BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog
Rule 3

When The Wife and I got a dog (we were “just going to look”. Word to the wise, gentlemen- you never just “look”) I made it very clear that there would be three rules that were to remain inviolate.

1. Thou shalt not feed the canine from the table.
2. Thy beast sleepeth not in thine bed.
3. Thou shalt not dress thy beast in stupid clothes.

Careful reading of the above will reveal that these are all actually rules for the owners, not the dog. Specifically the owners who may be The Wife. I am proud to report that Rule 1 remains unbroken to this day. Rule 2 had a momentary lapse due to extenuating circumstances (we were moving and had no furniture besides an air mattress) but was quickly re-established. Rule 3, I am afraid, is a different matter.

It was going well. We had the dog for over a year before I came home and my wife called her into the room to show me the “surprise”. In trots my schnauzer-daschund (schnoxie) wearing a powder blue shirt. I was about to be furious, but said shirt was proudly emblazoned with “I forgot my pants” and an image of tighty-whities. As anyone who knows me can attest, I am powerless against jokes involving pants (or the lack thereof) and so the shirt was allowed to stay.

Plus, somewhat embarrassingly, the dog appeared to like wearing it.

Several months later, Rule 3 suffered another setback, as my mother proudly showed up with a Mia-sized UM shirt. Well, The Wife just graduated from their Medical School, and it did fit the dog even better than the “pants” shirt…

I feel it important to point out that we only occasionally put these shirts on the dog. Months would pass without her wearing one. It was more a novelty than anything else. Then came last Friday.

It’s been getting colder. And as I’ve mentioned before, my dog grew up in a specific climate. Hot. And so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when last Friday our dog walker came home and innocently asked The Wife if we had a coat for Mia, as she seemed cold.

Rule 3 crumbled before my eyes.

Very well, I told myself. Even if there was no Rule 3, at least we could adhere to common decency. Nothing pink. Nothing with frills. Nothing expensive. Just some no-nonsense, utilitarian warmth so the dog could run with her little pack during the day for a few hours without shivering.

We went to Target. The place looked as though it had been picked over by a swarm of dog-jacket-wearing locusts. There was only one jacket left, and it was far too large.

We went to the specialty pet store near us. They had jackets on sale. There was only one in my dog’s size.

So that you don’t suffer undue stress, let me assure you ahead of time- it was not pink. It was however, $45 dollars. $45 was the sale price. It was 25% off. I believe in my closet right now are jackets that cost less than that.

It had a hood. A ridiculous contraption that was only going to irritate my dog, who logically feels that ears are meant to be free and peripheral vision is a blessing to be enjoyed. The hood had faux fur. My dog- who has fur- was wearing a hood made of faux fur. The hood was irritating to everyone, so I folded it back on itself. It promptly took on the appearance of a bomber jacket.

The back was proudly emblazoned with the company name “PUPPIA” and the number “5″. Because clearly my dog is a great fan of the sports. So much so that she is sponsored.

But at least it wasn’t pink. It was brown. Tan, actually. A lovely color that accents some of the brown and red in the fur around her face. It was, in fact, irritatingly complimentary.

And that is how, this afternoon, I walked my dog in it’s fashionable, complimentary, name-brand bomber jacket. And it pranced ahead of me searching for squirrels, and it sniffed the ground, and it caught the eye. Of Every. Single. Person. We. Passed.

Not a single person looked at me. Everyone we walked by stared at my perfectly appointed pooch. And that’s what it was. You don’t dress dogs in lettered bomber jackets with faux fur that compliment their hair color. You dress pooches in those. Tea cup poodles that bark in a pitch even other dogs can’t hear and get carried around in a purse. Not my dog, the queen bitch of the dog park who once submitted a boxer puppy three times her size (I tear up just thinking about it).

And that’s why- the second my mom sent me a link to an ugly, monochromatic, utilitarian faux shearling dog coat for $10- we packed that bomber jacket back up and returned it to the store. Rule 3 may be bent, but damned if we’re going to break it.

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2 Responses to “Rule 3”


  1.   Lev Says:

    funny! when my wife wanted a cat, I clamored for pretty much the same rules. Rules 1 and 2 were quickly broken, and _I_ was the one to break them; who doesn’t want a cute furry cat sleeping in their bed? Rule 3 remains in full force.

  2.   Ben Levy Says:

    Part of what helped re-instate Rule 2 was the dog’s habit of sleeping curled up in the back of The Wife’s knees. The Wife did not care for this.