It began with a bowtie.
“He’ll look cute for Christmas,” I said to my husband. “It doesn’t mean we’re those people.”
“People who dress up their dogs?”
“Exactly. We’re not those people.”
One bow tie, one baseball hat and two leg warmers later, I have to concede that we are those people.
And we’re taking it to a whole new level with Dog’s beach wardrobe, which is almost bigger than mine.
Every island dog loves the beach, and our’s is no different. I just wish his love of the beach extended to the water.
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of things Dog is afraid of:
a slight drizzle
We’re tried bribery, cajoling and threats. Throughout it all he sits beyond the tidemark and looks at us mournfully.
Once, after reading about a rescue dog who saved his family from a house fire, I faked drowning to see if Dog’s protective instincts would kick in.
Turns out, Dog has no protective instincts. He calmly watched me sink below the waves and, as I drifted lifeless to the ocean floor, started licking his butt.
Unfortunately for Dog, swimming is vet-prescribed.
Dog is the victim of overbreeding and malnutrition which left him with crooked legs and early arthritis. Swimming is the best way to get him exercise while not putting any stress on his joints.
Explaining this to him didn’t do any good though, so we got him a lifejacket.
Not only is the lifejacket freakin’ adorable, it’s also bulky so Dog can’t make a run for it when he realises that he’s going into the wet stuff.
Once in the water, his legs furiously paddle and his tiny face contorts with effort, rage and disappointment.
I tell everyone that the lifejacket was for health reasons. We’re not dressing up the dog, we’re extending his life by making sure he gets exercise.
But I can’t explain our latest beach purchase so easily.
Yes, those are sunglasses. Dog sunglasses that I bought for my dog.
[hangs head in shame]
There’s no excuse. I didn’t suddenly get concerned about UV Protection, I saw them on Amazon and shrieked like a teenage girl.
“HE HAS TO HAVE THEM!”
Surprisingly, Dog loves his shades. His new favourite thing is to wear them on car rides and stick his head out the window to surprise and delight other motorists.
I’ve heard quite a few comments as we cruise by, ranging from “That’s so cute!” to “Is that a dog? Wearing sunglasses?”
But the best was last weekend. We rolled down the windows to catch the humid breeze and, as Dog took up his customary place (butt in my lap, head out the window), I heard a couple walking by:
“Oh my God, did you see that dog?”
“Yeah, let’s never be those people.”
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