, ‘Did you get that dog from the Macy’s window?’ This woman had seen Flora and thought about her for a day. When she went back to get her, I had already taken Flora home with me!”

Enzo, who can be spotted hanging out at the popular restaurant, Firenze by Night. (Spencer Brown)

Enzo (Australian Shepherd, 11 months old, owned by Nadia Guisti). Preferred hangout: the Guisti family’s popular restaurant, Firenze by Night, where Enzo likes to join Nadia while she’s doing inventory in the wine cellar. “He learns everything like right away,” she says. “He’s my little companion. You can walk him off-leash around the neighborhood and it’s no big deal at all. He stays with me all the time.” Fun fact: Enzo understands Italian. (Nadia’s father, Sergio, hails from Tuscany. His gnocchi is famous.) “He’s bilingual.” When she calls Enzo to her side (“Vieni!”), he runs right over. Bravo, good boy!

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