People who own dogs love their pets. Some love their pet way more than is appropriate when it comes to the tongue-to-mouth scenario, in my opinion (that tongue has been wrapped round a poodle anus, people, come on! Instinctually, the dog isn’t kissing you, it’s trying to make you vomit some rabbit. Stop it.) and as for the whole dog-in-a-bag thing, when the creature has been granted twice as many legs for walking as we have, well, that’s another ridiculous notion I won’t go into right now. What I would like to discuss, and has bothered me for as long as I have had the capacity for misanthropic disdain for the world at large, is the practice of dressing dogs in clothes.
In case it had slipped anyone’s attention, dogs are born with a coat that serves the perfectly adequate purpose of stopping the dog from appearing naked (not that it would care) and offers seasonal climate control, i.e. waterproofing and temperature regulation. It also comes in an array of delightfully ‘dog’ shades of, well, dog. When it is raining, your pooch doesn’t really need an adorable miniature mackintosh with matching sou’wester, they already wear one that’s moulded to an exact fit and doesn’t make them look like an embarrassed fisherman. It’s the equivalent of you putting on your raincoat and then wearing a bear costume over the top to go for a jog. Preposterous.
If a dog wanted to wear pink sparkly things, it would have been born a Barbie. It wasn’t, it’s a dog and all its little doggy friends are laughing at its cumbersome tiara and tutu while you coo and ahh over how adorable it looks. This once majestic beast dreams of living back in an age when dogs hunted savagely and were rightly feared by man; how has it come to this, this diamante encrusted dress and feather trimmed cardigan, how?!
A dog in a neckerchief does not look cool, a dog in a neckerchief looks like its owner can’t afford a proper collar, or they take so many drugs, they mistook the dog for a cowpoke. If you want your dog to look “cool”, you need to question why you got a dog in the first place. You can dress it up in as many hipster accoutrements as you like, it’s still going to look utterly undignified when it curls out a giant dog egg in the middle of the pavement, because it’s a dog!
Nail polish? On a dog? You make my brain fizz with so much seething rage and nauseating disbelief that all I can think is that I want to hurt nail polish.
Worse than the sailor hats, the spangled crop tops and “cool” canine hoodies, are the shoes. Shoes? On a dog? Since when did the paws of a beast designed to roam all terrains at speed, need a pair of rapper style trainers or waterproof hiking booties forcibly strapped to them? There are such monstrosities as dog Uggs, or ‘Pugz’ as they’re known. These are a real, actual thing and have caused me to vomit up half a Diet Coke and my liver in my mouth upon discovery. Ugg boots are horrific assaults on fashion and gait when on humans, but inflict them upon a pup and you have a sorrow-eyed canine, show pony-stepping about the place, trying to remove a set of utterly redundant (expensive) devices of chavtastic humiliation.
“Oh but he likes it, he loves his little outfits!” I hear you cry. He doesn’t, he’s just been ground down by your relentless baby talk and ear piercing shrieks to the point that all desire to rip your face off and use your nose as a chew toy, has been replaced with dull-eyed resignation and broken-spirited compliance to get him through the day. If the dog liked playing dress up so much, it would drag you into Claire’s Accessories every time you strolled past. It doesn’t.
If you’re brave enough to Google “dogs in clothes”, be prepared for an inordinate amount of animals begrudgingly suffering bows, frocks and socks (admittedly, some mildly amusing Halloween costumes too) and an horrific number of blogs from anthropomorphising cretins writing of their mutt’s fashion credentials and keen “interest” in floral short sleeved tops. Somewhere in that house is a drooling crotch sniffer who has an interest in short sleeved florals, and beside them, a dog.
By all means love your dog, but get a doll if you want something to look cute and to “play” with. These are animals with fur and a long lineage of dignity, dangerous instincts and soiling pavements, not toys; show the mighty canine some dignity and let it dress itself. If you feel an overwhelming urge to buy adorable little outfits for very small beings who need protecting from the elements and would appreciate some sparkly things to make them feel pretty, might I suggest you take them to an orphanage or a children’s hospice and grow up.