The Eighth Page

Should Dogs Wear Sweater-Vests and Uggs?

It’s rather distressing to me when one ponders the number of people who feel the need to dress their dogs in sweaters. Perhaps there is no better example to illustrate how deranged society has become than when one reflects on the “dog sweater people.” My first encounter with this disturbed bunch began last week as I walked from Dunkin’ Donuts to my dorm. The woman I encountered had dressed her small white terrier in a petit sweater, and she boasted a pompous smile that said, “Damn straight I buy clothing for my dog.” What is truly sad is that the people who buy their dogs sweaters are also generally the same demographic who feel strongly about the lack of charity in third world countries. Imagine a person who criticizes the lack of foreign aid in Haiti and then, after seeing pictures of impoverished and unclothed Haitians, purchases their dog a sweater. Aside from this obvious hypocrisy, do dogs even get chilly? Given the fact that a dog has a natural sweater (fur anyone?), for what purpose does one buy a dog a sweater? The only clear answer I could think of was some type of sick pet fashion superiority complex. Maybe these people did not have success in choosing their children’s outfits… who knows. But one thing is certain: the time for dressing things up ends when you are eight! If you feel the need to choose clothing for something that cannot put up an argument, go out and buy a Barbie or get a Jewish husband. What shocks me even more is that there are actually people in this world who make their living in designing clothes for animals. It is my personal theory that these people were probably rejected from the human fashion industry and decided to design for the next best thing: man’s best friend. Has entrepreneurialism gone a tad too far when companies like Little Pampered Pets, Oh My Dog Supplies, Canine Kline or Bark-a-Wear actually exist? One wonders: do dogs go through the same clothing cycles as human beings? Take for example a female dog: around age one she is content with whatever the owner makes her wear, but by age fourteen she only leaves the house if she can wear a mini skirt and tube top. The owner then argues with the dog, insisting that she change so as to not appear promiscuous. The dog takes off the clothing but then waits until the owner has gone to bed, puts on a ripped jean mini skirt, a silver tube top and some stilettos and goes out for an evening stroll. Then, many years later, when the dog is seventy years old (in human years), she wears white sneakers and a neatly pressed sweater vest. This is impossible considering that the specimen being discussed is a dog, but my neurotic self cannot help but wonder. So this is a message to all you people who dress their dogs in sweaters or plan on doing so at some point in their potentially miserable lives: Don’t. I beg of you. We have all seen what happens when people make animals wear clothing (Tigers in Las Vegas glitz…Siegfried and Roy…the hospital). Would Old Yeller really be the dog he is if he wore a cardigan? Would Clifford really look good in a pea coat? And as if the name Toto wasn’t flamboyant enough, does he really need bell-bottoms? I hope for my sake and for your dogs sake that you heed my advice well, because all things considered, if I see you forcing your dog to wear a sweater after reading this, I promise you this: there will be blood.