Canine Companions for Independence · Company Profile · Dogs

Rub-a-dub-dub, Big Boi and Bobbi bring all the Dogs to the Tub

News alert: there is a new line of pet shampoo that is pretty much the Kérastase for the canine set. And guess who is behind this line of luxury? Rapper/mogul Big Boi (half of the duo from Outkast) and Chicago entrepreneur and socialite Bobbi Panter.

This duo makes quite the pair and more importantly quite the line of hair products to fit all types of needs for our fellow furry dog friends. Just launching (and already to much acclaim) , dog owners and their canines are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the hottest shampoo on the market. 


Here are some of the reasons why this shampoo is a MUST-have beauty need for all the dogs in the park.

  • Natural
  • 2x more washes
  • Tear-free (thank you Big & Bobbi because I know my fellow dog buddies just hate it when those tears start coming)
  • Salt Free
  • They smell divine!


I mean, how much better can it get when your dog comes out of the bath and feels like a million bucks? Luckily i am just a little Steiff dog, so my fur stays nice and clean, but (and let’s keep this between you and I) I think the real-live dogs living in Habersham Forest could use a little hydration and a good-smelling wash.

But on a more serious note, these shampoos address all types of ailments and hair types (or should i say fur-types) with specific smells and formulas to give your dog the wash of their life. Some of our faves (the canine-set has been abuzz since we got word of this new shampoo) are Hydrate (which smells like Blue Agave) and Invigorate (my personal favorite) which smells like Peach Rose. Can you think of a more delicious smell? And this formula, straight from the website, ” Restores and revitalizes dogs’ skin and fur with kiwi extract, rosemary, ginger root extract and chamomile, to leave your dog feeling rejuvenated.”

 Of course we had to reach out to these two brilliant partners, and we have some exciting news to announce in the pipeline. And it has to do with dogs, Canine Companions for Independence, more dogs and Big Boi & Bobbi Dog Shampoo. So stay tuned and make sure to follow these guys on social media and order your own shampoo.

Brands that Give Back · Canine Companions for Independence · Company Profile · Dogs

7 Reasons Nick Cannon is our Hero

Nick Cannon is one cool guy and today we are going to share the reasons why.  Pay special attention to reason #2.

  1. He just joined up with Men’s Wearhouse to donate and collect clothes for men reentering the workforce. #giveasuit
  2. Canine Companions for Independence and the whole gaggle in the Habersham Forest love him because he partnered with NexGaurd to tell stories of the CCI service dogs and their owners. Check out the stories, narrated by Nick Cannon, at 
  3. He loves toys!  (Nick if you read this…we do too!)….and he makes them too.  Like this Ncredible Rocket Copter  (pictured below) . Thus bad boy launches up to 150 feet and has LED lights that can be seen up to half a mile away. 
  4. He works hard and started young. At just 17, he had already secured a gig as the warm-up comedian on Nickelodeon’s “All That”
  5. He is one dapper fellow. And you know how we love fashion. Recently all eyes were on him at the Perry Ellis show at Mens Fashion Week. Check out the article on Women’s. Wear Daily here.
  6. He was married to Mariah Carey. We love her and she sure loves her dogs. 
  7. He loves his dogs. So much in fact that when he and Mariah Carey got divorced they could not decide over the custody of their eight dogs. It was a bitter argument because they did not want to split them up and they both loved them all dearly. Check out the story here

    So Nick, I, Sassafrass Jones, and the rest of us in the forest, humans and Steiff alike, think you are amazing. Keep up the good work. 

    Brands that Give Back · Canine Companions for Independence · Dogs · Steiff · Stuffed Animals

    Spunky and the Summer Stories

    Hi everyone. It’s been a long time since I got my paws back to the blogging block but here I am !

    For those of you who don’t know me, I am a perky Pekingese Steiff stuffed animal by Steiff and I was created by my mom Cathleen Smith Bresciani. I am modeled after the character in mom’s first book Sassafrass Jones & her Search For a Forever Home. Because of my delicate eye condition, I was teased and picked over for adoption many times until my forever family of mice came and adopted me and we lived happily ever after. (That was the very abbreviated version, but I am too excited to talk about me).

