By William Thomas

This article is from the June 2018 Issue of Forever Young

They’re dressing them up, they’re making them over and in the process they’re wearing real dog lovers down. There goes a sheep dog with his legs and ears dyed black and his eyes heavily made up with mascara to make him look like a panda bear. It’s the latest fad in grooming circles – making over your dog to look like a wild animal. Wearing vegetable-based dye, mini-spray cans, coloured chalk and water-soluble glue, owners and groomers can make Sparky look like a bear, a snake or even a dinosaur. I’m not making this stuff up.In China, in this the year of the tiger, there are an unusual number of golden retrievers being dyed orange with black and white stripes to look like the ferocious felines. I saw a photo of one such made-up retriever at the opening of a pet park in Zhengzhou, China and he doesn’t look majestic or dangerous. He looks stupid. He looks like his agent talked him into playing the role of a transvestite pooch in a Will Ferrell movie.

Followers of this transforming trend characterize it as “pawsitively” fun and “an unusual hobby.” No, an unusual hobby is collecting ear mite amputees. Spray-painting stripes on your dog until it looks like a dingo is the worst idea in the pet world since choke collars.

Thousands of North American pet owners are dressing up their pets for Halloween, for Christmas, for Easter and for no particular reason and displaying their photos on websites. There’s a picture of a pug dressed up as a gunslinger with cowboy hat and boots, gun and holster. He looks like he really could kill somebody. Namely and rightly so, the lug nut who dressed him up!

Another small dog looks completely embarrassed in an Easter bunny bodysuit with floppy ears while a cat dressed up in a Santa suit looks like he’s going to rake the nose of the woman holding him as soon as he gets out of those black leather boots.

It’s like there’s nothing good on TV, let’s turn Sparky into Napoleon Bonaparte.

I am absolutely opposed to dying or dressing up pets. Okay, once John Grant and I decorated his huge Husky named Nukey with deer antlers and we attached one of those safety flashers to his ass that beeped when he backed up. And yes, it was hysterical but we’d had a few drinks and when it was over we promised never to do it again.

No, unless it’s a sweater to keep him warm or snow boots to protect his pads, pets do not need clothes. Apparently what they really need is ...


  • No high heels, no spiked heels or stilettos. However an older dog with fallen arches can wear sneakers.
  • A ball hat at the ballgame? Okay. An umbrella hat for a concert on a hot afternoon? Alright. But religious headgear of any kind is strictly prohibited. I don’t care if his name is Moshe Dayan, no yarmulke and no patch over the eye.
  • No piercing of any kind. No stud in the ear, no stud on the tongue and don’t even go looking for a belly button.
  • Bras, panties, thongs and gachees are entirely out of the question for pets. However if your lab is getting kicked around by the bouvier next door, a protective cup might help.
  • Leggings are out unless they’re lederhosen and you can prove your dog is a German schnauzer with papers from Bavaria.
  • Formal wear should be avoided unless your pet is attending a legitimate pet wedding both sanctioned by the state of California and taking place in a vineyard.
  • No cargo pants or camouflage. Actually they should be illegal on humans.
  • No hair extensions, no hair pieces and no rugs, especially on Persians.
  • No latex, spandex, rubber or that denim material that makes your bum stick out even more. Leave those things to the Kardashians, not the Dalmatians.

Sorry, but people who dress up their pets should be run naked through the streets which would be the irony of all ironies – a nudist who puts clothes on his pet.

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