Few things make me chuckle like watching winky little dogs out for a walk with their great big owners. Last night, tromping up and down the tremendous hills of Canyon Country (with aptly named streets like Mammoth, Fuji, Pinnacle), I watched a woman out walking a tiny terrorized terrier. It was really more of a dragging than a walking as she was reading a book (the woman, not the dog) and oblivious to the pooped pup behind her. For the woman’s every one step, the dog (who barely came up to her ankles) had to take about six to eight rapid-fire steps to try and keep up. In addition, every time the dog wanted to stop to smell the roses, or whatever dogs smell, the woman just frowned and yanked harder on the bright purple leash. All I could think was if that dog wees on the rug when it gets home I don’t blame him/her. In fact, I kind of encourage it. After all, when did it have time to do proper business if it wasn’t allowed to pit-stop along the way? Seriously, they probably should’ve stayed home on the sofa with the book. They both would’ve been happier, I think, but I would’ve missed the show.
For almost a quarter of a mile I couldn’t help myself, as hard as I tried, I dissolved into a wicked giggle fit. I finally turned off on a side street to put some distance between us. It is hard enough to breathe walking from the bottom altitude on Soledad Canyon Road of approximately 1,000 feet straight-up-in-the-air to about 1,700. You add ridiculous juvenile giggling and that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. Imagine trying to explain to paramedics how I became hypoxic from watching a small dog’s butt wiggle its way frantically up hill as the owner read the final installment of the Twilight series.
The whole dog-as-accessory thing is fascinating to watch in Southern California, and you see it everywhere. Multiple types of mini-bred dogs hauled around daily in specially made canine purses, carriers and strollers. The companionship of a small dog seems to be a lovely and loving thing, but I am not sure what I think about the itsy bitsy dog dressed as toddler being pushed in a stroller or carried in a snuggly.
Even wackier to me, is the teeny-tiny specialty clothing lines dedicated to little dogs. The phrase, “Don’t knock it ‘til you tried it” rattles around in my head – and I’m big enough to admit that I might be a convert, if only I could wrap my head around the concept of purchasing high-end doggie parkas and designer hoodies, when I won’t even buy them for humans.
While the pet accessory craze is crazy enough, it was the sight of animal furniture that really sort of pushed me over the top. It was surreal to venture into our mall and see the pet store selling dog cribs. I’m sorry, maybe you didn’t hear me. Dog. Cribs. Because only a common dog would sleep in a crate, right? I suppose putting a dog in a crate at night (a widely accepted humane practice) would seem sort of cold and distant to some pet owners, where setting Foofy into a cozy crib for nighty-bye would seem much more cozy and quaint. I kind of get it.
There have been days when I wonder about what it would be like to have one of those fashionable little dogs. After all, my kids are older now and I imagine it might be like having a new baby in the house, what with all the whimpering, teething and goo that comes with it (or maybe I should just wait for some occupants to grow older). That, coupled with the idea of laundering clothing the size of my hand, something I haven’t done in nearly 14 years, is a very odd thought.
For one hot second I did think about practicing first, on Alice the Cat. But after having to administer liquid antibiotics twice-a-day for the last thirty days I’m pretty sure she’s in no mood. This morning her eyes glazed over when I mentioned buying a tiny pink t-shirt that says Does This Shirt Make Me Look Fluffy? on it. No, I’m not exactly ready to wrestle the cat in the name of fashion nor am I ready to swap teens for terriers yet.