    But that was all years ago. Now, all grown up, I am one of the main Steiff’s in charge and running the Forest. But back to what I am writing about.

    Let’s just start by saying this summer is one that none of us will ever forget. Personally for me, it is the summer where I met my other half, my best friend.

    So, ladies and gentlemen and Steiff buddies around the world, meet Spunky. He is the wide-eyed limited edition (just like me)  Steiff Golden Retriever to honor Tommy Lasorda’s (baseball VIP, hall of famer, Dodgers superstar) late son Tommy LaSorda Jr. who passed away exactly 25 years ago. Why Spunky? Glad you asked.. My mom, who was his fiancé and was with him until the end, and his family all called him Spunky. That was his name.

    Mama Sassafrass, AKA Cathleen Smith Bresciani, works so hard to keep his name out there and leave a legacy that he would have wanted. The legacy he did want. You see, Cathleen and Spunky were engaged and they had a very special place in each other’s hearts . Mama once told me that all this hard work and effort she puts into raising awareness and money for Canine Companions for Independence is all in the name of Tommy Jr. Wow. My mom is really something.

    Back to Spunky. He is the real deal. He is so special in so many ways. He is so adorable and i love the way his head turns almost like he is always around and looking at what’s going on. Just seeing the name Spunky on his Steiff tag makes my mom cry sometimes. Only out of happiness though. download

    He was first introduced to the world at the beginning of June on the field of Dodgers stadium before the team played. He was presented and introduced to the Lasorda family and guess what, Spunky got on the Jumbotron. I was a little jealous!

    But here is where it gets even better. Spunky is a Steiff animal made specifically to raise money for Canine Companions for Independence.  Each purchase of this cute little dog goes entirely to CCI. This is the real deal, there are no fees taken out, no profit to be’s is all for the amazing organization CCI.

    So you see, with Cathleen’s determination and hard work, Spunky AKA Tommy Jr. lives on. He is helping countless people get the service dogs from CCI that will change their lives and give them hope. And these dogs are not cheap.  Each dog needs $50,000 to put into the training, raising, placement, and to make sure the dog is the perfect companion to their owner.

    Interested in helping out and getting your very own Spunky? Order yours today through Canine Companions for Independence website. Click here…Spunky has his very own page!



    Company Profile · Obsessions · Sassafrass Jones · shopping · Steiff · Stuffed Animals · teddy bears · Uncategorized

    SassySessions: Steiff Key Rings

    Guess what? You can carry a little plush Steiff animal everywhere you go.  How you may wonder….with a Sassafrass Jones Steiff keyring. We took the plush little Steiff cuties into our Habersham Forest Style Studio and dressed these animals in top-notch fashions.

    Okay, so maybe I personally can’t take credit for these guys, but I was there watching it and I did have some say in who should wear what. Like the panda in the tutu, that was all me.

    Okay so here they are:   The best way to upgrade your set of keys or even your purse or backpack. Just hook these little cuties and get ready to go.  All of these are available for purchase on our website.


    Ms. Cupcake in a Gingham Apron Keychain, $22
    Steiff Panda Ballarina Keychain, $22


    Check out this little guy’s custom Sassafrass Jones collar, Calico Cat, 


    The cutest little Steiff teddy in a bow and gingham apron
    Bunny in a vest, $20

    Which one will you choose?  A must-have gift for yourself and for all of the friends in your life. Makes sure to check out our website, for a brand new selection of custom-dressed Steiff Forever Friends by Cathleen Smith-Bresciani.


