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Darien (Hot) Dogs: Smile And Say Cheese

With one heat wave down and more to follow, Stamford-based pet product company Whiner and Diner wants to reward your dog for enduring the heat with dignity. Or at least adorably.

Send them a photo of your dog while he or she is chilling out — at the beach, by (or in) the pool or prostrate by an air conditioner. Whiner and Diner, which specializes in repurposing wine crates into elegant animal food containers (among other clever commodities), will cull through the entrants for the most photogenic pooch and reward him or her with a gift.

Since they started Whiner and Diner in 1996, Catherine and Steve Simms have hand-created whimsical pet food bowls and crate-rimmed pet beds, as well as other unique pet products.

The uniqueness of Whiner and Diner’s designs lay in the aesthetic of French-born Catherine, and Steve, a remodeling contractor. She is a website designer and artist who specializes in creating plaster wall finishes, using a variety of organic aggregates to produce unusual textures, including trompe d’oeil designs.

Steve, she says, oversees each customized design, and Catherine takes care of the nuts and bolts, as it were. “I do filling holes, sanding, seams, etc. Then I paint, poly, hand-sand and hand-paint the finished product."

Next time the heat is on, turn the camera on your dog. Whiner and Diner will be waiting for a good closeup.

The contest runs now through July 31. Click here for details.

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