Confessions of the coat of shame…

I always thought that dogs shouldn’t wear clothes or cost more than me to have their hair done. I believed I would not entertain owning a breed that required either. Clearly you should never say never because what did we get – a wheaten terrier!

Even if I have my hair cut & coloured it STILL costs less than the dog. Just taking her for a bath costs 4 times as much as one shampoo and cut for me. The reason why she is so high maintenance is the fact she’s non-shedding. Now don’t get me wrong, that part is fabulous, I know people who have to vacuum twice a day because of all the shedding. However, those people can towel dry their dog & that’s that. Not me, everything clings to a wheaten’s coat, it takes hours to dry, then dirt falls off all over the house.

So as you can imagine I strive to avoid dragging half of Pacific Spirit Regional Park into my house everyday, but short of wrapping her up in plastic bags there is very little I can do, or is there…

A raincoat!

So just forget what I said earlier about dogs wearing clothes, in this situation it is absolutely necessary believe me. Tess owns one in nice red, a very nice red with a removable fleece lining. It also has a reflective trim, and is really easy to put on, one Velcro fastening around her chest, and the other one goes around her belly. It definitely keeps dryer so I only have her legs to deal with, but there is one major problem – SHE HATES IT!!

She’s never been one of those dogs that jump’s for joy when she sees you reach for her leash, but reach for the coat too & she is off under the table. At this time of year we get a lot of rain so I have to put it on most days, & when I do the most bizarre thing happens. Now that she spends most of her walks off leash, she likes to explore the forest. I spend most of the time calling for her & standing around waiting. But, when I put her coat on she will walk right beside me. Even if she goes ahead she stops & turns around (without looking at me of course because she’s mad with me), & waits for me to catch up, then carries on walking. She doesn’t disappear into the forest, she doesn’t run around with all her friends that we pass everyday day, she doesn’t stop to pee up every tree (yes my female dog lifts her leg to pee), she just keeps walking. It’s as if she’s utterly ashamed & she doesn’t want anyone to see her in the coat, so she walks around the route as quickly as possible to just get the job done. I think she stays with me so everyone we do see will know who she’s with, & therefore will know that is was me that made her wear it. She will even walk past people with a low head, seemingly embarrassed – it’s quite hilarious.

As soon as we are back at the car & she is relieved of the offending article, she leaps into the car, shaking herself & bouncing around. Then, it’s doesn’t matter whether I put it on the floor, or on the seat, or hang it on the back of the front seat headrest to dry, the stupid mutt starts to wash it!! What the heck is that all about?

As you can imagine we go through this ritual regularly. However, I also have a confession to make… When I’m in a hurry because I have an appointment, or lots to do that day, I put her coat on the make the walk quicker.

Now I’m the one who should be ashamed.

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