Winter is here, folks, and it’s probably not news to you that my family lives in the Chicago area. That means pulling the heaters out of the crawlspace, putting extra blankets on the bed, and habitual wearing of fleece hoodies and sweatshirts.
For Roxie, winter usually just means less outside walks with a good chance of a snowshoe outing now and then. (Oh, and an extra blanket on her bed, too.)
I have never purchased a coat, sweater, or winter boots for her. I have always thought that dogs look ridiculous in clothing and since I don’t take Roxie out in dangerous temperatures, I figured there was really no need. (There’s also that element of her body naturally warming up on a walk because she’s exercising.) Plus, dog boots are a little weird when you put them on a beagle-type of dog, one who has slender legs that blend right into paws, “dankles” as they are now known in this house since this morning when my sister combined the words “dainty” and “ankles” to form a really fun new word to say. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
I put Roxie’s harness and leash on her and we headed off to Petsmart, not so she could pick out her own clothing but because I wanted to make sure it fit her without having to go back to the store twice in one day.
Her usual M.O. is to lay down on the front passenger seat in the car as long as I’m using my right hand to pet her. Once I stop doing that, she gets up and looks around, barking occasionally at whatever is outside. (High maintenance, you know?)
No matter what she’s doing when I make the final turn into the Petsmart parking lot, she immediately begins barking like a maniac and wagging her tail. It’s pretty annoying, to say the least.
We get out of the car, and she usually whimpers a little bit as she pulls really hard on the leash, trying to get me to walk faster. Once we are close enough for the automatic doors to open, she lets loose with more barking. The last time I took her there, she nearly gave an elderly man who was at the checkout stand closest to the door a heart attack because she was barking and howling in that special way that indicates to those with eardrums that still work, “I’ve been stabbed!”
Today, she barked the entire time we were in the store, which was not really conducive to a good shopping experience. It’s downright embarrassing and yes she has been through training on the word “quiet” and no I will not consider cutting out her vocal chords.
Anyway, I did my best to casually browse the dog apparel racks. I skipped the sweaters because they were ridiculous in design and thinness. I skipped the frou-frou frocks because I don’t see Roxie as a fancy kind of dog. Beagles are sporty. I finally found an adorable red coat that had a flannel lining, and matching boots. I dragged her to the checkout, paid, and we left for home, her in the front seat waiting for me to pet her, like she hadn’t just barked her fool head off for fifteen minutes in public while people stared at us.
It wasn’t until I got home and put the coat on her when my sister pointed out that Roxie and I were twins.
My coat (I know it’s hard to see. You get the idea.):
Red happens to be a power color for both of us. And by accident, now I’m going to be one of those owners who dresses like her dog. Whatever. I’m not taking it back.
The boots, however, are another matter. Due to Roxie’s “dankles” they weren’t staying on properly. (Our other beagle, the late, great Bijoux, had the same problem. When she got old and wouldn’t go outside in the winter, I used to put a pair of baby socks on each of her feet and hold them on with rubberbands.) The boots I bought today weren’t sized and I’m sure I could spend a healthy chunk of change on boots made especially for beagles, but I won’t. I think Roxie prefers to have bare paws anyway, as evidenced by this hilarious video.
The coat stays. The boots? Gone.
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