It’s a dog’s world. Even on the internet.
Most Westporters know Bruce Kasanoff as a former Planning and Zoning commissioner with a low tolerance for long meetings. But he’s calm — and passionate — about dogs.
Which leads us — and, in less than 6 months of existence, 150,000 visitors from over 100 countries — to DrawTheDog.com.
The website is a co-production of Bruce and Jim George, an ex-Disney animator who lives in California. Readers send in stories of “real life dogs and their real life antics.”
Six days a week, Jim draws a cartoon based on 1 of those crazy dog antics. He includes the dog’s name and town.
Sometimes this makes readers mad — say it’s a cartoon about a dog digging through garbage, but it’s a different dog than yours. Bruce and Jim didn’t steal that story. As they say on their website, lots of dogs dig through garbage.
As can be expected — what with Winslow Park and Compo Beach (November through March only!) — Westport figured prominently in the genesis of the site. Whenever he dog-romped here, Bruce craved doing something canine-ish.
His profession is marketing strategy, with a sideline in speaking and an expertise in personalization. “But truth be told,” Bruce says, “I’d rather play with dogs.”
One would think a marketer would be marketing the hell out of DrawTheDog, but one would be wrong. The site promotes itself. Bruce did get talked into forming a Facebook group. A good thing he listened — within a month, it had over 2,300 members.
Bruce is often surprised by which cartoons generate the most comments. Anything about dogs sleeping in their owners’ beds is huge, because the dogs of half the visitors do exactly that.
Greyhound and Great Dane owners are the most passionate readers, in terms of promoting the site with friends. Pitbull owners come close, Bruce says, “because they are so grateful for anything that shows the loving side of this misunderstood breed.”
DrawTheDog has featured 1 Westport pooch so far: Saba, a Vizsla whose owner videotaped her playing with a deer in the back yard. The Post picked up the story, and interviewed owner Elizabeth Vagnoni. Who says journalism is a dying craft?
We’re betting Saba is not the last Westport dog that Krasnoff and George highlight. Between Winslow Park and Compo, we’ve got enough “real life dogs and their real life antics” to last a dog’s age.