July 27, 2007

Barbie collies, bandana collies and the Unexpected Pit Bull

Where's Sart when you need him? My fave Mojo from the 2007 Unexpected Pit Bull calendar.

Dogs in clothes --- you love 'em or you hate 'em. Beedogs, for example: ginormous cuteness quotient, or sign of the Apocalypse? There's no middle ground. Don't even get me started on those miserable fashion accessories puppies carted around by the likes of Paris and Britney. (Don't buy from pet shops, you eejits!)

I hate dogs in clothes. No, I love dogs in clothes!

I hate dogs in clothes. Working border collies look best naked. [A plain collar is OK.] It's safer, for one thing. A real stockdog in a bandana? Totally cringe-worthy. It isn't just incompatible, it's inappropriate --- as awful as Roseanne singing the national anthem. It makes you want to switch the channel as fast as you can. Yeesh.

The "bandana collie" is actually a much-disparaged cultural marker in the world of working stockdogs. The bandana collie should not be mistaken for the Barbie collie, though the two categories frequently overlap. Barbie collies are fluffy, conformation-bred, AKC-registered "border collies" that don't work stock because they can't. Bandana collies, on the other hand, are a subset of pet. They often have clever names like Prufrock or Bernoulli and they live in Santa Monica with their clever owners and never see sheep and always wear that damn bandana.

Or Scout. Very popular name for border collies west of the 405.

Bandana collies go to dog parks.

I hate dog parks, and I hate dogs in clothes.

No, I love dogs in clothes! The wonderful American Pit Bull Terrier was born to rock bandanas, Doggles, leatha, reindeer antlers, Mardi Gras beads and tea-party bonnets. Pride Parade? Pit bulls are so there. Nothing, but nothing looks as cool as a pit bull in a bandana. Plus, he can function as a comfortable seat:

That great photo is from the 2006 Unexpected Pit Bull calendar, and if you haven't signed up for the 2008 version already --- the 2007 calendar sold out --- drop them a line. I've added a link [two links!] in the sidebar. These are big, gorgeous calendars, and the dogs are just terrific-lookin'.

Pit bulls seem to like playing dress-up, and they are also the rare breed that seems to enjoy being hugged. I suspect those two characteristics are related.

Jean Donaldson would probably agree. She thinks dog clothes are the greatest thing since bread came sliced. Take your pup to dress-up parties, she explains, and the little tyke will really, really get used to being handled: feet, ears, tail and all. And getting dressed/being handled means treats, yay.
It took me probably five ounces of smoked salmon to get Buffy to love her tiara, poodle skirt and pillbox hat and several jars of baby food to get her wagging when I cracked out the “Doggles,” but aside from the fabulousness of it all, I felt fancy indeed when my veterinarian remarked that she had never seen a chow so readily accept having her head restrained.
So take your pup to lots of dress-up parties [don't forget the delicious treats] and buy your pit bull a personalized football jersey or his very own little sweatsuit, but don't come near my border collies with that bandana. Don't even think of it. Some things are just wrong.

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