I was feeling a bit weary. This morning, I managed to write a blog entry, edit it, and send it off to cyberspace in hopes that someone who can read would catch it, reel it in, and read it. So, I was relaxing in my desk chair, tilted back and eyes closed. I was damn near asleep when Bill the Cat jumped on the desk, made a squeaky noise and let his eyes bug out. Pathetic Bob was calling, and I had to take it.
“Yo, Em. Where have you been; I haven’t heard from you in a few days.
“I’ve been working on several projects, and I’m tired. What’s up with you?”
“Well Em, I’m pissed, really pissed. I was watching something on TV, and would you believe it, people (mainly women) were walking around with their dogs dressed in human clothes. Some even had on jewelry. Can you believe it?”
“Unfortunately, yes, I can picture it. It’s an all-to-common sight, and it makes my butt suck win.”
“Jeez Em, watch your language. Anyway, there are very good reasons you should leave human clothes off your pet. First, let me tell you what I read about people who do put clothes on Fido. (“Sorry, an aside here: I have never known a dog named Fido.”)
According to StackExchange clothes aren’t good for your pet for several reasons. One reason is that they will chafe your pet. Where a human can scratch an itch under their clothes or adjust them, a dog can’t. Imagine if you’re underwear were wedgified all day and you couldn’t adjust them. Would you be okay? Yes. Would you be comfortable? No. I like that term “wedgified.”
“Well, I can sure understand this guy’s position.”
“Read on, dog breath, these dog dressers could be psycho. ”
“The other reason is more about psychology. I’m not going to categorically lump everyone who puts clothing on their dogs in this group, but I think a vast majority of people who dress their dogs up, do it because they see them as a child substitute. Granted they require similar care to a young child as far as not being able to feed themselves or go to the bathroom by themselves, but I think people are mentally substituting them for a baby they didn’t or couldn’t have, or for kids that have left home. Sometimes it happens when a child is in the house because the dog isn’t argumentative. I phrased it that way, instead of saying the dog isn’t bad because a lot of them are. People feel like a talking teenager should know better. The dog should know better as well, but because they can’t talk and they’re dependent, it’s easier to see them as a child and forgive bad behavior. It’s also the reason people like cats and dogs like pugs and Boston terriers. They have large eyes in proportion to their heads and this makes them seem child-like.
“It’s not a good psychological state for the person or the dog. On the person’s side, they’re transferring feeling onto an inappropriate object and they’re harming their dog by not treating it like a dog. On the dog’s part, they’re not being taught what proper behaviors are when dealing with others. Because typically it’s small dogs being dressed up, they’re often forgiven for behaviors that you physically can’t with a big dog’s, such as biting or jumping on you. They are also carried like babies and never allowed a proper amount of exercise. These things all lead to a dog that is aggressive, territorial, and anti-social. It’s all lumped in with the mindset that goes along with dressing up a dog like a person. I strongly disagree with this practice.
“See, Em, what did I tell you? Bat-shit loonies, right?”
I was not too happy at that moment. “Well, uh, Bob, I’m not sure that that phrase is applicable to everyone who might put close on a dog once in a while.”
“But Em…er,,,uh…Oh, I see where this is going. The lovely Ms. Em, right?
I didn’t say anything.
“Well, I guess Mrs.Em isn’t exactly a bat-shit loonie, but you gotta admit she walks the borderline sometimes. I mean she dresses up that back-up dog you have. You know, the Papillion, Papi. She’s even costumed the Chihuahua a time or two.
“That’s right, Bob, and you might check out what the website has to say about when you should dress your dog. I recall you wanting to put on a sweater when the weather got cold.”
“Yeah, well, I do have to admit it was warm, and the raincoat came in handy. So, according to the site, ‘There are a few occasions I would find it acceptable to put clothing on a dog for short periods of time. These include a Halloween costume (though I’ve never put one on my dogs), a diaper when a female dog is in heat, a shirt of some kind if they have a wound you want to keep them from rubbing, a rain jacket if you don’t want them to get soaked when you’re taking them to the bathroom, snow boots if it gets packed in between their toes, guard vests on labs fetching in frozen lakes, and the only piece of clothing I have, which is a light jacket I put on my jack Russell in the mornings when it’s still pretty cold. She has very thin hair and I put her outside when I go to work. I’ll put the light hoodie on her and it’ll help her retain heat till the day warms up. When she heats up, she wiggles out of it and leaves it by the door.'”
“OK, Em, to summarize, Don’t dress your dog…except when it’s OK. Don’t act like a bat-shit loonie and you need to dress better yourself.”