#76. CANINE COUTURE

by admin on February 16, 2011

hunter's rain jacket

bichon with booties

 

french dog

 

esme’s mother, as you may recall, is not a lover of fashion;  however, she is nuts about dogs (and mules, cats, horses, and all wild animals except ground squirrels which are undermining the foundation of her abode), and has been urging esme to write a segment on dog attire. 

as you may also know, carmel is dog city, and thus the perfect venue for observation and research on this topic. if you happen to share your household with a really large furry dog you may never actually need dog clothing.  in fact, most dogs are perfectly warm and happy in their own fur and would prefer to go au naturel even on halloween. 

however, small short-haired dogs do occasionally shiver with cold,  many dogs dislike rain, and some dog-people dislike administering a bath after a walk in the damp, so you may find yourself shopping for canine couture even if you thought you’d never be caught dead doing so. 

first some tips on the practical aspects of dog attire.  to keep a dog clean at the dog-park a little t-shirt comes in handy; this way, you can wash the t instead of the dog!  if you have a male dog with a slim waist, be sure the t fits tightly enough around the middle so that your animal does not pee on it—you may need to use a safety pin or do a bit of alteration.  ideally you should bring the dog along to shop for his or her attire so as to find a flattering color and a good fit. 

for chilly weather, a knit sweater is nice.  we found one at a dog-show that just slips over the head and paws and provides good coverage.  my favorite, however, is the little dog-parka pictured above.  it velcros at the neck and waist and keeps the animal both warm and dry.  a towel-off of the paws before coming in the front door and you’re good to go!  

or, if you’re really concerned about cleanliness, you might try something like the booties pictured on zoe the bichon; however, i happen to know that hunter would not be caught dead in footwear! 

of course, much of canine couture is really about looks and not function.  i’ve seen a pair of daschunds in the cutest little ruffley animal print collars, and there is a well-known carmel canine who rides in the back of a vintage convertible wearing sunglasses and a hat! 

if you have a co-operative (masochistic??) animal, the world is your oyster when it comes to dog-attire.  note that the popularity of canine couture parallels a profound change in canine culture.  when esme was growing up, dogs were not allowed in the house, roamed the neighborhood off-leash, and certainly didn’t have outifts.  these days a dog is part of the family (or the family is part of the “pack”), often sleeps with the owners, attends playdates, has it’s teeth brushed, and so on. of course, the french have treated their dogs like humans for years, so perhaps we are just becoming a bit more european and enjoying a tad of dog-fur with our brie.

from le pack noir,

esme

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