A Dog’s Dinner

Can you arrest someone for dressing their dog inappropriately?

It appears, in Britain, you can. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) sent a warning volley out through the Daily Mail some time ago now: after Harrods hosted its annual doggy dressy extravaganza Pet A Porter.

The exclusive Knightsbridge department store sets up a DogWalk once a year: not a romp round the London streets, but a long white platform where dogs can parade the wares available for our four-legged best friends to wear.

The year the RSPCA trumpeted was 2009: the same year a chihuahua made the long walk in front of adoring pooch lovers dressed as a Vivienne Westwood bride, dripping in sparkly gems; and another dog swashbuckled along the dogwalk Β as a pirate.

The RSPCA was outraged.

Dorset RSPCA spokeswoman Jo Barr told the Mail: “Dog owners should be aware that under the Animal Welfare Act that came into force in April 2007 they have a duty ofΒ  care to ensure that all of their pets’ needs are met.

“One of those needs is to express normal behaviour and it could mean that withΒ  restrictive clothing they are not able to do that properly.

She added: “We’re concerned that any pet should be viewed as a fashion accessory.”

Pet A Porter continues to run. Some people just like to dress their pets.

And if I’m honest, my husband is one of them.

Not like Vivienne Westwood. Don’t get me wrong. But I do remember Phil eyeing up a Sherlock Holmes outfit complete with deerstalker hat for Macaulay. And let us not forget that when I came home after a major operation, my most high-profile treat was meeting the dog, dressed in a small tie which had once been Felix’s.

And even I have caught myself looking at black doggie coats labelled “security” with a gleam in my eye. It is only a short step from there to Reservoir Dogs shades.

Now Phil is making tie noises once more. I am not keen, and nor, I am quite sure, will the dog be. When you put a garment on the dog he is, to all intents and purposes, the embodiment of chagrin. He will not meet your eyes: he slinks off into dark corners. One catches him attempting to remove the garment in whatever way he thinks necessary.

And so we have laid off the whole couture business. The RSPCA will be delighted, I feel sure.

But how will it feel about the alternative practices which have crept into our lifestyle: highly unorthodox details which will confound you all and yet leave the dog happy and contented?

Each night, the dog is tucked up in a pair of big baggy underpants. As a blanket , you understand, not as a garment; well-worn jersey of the softest calibre – but pants, mark you. Pants.

And in the last two weeks or so, the most insidious touch of all: from some party somewhere, in some bag or other, Felix came home with a blue plastic revolver.

It has lain dormant for a while: but now, it has come to light in an unusual setting.

The dog sleeps with it under his pillow.

I am not sure who instigated the whole business: but as I type, there it sits, under the cushion, ready to squirt all enemies with water and vanquish them utterly. The GodDoggie of them all.

Now: what have you got to say about that, RSPCA?




59 thoughts on “A Dog’s Dinner

    1. Very cute, Myfanwy….but Macaulay would have them off in a second! When his foot was poorly we tried all manner of socks and found them discarded all over the house…

  1. Oh, how I love the pistol under the pillow idea!
    Why do institutions like the RSPCA become infested with pontificating pests? I suppose it is ‘normal’ behaviour to beg at tables or to sit on laps or to wear collars or to go for walks on leads or to come when called or to behave when told to or … well, you get my drift.

    1. Quite. Macaulay’s ancestors did none of these. If he wants a plastic water pistol under his pillow, he shall have a plastic water pistol under his pillow πŸ˜€

  2. Lmao πŸ˜€ Mac needs his own television show “The adventures of Mac – mysterious adventurer” or something more pithy but you know what I mean! The rspca needs to refocus themselves, odd thing to be concerned about :O

  3. Well done Macauley, just a little warning about that fancy stuff.

    Certainly some of the short haired breeds seem to like a warm covering, but the rest is just for the people and annoys the animals.

    You’d think those people could get their jollies elsewhere, niot by making their animals look stupid

  4. The RSPCA probably wouldn’t get too worked up about the fake pistol but… pants?? That’s hilarious – and I’m disappointed he wasn’t wearing them in the picture (although I understand he might never forgive you for that added insensitivity). GodDoggie! πŸ˜€

    1. and I’m with the RSPCA largely on this one, but it is a matter of degree, surely. Like saying a parent can’t tap a child on the wrist to stop them burning themselves, because its a slippery slope downhill to full on child abuse.

  5. I dress Gwynn up on occasion… he looks pretty dashing in a red cape, even if it is only for a few minutes. He prefers to cuddle up to me with a blanket tucked all around him, though, probably just as un-doggish as clothing, in a way, though not nearly as hilarious as underpants as a blanket πŸ™‚

  6. I think it does come to restriction and whether the dog feels comfortable in what it wears. I saw a beautiful pair of handknit scarves on two greyhounds in a magazine recently and thought that was probably just what they needed! But pants and a gun? Now that’s a classy gangster. πŸ˜‰

  7. In my experience with canines, they will be who they are, regardless of what we do to them. That was the case with my last one, the most obstinate beast I ever encountered. When I even TRIED to approach her with a silly outfit, she got that look and shredded the whole thing in less-than-one-second flat. The only thing she would ever wear was a snap-on onesie thing that read ‘my dog is my baby’ and a collar that was littered with skulls that glowed in the dark.

    I found that collar the other day. I moved it to our new place.

  8. That photo of Mac is FAB, Kate.
    With just a peek at the pistol hidden under his bedding. πŸ˜€

    Didn’t you once do a post on some dressed up rabbits getting married?

      1. Ah, yes, those poor unfortunate rabbits πŸ˜€ What does go through some people’s heads?

        (and this from the family where the dog sleeps with a plastic pistol under his pillow)

    1. I think we tend to be a bit of a nanny state at times, Jas. Nevertheless, if I were reincarnated as a dog I’d probably be disgusted if someone tried to dress me as a ballerina…

  9. I love doggy outfits – though I find dogs in handbags a bit disconcerting – how can the dog sniff other doggies bottoms when tucked in a handbag! A Sherlock Holmes doggy outfit would be devine. Woof!

  10. “I don’t share my pillow with nobody, stranger. You’d best skedaddle. If you’re still here at sundown–you’ll answer to me.

    “And I better not hear you laughing at my pants.”

    Macaulay could never be just an accessory to anyone.

  11. God-doggy! So funny! One of my girlfriends went through a stage of sewing costumes for her dog and cat–mostly to make us laugh, which it did. My favorite was a Wizard of Oz Flying Monkey suit for her cat! Fortunately, no ASPCA alarm. Her animals seemed to roll their eyes like “here she goes again” and tolerated the fashion show! I think Macaulay would make a good Wizard! I can see it! Debra

  12. This post is a bit of synchronicity with something I saw today, Kate πŸ™‚
    Macaulay – revolver at the ready – is a true and proud guard dog!

  13. I’m delighted by the image of Macaulay in Sherlock get up. Could you perhaps finagle a photo shoot with Benedict Cumberbatch? And of course the water pistol.

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