week six: eighteen dog sweaters

When husband and I got our first dog together, Lucky, it was like we had brought home a baby. A beautiful baby poodle with apricot-colored ringlets, happy hazel eyes and a bounding, lyrical gait that just squealed happy puppy. Enamored with people – especially children – he would charm the pants off anyone who come within a ten-foot radius. At the time, we lived in the heart of San Francisco, and neither gruff businessmen, aloof hipsters, crazy old ladies, jam-hands toddlers or over-the-top gay dudes could resist him.

In fact, I kid you not, when husband or I would walk him down Chestnut Street near our old ‘hood, people would literally DRIVE ONTO THE SIDEWALK and demand to know where we acquired such an adorable dog. He was a little local celebrity, hands-down the cutest fucking dog in the city.

Of course, the cutest fucking dog in San Francisco needed a wardrobe to suit. Dressing dogs had become fashionable, and overpriced pet stores abounded in the city, stocked not just with traditional pet items like cozy beds and leather leashes, but racks of doggie couture. Little shirts, dresses, hair accessories and more for our four-legged pals.

I ate that shit up. Of course, I erred on the more “conservative” dog-dressing aesthetic and tended to opt for simpler items, like cottons tees or knitted sweaters. I liked to think I was above the little shoes and overalls, and dressed my dog in a dignified fashion. But really, upon reflection, there is no dignified fucking way to dress up a damn dog. It’s a fucking oxymoron.

All that brings me to week six. Earlier this week, husband and I went for a walk in the park with baby. It was a pretty day and there were tons of people around. A cute girl, about 20, was sitting by the fountain with an equally cute Chihuahua. The Chihuahua was wearing a pink hoodie vest with faux fur and some sparkly bits. And I realized something.

The dog looked fucking stupid.

Look, I’m a dog person. I think Chihuahuas are adorable. But I think this minimalism kick has me looking at everything in a different way. And it’s just starting to seem over-the-top ridiculous to put tween fashions on dogs.

So next on the get the fuck out of my house list was my dog clothes. To my credit, neither pooch (we have two toy poodles now) has worn an outfit/shirt/sweater in quite a while. Which, when I realized it, made me feel as though I had already began to think dog clothes were lame, even before seeing pink hoodie Chihuahua.

I’d like to say I was surprised that I had enough stupidass dog clothing to fill a box, but I wasn’t. My shame apparently knows no bounds, as I rediscovered such gems as:

– Powder blue LaDanian Tomlinson jersey FOR THE DAMN DOG. This is actually even stupider than it sounds, as it is cut in such a way that it traps pee in a little fold of fabric, basically soaking the garment and the dog. So glad I kept that for four years.

– Itchy red Christmas sweater with a tree knitted on the back. Complete with appliqued sequins and A FUCKING BATTERY that made lights on the tree glow. Good lord, doggies, I am so sorry. I knew this bastard was itchy, too, and I still put it on Lucky. WTF is wrong with me?

– Denim vest. (WHY????)

To the thrift store they shall go. Yep, eighteen pieces in my doggie wardrobe. Insanity. For good measure, I also tossed some never-used toys and beat up old collars I think I had been saving for sentimental reasons. I’m allowed to be sentimental about my dogs. Even their puppy pictures. But old dirty collars? That’s some hoarder shit right there.

I did keep one sweater for each poodle. They each have one “dignified” (ha) knit number that I sometimes bust out at Christmastime. Non-itchy I might add. But my days of denim vests and polo shirts for my pooches are through. Hallelujah they say!