Traditions are important. As this wonky summer of 2020 comes to a close, I’m been very muck looking forward to penning this annual post. To add a bit more magic, I’ve invited photographer Nick Mele to collaborate with me. Not only have his talents earned him the sobriquet “Slim Aarons of the Millennial set,” but he also produces one of the most entertaining Instagram accounts in the world of social media, A Social Life.”Our family’s photographic adventures in wonderland” is a must-see Cecil Beaton meets Willy Wonka of witty, outlandish antics that provide welcome humor in these Covid times!
Of course, part of the fun of the post is capturing pets at home, providing a peek inside some special, private Newport spaces. I’ll start with our feature image (above) of two gorgeous, beloved-beyond-words Maltese who are enjoying their first summer in their late “grandmother’s” home. With interiors matched only by their exquisite San Francisco abode, Mia and Bella Wilsey will be welcoming friends around the clock.
Along a shady stretch of Bellevue Avenue exists one of the most beautiful rooms in Newport. What a magnificent setting for yellow lab, Maude Harmsworth, who loves posing for the camera (especially when it’s in the ballroom).
Gracie and Baxter Constantine reside in one of Newport’s most impressive architectural examples of the Golden Age of the American Country House, (1900s-1930s). A fitting home for this pair of mini bernedoodles (bred from a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle) with their impish, gentle and outgoing personalities.
Retiring as a Grand Champion show dog has its pluses…you no longer need to be known by your formal name (Foxhaus Tyr of Foxomania) and you can finally graduate to pet mode. Ziggy Burns is obviously enjoying the affection of his adopted owner (and the summer gazebo on the estate grounds).
A Newport bit of wisdom…start them young with backgammon. Lucky golden retriever pup, Tango Cullen, takes this wisdom to heart in his new home surrounded by examples of his father’s respected custom interior wood work.
Churro Mannix sells seashells by the seashore…when he’s in Newport for the summer. But the rest of the year, he resides in San Antonio, whose Tex Mex cuisine inspired this apricot toy poodle’s name, a well-known dessert offering.
Boston terrier, Bailey Hull (named after a certain beach club) pairs well with a suite of 1920’s outdoor furniture purchased at one of Newport’s estate auctions…painted in pink, of course!
Sun-bleached to a luscious copper color, chocolate lab, Nicholas Petrovas, presents a wonderful contrast to the aqua silk settee and floral murals painted on silver paper in his home’s ballroom overlooking the ocean.
“Why not try Newport for the summer?” yellow lab, George Romano, suggested to his designer father, who then in turn brought chic and comfort to this Doris Duke Restoration Foundation colonial.
How many dogs do you know who have had their (tongue-in-cheek) portrait painted as an 18th century English gentleman in a lace collar? Schnauzer Chubbs Bohan is up to the challenge and apparently the perfect candidate.
I’m closing with Nick’s own, Bodhi Mele, a mixed-breed who was actually the pet that inspired this post. A very frequent “guest” on A Social Life, he truly is a member of the family. As this image attests, he’s also a good sport.
A million thanks, Nick, for this our third collaboration. As anticipated, your talent has added a welcome perspective to this annual post!