by admin on February 16, 2011

parisienne with dogs

dog-walking neccessities

have you ever noticed how frumpy dog-show people look?  the dogs look gorgeous and the people look…..bad.  esme thinks that the handlers should at least sport hair-does to match their dogs’ and maybe little booties the color of dog-paws.  is there some sort of akc rule that the dog-people must look dog-eared? 

anyway, dog-walkers are not much better, although 2 notable exceptions stand out in my mind.  one is a woman of a certain age who used to walk an elderly golden retreiver on the beach, the woman wearing a tailored tweed jacket/skirt combo and nylons with low-heeled pumps—totally stylin’!  another  woman wears colorful flowing skirts, embroidered peasant tops and bare feet or flip-flops.   i don’t quite know how they handle the sand, the tide and the possibility of big and little dogs jumping up on them with wet paws, but perhaps they are willing to take the risk in the name of fashion. 

for practical reasons esme has developed the following outfit, but she’d love to have someone invent a more fetching (ha!) form of dog-walking attire.  one needs almost as much equipment for dog-walking as for baby-strolling (in fact a few people have been seen pushing elderly canines in strollers!).  at a minimum you will require treats, poop-bags (always bring extras),tennis balls, maybe a chuck-it, a leash, your keys and wallet and cell-phone.  the latter is crucial, as urgent situations are not rare when it comes to walking dogs, especially if they are off-leash.  

thus, one needs a jacket or vest with lots of pockets.  i tried putting my dog-stuff in my jeans pockets, but, as my sister rose puts it, that “ruins your butt” (and your jeans for that matter).  a sturdy pair of jeans is crucial, especially if you are around young dogs that tend to jump on you.  i’m thinking that boyfriend jeans might be just the thing—a little more deconstruction will only improve them.  (don’t even think about shorts, or your legs will be decorated with odd vertical red stripes). 

then you need some comfortable but not-too-ugly walking shoes—i have some blue ones called “muckers” that i like to wear with green-and-purple striped socks!  i top this off with a very functional but rather dorky tilley hat.  the tilley hat is sun-and-rain-proof, folds up easily, has a strap to keep it on in the wind, and often receives compliments even thought mr. noir hates it! 

if you have longish hair you can get away with a cute baseball cap, but the short-haired amongst us need a hat that provides neck protection.  you could go all-out and buy one of those solumbria hats with drapes for the neck, but i can’t bear to go quite that far.  if you really want to protect your skin (and we all should), an indian head-scarf, or a jackie kennedy hat-and-scarf ensemble would be both feminine and funtional, but i’m afraid the fashion-world is just not there yet! 

of course, if you happen to live in a place with clean side-walks, and have a small, tame animal who doesn’t jump up, walks calmly on-leash, and is not prone to forays into yucky stuff, you may not need my dog-walking attire;  i am sure there are people in new york and paris (or even palo alto) who walk their little poodles wearing 6-inch heels and spagetti-strap silk blouses.  if so, my hat is off to you!




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