Saturday, April 4, 2009

Giving the Struggle the Boot

You know, everyone once in a while you will be walking along, minding your own business and all of a sudden a struggle will just walk up and hit you in the face. You might be having a perfectly normal day, or you might be having a day fit for a Salvador Dali painting, but nevertheless, it's your day, you're the one having it, there is no need for struggle to just barrel in like that, pulling up a seat and asking for a drink. But the struggle doesn't care, it's an inconvenient guest and it just comes on in like you sent it an invitation. The struggle, my friends, is in a permanent state of couch surfing. And today, as I innocently wandered about the streets of not-New Haven, enjoying the balmy 45 degree afternoon and the warm rays of the sun through the thick cloud cover, the struggle came a-callin' in the form of a small dog. Now, I would not say that this animal was particularly interesting or odd looking in and of itself. It was a medium sized animal, tan fur, one of those dogs who looks like some kind of poodle, and therefore I immediately took a disliking to it, but that's my baggage. I'm sure that in reality this was a loving, lovely, happy animal, a faithful pet, a kind friend, an excellent cuddler. Or it could have been an evil vicious animal, a junk-yard dog on crack, the beast described in The Sandlot. Either way, this animal did NOT deserve the struggle that it had been given by it's owner.

Now, I hear you saying to yourselves, Leah, be fair, how bad could it have been? Well, I will tell you. Booties. Four of them. Sheer red booties. On the small paws of this humble canine I saw small sock like objects, cinched at the ankle. SERIOUSLY? Booties? What, why, how, so very many questions raced through my head like marathon runners. Who makes such objects? Was it something the owner made for the dog, or is there an industry for this out there? Why would a dog need such an article of clothing? Did it have particularly sensitive soles? Did it in fact not have feet, and what I saw where really prosthetic paws? The options where endless.

On a larger level, and this really did get to me, why on earth would anyone look at their dog and say, you know what YOU could use, some clothing? I mean, the thing about animals is that they actually come with their own set of clothing! That's one of the benefits of animals, they don't require a wardrobe! They come all prepared! It's a perk! You may have to feed them and walk them but the outfits come free! It's warm in the winter and cool in the summer! All purpose, goes with everything! That's part of the point! My lord, why gild the lily?

Look, I can absolutely understand if you are a sled dog whose paws can get permanently be damaged by pacing about the rough and icy tundra you might be thinking that booties are the way to go. That I get. Makes sense. But a poodle? A poodle whose existence consists mainly of traipsing about not-New Haven and being fed milkbones? Does this animal seriously need some kind of foot protector? I say no. I'm taking a stand, here and now. I'm boycotting clothing of any kind on dogs, and I'm starting with the shoes. Low as my standards might be, I draw the line at booties.

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