    Sassafrass Jones · Steiff · teddy bears · Uncategorized

    Teddy Bear Tea Party: Sassafrass Style


    Thom Baker Photography

    In case you missed our magical afternoon last week, we figured we would give you all the fun details, so you can feel like you were there. Of course, we held the tea party at Mama Sassafrass’s favorite Atlanta neighborhood French Bistro: Café Lapin.  (A big thank you to the owner of this amazing place: Mattie Hines)

    Steiff North American Authority Rebekah Kaufman gives tea party guests the history of Steiff teddy bears . In this pictures she is holding a Steiff made in 1906 and she calls it her “travel buddy”. Kaufman is also a regular Steiff consultant for etworks including HGTV, CBS (Inside Edition), (Pawn Stars), and E! Entertainment (Clean House), among others.   Thom Baker Photography


    The star of the afternoon was special guest Rebekah Kaufman, who came all the way from Boston, with three of her teddy bear buddies from Steiff. After tummies were full, Rebekah gave a little talk about the history of Steiff and the teddy bears, and we got to meet some  of the coolest and oldest Steiff bears ever.

    Her travel buddy was made in 1906, and boy was he in good condition. He was adorable, dressed in LEE overalls that were actually made as a salesman sample in the late 1920s. She gave the people and us Steiff animals the secret formula for identifying the age and value of the Steiff. All the guests were fascinated by the “secret formula” but we will be respectful and keep it a “secret” because that makes it more fun.

    The second bear she brought was called a Doll Bear. It was so cute. It had these big lips and open mouth. Steiff made these to  look more like a doll and we all oohed and aahed over this little guy.

    Some of the guests asked questions about other Steiff animals and there values.  Here are some crazy things we learned.

    Name an animal of any kind, and Steiff has made it at some point.


    They even made five fleas in five different colors at some point in the 90s.

    And the worst: there is a cockroach Steiff. Yuck.

    But back to the good stuff.  Thom Baker, photographer extraordinaire, snapped away at the guests and captured the bears and the ambience in a very magical way. Children that came got to leave with a little basket filled fun items like bubbles shaped like a teddy bear. And of course, people could not get enough of the custom-dressed Steiff animals made by Sassafrass Jones .

    The little baskets were filled with bear-y cool goodies for the little ones to take home.
    Steiff teddy bears dressed in custom Sassafrass Jones outfits were the hit of the party.
    People and their kids nibbled on fun teddy bear bites and teddy bear-shaped sandwiches at Café Lapin. And, of course, there was endless cups of tea.

    Rebekah Kaufman and Cathleen Smith Bresciani (aka Mama Sassafrass)
    Rebekah Kaufman and Cathleen Smith Bresciani (aka Mama Sassafrass) and host of the magical afternoon. 

    Mama Sassafrass (Cathleen Smith Bresciani) wanted me to make sure to thank all the people who attended the magical afternoon of tea and teddies. An extra special thank you to Thom Baker, the photographer, Mattie Hines, a friend and owner of Café Lapin, and Rebekah Kaufman, who travelled from Boston for this delightful afternoon.


    Crafts · Dogs · Jewelry · Obsessions · teddy bears

    The Coolest Coloring Books

    The coloring book craze has swept the nation…finally and there are so many fabulous coloring books to choose from.  Mama Sassafrass was saw they are even selling these books next to our favorite mags (US Weekly of course is our top pick) in the grocery stores. Wow..everyone is coloring. People of all ages!

    Of course the creative critters and minds on Team Sassafrass took the craze up a few sassy notches to make our very own special coloring books.

    Sassafrass creative artist Jason Bunin worked hand-in-hand with the woman behind the entire brand who happens to be my fabulous mom, Cathleen Smith,  the most creative and talented person I know) to create our first coloring book last year: Haute Dog LA.  This was for a Canine Companions for Independence charity event in Los Angeles and boy it is so cool! Think doggies in Beverly Hills dazzled in jewels.


    Next was a special limited edition one just for the Vedura holiday soiree. The coloring book, called Rhinos and Tigers and Jewels, Oh My took all of the animals from the Sassafrass ABC book and decked them out with Verdura jewelry.


    But here is the best!  It’s brand new and it is going to knock the teddy bear socks off of you!


    Introducing Teddy Bears Grand Tour: a coloring book journey of the United States for all ages.

    Just wait till you see the amazing Bears taking  over the country.
    Here are just a couple of sneak peeks. If you are coming to the Tea Party on May 14th the books will be available to buy. Otherwise we will let you know as soon as they are on sale on the website and on Amazon. If you must have one now just send us a note and we will get it to you as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss this one.