September 16, 2021 by Gabrielle Martin
My Hometown Dog is a Hingham-based business celebrating the town’s approximately 2,700 licensed dogs in a 365 day-by-day calendar featuring photos of local pups; with each passing day, turn the page to reveal a different Hingham hound—and there’s a good change you may recognize some of the models, as residents are encouraged to enter their furry four-legged family members for consideration to be chosen for the calendar!
Laura Spaziani is the creative who launched the calendar, combining her love of dogs with her pride for her “forever town,” Hingham: “I love Hingham and am happy [that] this is my children’s hometown, and hopefully my husband and I’s forever town.”
The Michigan native says she lived in many other beautiful places in the United States, as well as other countries, before moving here with her husband—and what brought them here was Boston College football: “We spent about 4 months looking for the right town to call home. The day we drove through Hingham, we knew we found that town!” Laura says.
The Spazianis have lived in Hingham ever since: it’s been 24 years now, and the couple have raised their 3 children here. “We currently have 3 golden retrievers and 2 cats,” Laura says. “It’s something how dogs will get you out in all kinds of weather, and you get to like all kinds of climate as long as you are dressed for it! Walking dogs is not only good for the body, but also great for the mind: you get time to unwind and think.”
That’s actually how Laura came up with the idea for My Hometown Dog: “I often think how lucky I am to live in Hingham, and I think about my dogs, and my friend’s dogs—and, of course, I’m always meeting new people and their dogs on their walks. And I am not unique: other Hingham dog owners are doing just what I’m doing!”
And so, as she says, “Voila! Combine the love of town and all the dogs we know, and [the] dogs we’ll get to know, into a page-by-page desk calendar of Hingham dogs!”
Spaziani explains that she’s “hustling to see if [the idea] is viable,” adding, “That’s why I’m testing the idea in Hingham this year, and if it seems to be well received, I’ll expand [it] to other towns having their own calendar.”
“The challenge was to get a website developed and enough marketing to get the word out,” Laura shares. “Social media, of course, casts the widest net. I’m also advertising at vet offices, through dog day cares, dog walkers, and, of course, through my friends. I’m finding that people aren’t thinking ‘calendar for 2022’ in the summer, so orders are now coming in at a faster pace. And, of course, I want this to be in the hands of everyone in time for the holidays, so I’ll have to get the dog pictures and their bios to the printer [by] November.”
Laura has hired local talent—“local college ‘kids’”—to help with social media and photography for the website, which was created by a local web designer, and is proud to say the calendar is created and printed here in Massachusetts on recycled paper—“and the printer is also quite local.”
And, overall, the idea for her calendar has been well-received; the calendar’s creator credits this to it being “so fun to see your own dog’s page, and to know that everyone else is also seeing your dog.” Additionally, Laura says, “Many people have chosen special days to celebrate a dog’s birthday. Some have chosen a special holiday. I even have an entry for her twins’ birthday!”
“It’s a great gift for Christmas and ringing in the New Year. It’s just a fun thing! And it’s a fun gift to give,” Laura laments. Each calendar is $19.95 and available for purchase on My Hometown Dog’s website.
“I’d say dog life in Hingham is pretty darned sweet,” Spaziani acknowledged on her website, adding: “Since all dogs should have the same chance for a good life, one hundred percent of My Hometown Dog calendar profits will benefit the Scituate Animal Shelter.”
In 2017, the Scituate Animal Shelter celebrated its 25th year of helping Massachusetts animals. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for both the companion animals and the people of our community by providing shelter and placement for homeless animals and support through community services and humane education.