Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sweater Dog

My dog loves wearing sweaters. There, I said it- the terrible truth I'm struggling to accept- I dress my dog in clothes. It can't be helped, really. Duncan is a small dog with a very short coat and he has a hard time keeping warm when it's really cold.

I've been a dog lover pretty much since the day I was born. I've loved all sizes of dogs over the years, but I've mostly gravitated toward big, friendly dogs. Big Lab and shepherd mixes who love the water and don't feel the cold. My old dog Brady loved the snow and would charge into huge drifts and roll and play. Brady would swim in water so cold I didn't even want to touch it and then get out and shake off and tear around to keep warm. If there was a patch of open water in January or February, Brady was in it. Duncan isn't a water dog at the height of summer so I'm pretty sure if he somehow fell into open water in January he'd be dead before he surfaced.

We got Duncan at the end of February last year. By the time he was settled into our house, it was early spring, so this is our first real winter together. I'm not used to wussy dogs who shiver and shake from the cold. I knew I had to get... A sweater. I found a cute reindeer sweater on Christmas clearance for less than two bucks at Walmart. I figured that it was the perfect trial sweater. If he hated it and immediately destroyed it, oh well. I assumed it would take two of us to get the sweater on Duncan. I thought he'd fight it and then work until he had it off. I couldn't have been more wrong. He did fight it a little the first time, but only because it was something new. Five minutes in the sweater and he never wanted it off. Ever.

If I take the sweater off, he brings it to me. When I put it back on he stands perfectly still as it goes over his head and then helps me get his legs in the holes. This is the same dog that gets so excited and bounces around so much it is extremely difficult for the kids to get him into his harness for a walk. Sometimes it's even hard to clip on a leash! But the sweater? I could probably dress him if I had both arms in plaster casts. That's how good he is!

I hadn't taken Duncan with me in the car for a while, so yesterday I took him with me on some quick errands. He was super-excited to get out, but it was really cold outside. He likes to prop his entire body on the passenger side dash board, but my car hadn't warmed up yet so he was literally shaking from the cold. Even with the sweater :) It was pretty funny. I'm sure I'll somehow get used to dog sweaters and at some point will no longer find them offensive, but right now? It's hard.

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