Puppy Love: Heart-Stealing Dogs

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Reason 4

It's fun to spoil them rotten.

When I got Gracie as a puppy, I swore would never dress her up. People like to dress up pugs, but not me. But on the first really rainy day of my 1-year-old pup's life (Gracie was born in a year of drought), I decided that wearing rain gear is not technically dressing up. It's just practical. She pretty much refused to go out and get soaked, and who could blame her?

So took her to a high-end pet boutique where I'd recently seen a window display of coats on doggie mannequins. I picked out a bright raincoat and looked at the tag: $70. The absurdity of my own situation, unprepared for rain and soaked through, did not elude me, but had to take care of my canine child first. Frugally, I settled on a clear rain slicker stamped "Good Dog": $45.

As we left the boutique, she in her coat, me dripping, a man in a proper trench coat laughed and said to me, "Where's your raincoat?"

"I'm going to get to that," called after him.

And I did. I went to one of those discount clothing stores where -- I swear -- you can sometimes find good stuff. Just as the rainstorm was ending bought myself a rain jacket for $35. A nice one -- black, with a hood. It looks expensive...unless you know where it came from.

Okay, I admit, it's a little lopsided. I buy my rain gear on the cheap and shop for Gracie at a pricey dog emporium. But there aren't any discount stores for pet clothes, and besides, the raincoat says "Good Dog" all over it. She is.

-- By Patti Davis

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, February 2009.


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