In search of ponies: Co-worker explains dressing up pet

Sharna Johnson

Once upon a time I remember rescuing a stray cat from neighborhood girls who had dressed him in doll clothes and put him in a baby stroller.

From my perspective at the time, they may as well have been torturing the animal and he desperately needed my intervention.

Years later dressing animals is all the rage and as I pass the rows at the store full of doggy cheerleader outfits and other costumes, I still feel these animals probably need to be rescued from the tortures perpetrated against them.

Now I will concede there is an array of gear on the market for working dogs to protect them from the elements or dangers on the job; vests, rain slickers, boots, even backpacks.

This makes sense to me, very practical…

And I might be able to stretch my understanding to cover sweaters for cold, older or ill animals, horses wear blankets after all, but I don’t get the bows or the jewelry or the skirts or little suits.

So, in the interest of being open minded, I asked a friend and coworker who owns a miniature pinscher, why she dresses him up.

Please note as you read this that her dog really is the love of her life and she dotes on him and meets all of his needs with the greatest concern and consideration.

That being said, I’m not sure if my curiosity is satisfied or if I am just more disturbed by the answers.

Here’s what she said:

Q: Why, why, why do you do this to your dog?

A: Because I like the idea of having a baby but I don’t want the responsibility of a real one and because you can’t go out on a Saturday night and leave a baby with a bone and come home in the wee hours of the morning.

Q: What outfits do you have for him?

A: He has cowboy boots, casual T-shirts, a winter coat and some turtlenecks and a really nice polo shirt. He looks AberCrombie when he wears it. Oh, and he has bling too, a studded metal collar just for show.

And then I do the unnecessary cruel stuff like antler ears, bunny ears, Santa hats… we really get into the holidays.

Q: Cowboy boots? Why?

A: We moved to Texas I wanted him to fit in.

Q: Does he hate it when you dress him up?

A: Yeah, he hates it and he runs away from me when he sees me bust out the clothes. He’s like “noo” and he runs away. He doesn’t like baths or clothes or shoes.

Q: Does your family think you’re crazy?

A: They think it’s cute. My mom she calls him her grandbaby. My little sister has doll clothes; I put a little apron on him. I think he likes the attention from my family.

Q: Why did you start this?

A: My best friend she has a little Chihuahua named Bitty. We both got into it together and her dog has PJs, a rain slicker, all kinds of stuff, and she’s the one that actually got us started. She would send us stuff.

Q: Why do you do it again?

A: Just to entertain me, we don’t go anywhere. I don’t dress him up right now though, it’s too hot.

Q: Does he avoid you?

A: No, that’s what’s great you can do the worst to them and it’s forgiven.

Well, I did ask …