25 August, 2006


Dogs in Clothes, Why?

Someone help me with this, I have a question as to why anyone would dress a dog in clothes. I am curious by nature and ask a lot of questions. I always have; not to be nosey, but to learn, to understand. This question has bugged me for a long time and I seriously want to know why anyone thinks it's a good idea to dress up a dog. I'm not talking about someone putting a teeny, tiny hairless dog in a sweater to brave the elements when it's below zero outside. I'm talking about dresses, hats and shoes. I'm also not talking about a small child who dresses Tinkerbell in her doll's clothes and pushes the puppy around in her baby buggy, either. I'm wondering about educated adults who think it's the best idea in the world to dress a dog in designer duds to take a stroll around the neighborhood. I've seen the ridiculous clothes advertised in the catalogs that start piling up in my mailbox around this time of year. I've seen them in shops. I've seen dressed-up dogs in photos on calendars, mugs and mouse pads. I'm sure you have, too. I don't think it's a coincidence that these dogs never look happy, but rather appear highly humiliated! I think it's time to stand up for the dignity of our canine friends! Let's boycott doggie clothing and put an end to this once and for all... no more Halloween costumes or Santa hats or even worse, antlers for Fido.
Unless anyone out there can explain to me why. As I said, I'm curious.

Life is good!
Lets' keep it that way.

13 comments:

Kyle said...

What about dressing them up for Halloween??

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I realize I might be sticking my toe in some shark infested waters here, so I am not answering any questions... I'm requesting answers to mine.

DISCOM said...

I DRESS HARLEY UP BECAUSE IT MAKES HER FEEL PRETTY! SHE MIGHT SPORT THE OCCASIONAL SUMMER T-SHIRT.... FOR FALL SHE HAS A HARLEY SWEATER SHE WEARS.... DURING THE PAST ELECTION YEAR SHE WORE A SHIRT WITH " I LIKE BUSH" ON THE BACK .... CHRISTMAS TIME SHE SPORTS DIFFERENT SEASONAL COLLARS....

WHAT CAN I SAY.... BESIDES.... ' I FEEL PRETTY OH SOOOO PRETTY".....

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

OK-- that's what I wanted to know, why people do this. I could ask "how do you know she feels pretty" but I won't because she likes Bush, so; that's good enough for me.

Kyle said...

*Ahem* Im getting confused.... Im not sure that Diesel thinks bandanas are cute... I believe that was none other than Mrs. Goodneedle... I beleive you may want to change your statment to: "Why do people BUY clothes for their pets when Mrs. Goodneedle can make them"...

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

No, no, no! Point of clarification: a bandana is NOT a dress, shoes or a hat! A bandana is a "statement" and Diesel can carry that off with panache! I'm talking about OUTFITS that people buy for their pups to wear.

Kyle said...

Here is where it starts...Collars... Bandanas... a vest... a shirt... then before you know it you are shopping for matching shoes and purses..

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Hannes would never carry a purse, even if it did match his shoes :)

Jim V said...

We need some refining of the question here. There are three categories of "dressing up your dog":

Level One: "I'm cool and so is my dog." This category includes bandanas, even if changed frequently to accomodate some purpose, like a jalapeno bandana for Cinco De Mayo, or whatever. It also includes collars, even if they are non-block. However, collars with diamonds, sequins, or other accutrements are pushing your luck.

Anyone engaging in Level One dog-dressing activity is likely to be stable, and could even be cool.

Level Two: "I occassionally express myself through what my dog wears, but not all the time." This level is limited to the dog t-shirt. The shirt must be short sleeve, and any saying on the t-shirt must be unrelated to dogs. Discom's "I Like Bush" shirt is a good example. Had it said, "Poodles are Paradise", or something like that, it would have been a Level Three offense. It is noteworthy that there is an exception for anything related to Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson apparel will always be considered Level One unless there is an unreasonably thorough effort to coordinate more than two pieces of apparel, or if any Harley Davidson apparel is ever applied to a white dog in the toy or teacup category.

Anyone engaging in Level Two activity must be investigated further. It is possible that they are crazy, but they might also be a cool person with slightly more time on their hands than the average citizen. Please note that the likelihood that they are crazy goes up dramatically if they are using Level Two apparel on any dog over 40 pounds.

Level Three: "I'm clearly crazy." This level includes any dog apparel beyond that of levels one and two. It also includes any attempt, regardless of the nature thereof, to dress up any non-dog pet. Anyone putting clothing on a cat, iguana, turtle, or other non-kanine is instantly level three. However, there is a collar exception for cats. Whereas any diamond or otherwise decorated collar for dogs is at least a Level Two violation, such decorated collars on cats are merely a Level One activity, as long as the cat is female.

