Remember Caninus? The band—which was started by Most Precious Blood's Justin Brannan, Rachel Rosen, drummer Colin Thundercurry—featured two female pitbull terriers, Budgie and Basil, on vocals. Formed in 2003, Caninus got further than most human-led bands before Basil's untimely demise saw them put the project on ice. Before disbanding in 2011, they scored a record deal with War Torn Records, released a split seven-inch with Cattle Decapitation (and one with Hatebreak, their parrot-led comrades in animal-led deathgrind), put out a full-length album, Now the Animals Have a Voice, and even recruited Death drummer and all-around Cool Metal Guy Richard Christy to play drums on a few tunes.
Caninus had a message, too. As Brannan told MTV in 2006, the band's focus is on "animal rights, vegetarianism, veganism, and trying to spread the word about adopting homeless animals. The whole purpose of the band is to spread those messages, because Budgie and Basil are adopted, rescued dogs."
Why am I talking about them now, five years after the band itself ended? Well, because last week, I got an email from an entity called Caninus Collars, asking if my pet was "punk enough." The answer there is, unequivocally, no—my cat is too apathetic to be anything but a cat, really, and my dog prefers her dad's NWOBHM records—but it can be hard to find pet collars that aren't boring or unspeakably twee, so I investigated further. What I found was positively delightful (in a very tough, NYHC-approved way, of course).
Caninus's own Rachel Rosen (who's also known for playing in Indecision and Most Precious Blood) has spent the past 15 years involved in animal rescue efforts, and has just launched a pet apparel company that caters to pet parents for whom checked bandanas and sparkly collars just aren't hard enough. Alongside a variety of other designs, Caninus Collars stocks officially licensed Misfits, Sick Of It All, Madball, Terror, and Indecision-branded collars and leashes (modeled by Rosen's stinkin' cute rescue pit, Spanky) and harnesses, bandanas and pet band T-shirts are also in the works.
As Rosen explains, "I had been making dog collars for years and we thought this was a cool idea that hadn't really been done before. Once we started asking bands and they were all saying yes, we just took it and ran with it!"
I'm already hoping that Rosen decides to branch out into heavy metal, because my pup likes to try and destroy any kind of clothing we put on her, but would look absolutely adorable in, like, a Saxon collar. The heavy webbing and vegan leather Caninus uses looks pretty damn sturdy, too, which is extremely important when you're dealing with a bigger dog (or a really gnarly cat, I guess).
For now, though, pet-owning NYHC and Misfits fans (or friends and family members looking for holiday gifts for them) are in luck. We're not doing any kind of holiday gift guide because you're adults with agency and access to Google, but if we were to do such a thing, Caninus Collars would definitely top my list. The fact that they made multiple "commercials" for the brand is the only thing keeping me going this chilly Monday morning, too—look how fucking CUTE they are!
Obviously the perfect gift for the mosh pitbull in your life ;)
Kim Kelly just wants to go home and see her dog; for now, she's on Twitter.