Patti Soldavini

Canine Couture Challenges

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/28/2011 at 8:45 am

"My shadow is BIGGER than yours."

Trying to find a stylish parka that properly fits a Weimaraner is like trying to find a diamond in a turd. Impossible. 99 percent of the “outerwear” for dogs are made for small Hummel-like flat-chested dogs with much larger bellies. Against my better judgment, I ordered a smart-looking citron-colored winter parka for Olive. It was distinctive, just like Olive. Why an artificial dog coat? The last time Olive and I were at the dog park, she was noticeably cold. I can tell by her non-verbal behavior. When she’s either had enough or she’s cold, she trots over to me and just stands at my side, idling quietly like a Prius. And it was cold that day. About 34 degrees. It wouldn’t be so bad if the dog park weren’t at the top of a mountain that based on a confluence of scientific factors, makes it so windy, it feels like you’re at the top of the North Pole. In fact, on occasion, I think I glimpse an elf squatting in the nearby woods. It is at least 10+ degrees colder at the dog park than anywhere else around it. “LET’S GO OLIVE. IT’S SO COLD UP HERE I THINK MY INTERNAL ORGANS ARE TURNING INTO MEAT-FLAVORED ICE POPS.” I feverishly anticipate the arrival of Olive’s new winter coat and when it comes, I tear open the bag like a heroin addict. I am not disappointed by the color; it is striking. But, my excitement is deflated as I lay it over Olive and try to secure it. Now here is the fundamental problem and a new business opportunity for some dog clothier. Certain dog breeds, like Weimaraners, Greyhounds, Boxers, etc. have deep barrel chests and tiny child-like waists. Most dog outerwear doesn’t account for this, so trying to close the Velcro straps around Olive’s chest is like trying to squeeze a training bra onto Marilyn Monroe. And the Velcro straps around Olive’s waist dangle like a hooker’s earrings about six inches below her. It’s maddening. I finally found a dog parka that fit Olive at Tickners, the local feed and farm store. They had a limited palette of earth tones, but at least this brand got the function part of the design right. Adjustable straps. Genius. “WHICH COLOR DO YOU LIKE OLIVE? NAVY BLUE OR CHOCOLATE BROWN?” “DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO ASK?” she drools. “THE BROWN ONE,” said Olive. It fits perfectly and it does not restrict her ability to run like a pronghorn around the dog park. If only I could say the same for the dog “neck hoodie” I put on Olive. It fit fine, but within seconds, I realized it was not a good idea to wear this accessory to the dog park. The other dogs immediately picked up on this vestigial accoutrement as something to seize on when playing. Just like children on the playground, they immediately zero in on a point of vulnerability and go on the offensive. Animals. I quickly tear the hoodie off Olive and restore her super powers. “FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET. MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE. ABLE TO LEAP TALL BUILDINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND. LOOK UP IN THE SKY! IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S SUPER OLIVE!”

  1. Oh, Olive, so stylish. The other dogs are probably jealous. (Everyone needs winter attire – but it is a such a problem finding the right fit.)

  2. I love your stuff so I gave you an award. Don’t feel obligated to acknowledge it, though. Just thought you’d want to know.

  3. Olive your new parka looks very good. We hope you can stay nice and warm now and enjoy your trips to the dog park when it is cold. What a way with words your mom has…she gives us giggles. Loved the way she told about the one that didn’t fit right. Hugs and nose kisses

  4. It was made of Kryptonite! 🙂

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