Not being much of a fan of canines, this one left me a little flat. The title is cute, and the image of the dog in the black squares is fancy, but between the very fine 1D: Give some relief (EMBOSS), and our ending at the completely unknown MARL (121A: Earthy deposit), where we guessed at the final L, also not knowing NELLIESMALL (67D: *Singer with the 1964 #2 hit "My Boy Lollipop" [the Bushes 41]), there wasn't much joy in solving. Also, the Johnsons had a dog called "Her?"
I don't know, the whole thing left me flat. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.