Going to the Dogs: The Irrationality of Dog Clothing

Emily Cooper
Business Manager

Let me get this out there immediately. I am actually a big fan of dogs and am positive that they make great pets.

But in writing this column I am merely trying to expose a very strange aspect of human–dog relations. In addition, I am a big fan of Ralph Lauren.

Browsing through a Ralph Lauren Outlet store, I see the typical “every–color–of–the–rainbow” shades of polo shirts, as well as the outlandishly colored Rugby tees. Suddenly, something catches my eye: seven–inch long, tiny polo shirts are displayed in a bowl.

“What are these for?” I ask the store clerk.

“Why they’re for small dogs!” she comments wryly.

Dogs, really?

The holidays are fast approaching and my heart just goes out to those poor dogs who, because of the economic recession, cannot afford to purchase a Ralph Lauren “Cabled Cashmere Turtleneck, $95.”

I mean, the government was bailing out banks and investment firms right and left; have they no concern for “man’s best friend”?

A little biology. Humans are truly the only creatures on the planet who must wear clothing.Dogs, on the other hand, were blessed with a thick set of fur, solely for the purpose of being able to weather the elements. So, perhaps “Reversible Sporty Puffer Vests, $125,” are a bit unnecessary.

What I would like to know is who came up with the concept of manufacturing dog clothing in the first place.

Why would anyone want to wrestle a squirming dog into a sweater which he or she probably does not want to wear?

Since humans cannot fully communicate with dogs, it seems nearly impossible to accurately know your dog’s tastes.

Perhaps, for instance, he or she detests the color pink, yet you have been continuing to squeeze poor Fido into “Pink Buttoned Cashmere Turtlenecks, $66.50,” his entire life.

In fact, I am nearly certain that I can identify at least one dog that would absolutely not let himself be squeezed into a “Polar Bear Shawl Sweater, $95.”

Everyday, on my way to and from school, I pass a house where a commanding Boxer resides.

Besides the fact that Ralph Lauren makes dog clothes no larger than about 10 inches, he is not the type of dog that would happily don a brightly colored rugby polo. He seems to be the type to go commando.

In addition, dogs being forced to wear clothes could result in serious mental scarring and emotional issues for them.

They are wearing their fellow animals.

Wearing a leather coat is like wearing a cow. Wearing a fleece sweater is like wearing a sheep.

This practice is alright for humans, as we are above cows and other farm animals on the food chain, but dogs are not.

Emotionally, dogs could be permanently damaged for wearing their friends.

This practice could also cause much uproar in the animal kingdom. Dogs could be shunned by the rest of the animals for partaking in the treatment of other animals as clothing.

Anyway, being serious now, I think that the true reason that people dress up small dogs is that humans like to baby others. When children get too old to dress up in various costumes, people will dress up the next best thing: their dogs.

One more thought: if extra–terrestrial beings are observing planet Earth, I think they would have a very difficult time deciding who is in charge—the humans or the dogs.

Removing yourself from society and looking critically at many of its trends, I think that you might find that many them are not based in need or necessity. Who’s being walked daily while wearing a “Sun Valley Fleece Hoodie, $75”: the human or the dog?