Doggie Duds


Weddings, showers, dinners, proms. As any girl knows special occasions require special attire, which is why Waffles and I spent this afternoon preparing for the weekend. Writer Jon Katz and artist Maria Wulf have invited Waffles to accompany me to a writers' luncheon on Sunday.
A country girl, Waffles has not had much opportunity to socialize or be socialized, so I thought perhaps some new duds might help boost her confidence and perhaps mask any poor manners. Today we explored some options. Sure, she could go au naturale and fit in nicely with the working dogs of the couple's Bedlam Farm. Although the invitation did not specify attire, au naturale is probably what our hosts are expecting. Yet, if you are going to be hobnobbing with artists and writers it seems best to make a splash. Besides, Waffles is a toy dog not a border collie and it could be argued that the work of any toy dog and especially a pug is to be cute and attract attention, which Waffles' wardrobe is certain to help her do.

Actually, Waffles did not have a wardrobe until yesterday. I went shopping with my friend and Waffles' former owner Joan and brought back a few choices, and today I raided Alfie's outgrown castoffs.

"You're turning her into a powderpuff," Joan moaned, but truth be told, Waffles' loved her modeling experience.

Unlike Alfie, who usually barks and twists in circles when I try to dress her, Waffles actually helped pick up her paws and slip them into the armholes of the dress. She wore a hat without shaking it off and trotted outside to parade around the backyard and showoff to the neighbors. We modeled a few styles -- whimsical, casual and formal. For a fun, ethereal look, Waffles donned her rainbow butterfly wings and tutu, which, while certainly cute, might be a little too playful for lunch. Her formal wear consisted of a black velvet gown accented with rhinestones, still comfortable enough for her to lounge in. Her casual option stuck close to her down home roots, featuring a denim skirt, kerchief and cowboy hat.


We have yet to make a final decision, but I think we may need to consider which outfits are available in big dog sizes because Lenore and Frieda, Jon and Maria's female dogs, may just want some fashion advice and their own full closets after this. Alas, I doubt Maria and Jon will be running out to outfit them anytime soon -- doggie wardrobes are a far cry from the topics Jon usually addresses when writing about dogs (the over emotionalizing and anthropomorphizing of animals, for example), but they do tend to play a part in the life of many toy dogs and their owners and I have been buying them for mine from the get go.

I know some people may find it silly and I am aware that my pugs are not children or dolls, but it is fun to dress them up and it brings a smile to the faces of most people we encounter. If anyone knows pugs they know there is nothing, except perhaps food, that they like better than playing the clown -- it is their work to win that smile.

I'm pretty sure that whatever outfit we choose for Sunday it will spark some conversation and some laughter and that Waffles will be in the throes of it, eating up the attention with a gusto usually reserved for chicken livers.