Monday, March 28, 2011

Blame it on Beatrix Potter

My sister Jenn loves to dress up her pets. She used to have tons of little Yorkies running around the house, and they would always be getting their hair done up.
Sometimes the Yorkies' hair would look like this

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And sometimes like this, with a fountain on top, reminding me of when my mother used to put my hair in a ponytail because the Yorkies' eyebrows got pulled to the upper part of their foreheads, just like mine did.
Now she has a Chihuahua, named Twinkie for obvious reasons. Twinkie always manages to get more than her fair share of food, even though she's on a strict diet.
If Twinkie looks a little defensive here, it's because Jenn, her son Nate, and three pet store employees just wrestled the cute little pink sweater onto her. The pet store employees are filing for Workmens Comp.

Jenn started this practice at an early age. We used to have Siamese cats, and Jenn would dress them up and push them around in the stroller. To this day, I have no idea how she got away with it. The cats probably just instinctively knew that Jenn's gentle manner is backed up by a cast iron will.
My other sister is a lot more moderate in the pet dress-up department. Her animals just get beautiful, artful, handmade collars, different ones for every holiday and season throughout the year. Oh yes, and beautiful, artful handmade beds. If she sends me a photo of them, I'll post it.

Her daughter, however, has a very pampered pup, undoubtedly the most doted-upon animal in the family. Here she is in her hooded winter jacket, getting ready for the Happy Meal her "mother" is currently buying for her. (I have a sneaking idea that she and her mother regular manis and pedis.)

Our dogs, Rosie and Leo (RIP -- how I miss them!) had coats, but for strictly practical purposes -- to keep their fur somewhat dry in the Seattle winter rains, and thus keep their servants (me and Bill) from getting soaked when they shook. You might gather from this that I am a bit more level-headed in the animal anthropomorphism department than some of my relatives.

Rosie and Leo, aka Bad Dog!
Thus, it didn't cross my mind that I should be plotting against Bertram, figuring out what kind of outfit to dress him up in, in the completely unlikely event that he ever let me get close enough to grab him and stuff his poor little struggling body into some outlandish getup. This did, however, occur to Jenn. She called me the other day, after reading my post Meet Bertram, saying that I should be planning his outfits. Knowing that this would never actually occur in real life, I decided to humor her and ask her advice.

Here you go, Jenn. Is this the idea?
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Was does my family insist on dressing up their pets?

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Anonymous said...

Well, yes. It is quite appropriate on sorta chilly days, but not really cold. That IS the idea exactly. I especially love the feet in flight. He may need a little (souwester(?)) rain hat slicker, or whatever it is that the lobster fishermen wear in Maine, during the next couple of rainy daYS.. perhaps some tasteful jewelry as he woo's a female if he doesn't have one quite yet. And when his babies hatch, he would need a shredded, paper thin hand me down hat or scarf etc.. He will be tired and a bit haggard. I LOVE the characters you create in your art. Very expressive. Jenn, mother of Twinkie et al

Anonymous said...


Megan Seagren said...

Thank you! I originally had it as Beatrix, and then thought, "Where did I get that from? The name is Beatrice!" But no, you're right. It's Beatrix. I'll fix it right now.