On the bus the other day I heard two ladies seated behind me discussing, with great enthusiasm, a website one of them had discovered which sold Hallowe'en costumes for dogs. And they were at such bargain prices: only £20!!!
I could make all kinds of comments about the nonsense that Hallowe'en has become, with the card industry producing a delightful range of gory cards with which you can wish your loved ones a "Happy Hallowe'en (?) and a whole new branch of the tat trade selling special bags in which children can collect the sweets they will be offered when they go "Trick or Treating". These bags are all in black and orange, which appear to have become the colours of Hallowe'en. I blame that on the pumpkins!
However, I think I have gone on about that at sufficient length. The mere mention of such things is quite enough.
No, what struck me as especially ridiculous was that these were mature ladies. Now, our eldest granddaughter has a Hallowe'en costume, batwings I think, for her cute but unnecessary little dog but she is still a teenager and can be expected to do silly things. There are far worse things a teenager can get up to than dressing up her little dog.
These ladies on the bus, on the other hand, were old enough to know better.
They went on to talk about Christmas. One of them commented that her daughter, or possibly her granddaughter, had asked what she could buy for the dog for Christmas. Here we go again! It is mid-October, which is already quite early in my opinion for getting worried about what to buy for your friends and relations. In this case, the stressing was about what to buy for the DOG! Oh, I am sure dog lovers everywhere like to give their pets treats on Christmas day but when other members start to enquire about what they should buy for the canine friend, it really is too much. I found myself wondering if the dog gets to write to Santa, signing off his letter with a paw print and sending it away to the North Pole!
Incidentally, the lady in question suggested that her daughter, or possibly her granddaughter, should by the dog some leads. The dog already has lots of collars in different colours and so some matching leads would be lovely. The dog's owner does love to take the little fellow out in coordinating collar and lead! I do colour co-ordination with the best of them but this is a dog we are talking about here! This is the dog as the ultimate accessory. I imagine some mind of pooch whose fur has been brushed and styled to match its owner's coiffure.
I am a great believer in dogs being treated as dogs and not as surrogate babies. They should not have ribbons in their hair or fancy coats to wear. Surely dogs have fur coats to keep them warm! Do they truly need an extra coat on top of that? My granddaughter turned up with her little dog wearing a raincoat. She claimed he would not leave the house without it as it was raining! Really? I think we can tell which is the pack leader there!
Mind you her dog is a fancy breed, a fox-faced Pomeranian or some such thing. The lady in the flat next door has just acquired something called a "shug", which sounds like some light weight item of clothing you put around your shoulders on cool evenings. In fact a "shug" is a cross between a "pug" and a "shitzu". A strangely ugly little thing it is too, although it had my younger granddaughter in paroxysms of delight as she declared how cute it is!
Where do all these odd creatures come from? When I was a child, people had spaniels and Labradors and boxers and Alsatians and ugly bulldogs. The oddest you usually ever saw was a poodle with its fur cut in that silly way people used to do and possibly dyed a fine shade of peach or apricot.
But that was as far as it went!