Level Three includes such disturbing behavior as matching shirts and pants, non-functional footwear, hats of any kind whatsoever, and any piece of clothing that must be modified to allow for the dog's tail to pass through it. Any apparel made from satin is automatically Level Three even if it would otherwise qualify as a level one or two item.

A person engaged in Level Three activity leaves the onlooker with only two choices. The first is to simply leave the area immediately, and wash your hands. What they have may be contagious. The other option is to engage in tough love, and compassionately but confidently point out the extreme humuliation their dog is experiencing, especially in the presence of other dogs. In choosing which course of action to take, ask yourself, "What would Jesus have done if he saw a Pharisee walking his dog dressed up in a satin jumpsuit with a matching hat?"

Finally: Hor's Categorie. From the French "beyond categorization", this level is reserved for a person engaging in Level Three activity, and also setting aside closet space for hanging storage of the pet's outfits. It further includes those who enter their pets into fashion shows, and those introducing accessories into the dog's apparel.

When encountering a beyond category pet owner, you must exercise caution and avoid eye contact. They will have compelling reasons for their behavior, and will possess a powerful ability to convince you that their behavior is acceptable. They will even tell you that all of their freinds and family love the extensive range of outfits available for the pet. And most tragically, they will tell you that their pet loves the outfits more than anyone else. It is likely that these people cannot be helped, and by trying you're only putting yourself at risk.

So there you have it. I would say Diesel is a solid level one. His breed alone is highly compatible with bandanas. His inherent coolness would take a lot of effort to counteract.

Discom is clearly engaged in level two activity. Moving from a bandana to a t-shirt is certainly level two activity. Watch her closely, though. Her slightly elevated effort to choose the appropriate t-shirt based on the season is dangerously close to Level Three activity. If she purchases a new t-shirt based on the 2008 Presidential campaign, an intervention may be necessary.

The only potentially Level Three activity I've ever personally witnessed was an outfit that my parent's dog Callie used to wear. It was a full body suit, and had the requisite hole for the tail. It even morphed into a sleeve for the tail for a while. However, I am unsure whether this qualifies as Level Three activity because the outfit was functional: it was created to prevent habitual scratching which was causing a skin irritation. Further, the outfit was a plain solid color.

Paris Hilton is the most widely known Hor's Categorie individual on the planet. You can see the kind of destructive power that behavior has. You're best off just staying away.

breathe said...

People who dress their pets are expressing themselves through a less personal medium. I think Harley wearing a shirt that has "I Like Bush!" printed on it hardly expresses his political point of view, it expresses yours, DISCOM. Therein lies the humor.

Unless, of course, Harley is referring to actual, leafy shrubbery in which case I may be mistaken -- what male dog WOULDN'T like to lift a hind leg at every bush he encounters? In which case, the shirt should read "I Like Bushes" to be gramatically correct, but we'll let it slide since he's a dog and hasn't had the schooling we all have had. geez, speaking of gramatically incorrect sentences, that one is off the scale. It's internet disease -- spelling, grammar, punctuation, and apparently CAPITALIZATION are afterthougts; distant memories of English teachers gone by the wayside.

But I digress.

Mrs. G, what I think motivates some to dress a pet up in human clothes can also be attributed in some cases to the owner...er, parent wanting to have a furry little human to take care of. I think it may be more difficult for some to think of their dogs/cats/lizards as deeply loved members of their families....who also happen to be inhuman. I never had that problem, I know Jim V doesn't have that problem, and certainly Kyle and you don't (DISCOM, I don't know you, so I will therefore refrain from any observational comments) -- it's perfectly healthy and normal to love a pet very much as part of the family, and accept that they are not human at the same time. Any of us would hardly give a second thought to taking care of our pets at any cost. Food, toys, veterinarian bills are all paid for without a moment's regret -- they're part of the family, after all! I don't think everyone can handle that fact, so the hats, boots, sweaters and biking jerseys, Jim V! (j/k ;) ) are all ways to further humanize our beloved pets. It's obviously a very large number of people who do so, also. The pet care industry as it's called now has balooned to a staggering $11 billion.

That's a lot of Milk Bones and doggie boots.

breathe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DISCOM said...

Breath - that is what I call Irony.... An "I like Bush" Shirt could mean several ....... especially when a dog is the one wearing it.

Jim V said...

Technically, the plural "I like Bushes" could still be a political statement...