again with feeling sorry for the animals… set the mood: Vicar in a Tutu – The Smiths

April 21, 2006 at 4:15 am Leave a comment

Several weeks ago I jotted this down in a notebook while I was trying to study… (and the photo below is courtesy of, although I did not ask their permission).

It is amazing what you can see in the downtown core.

I was in a cafe eating soup and drinking Perrier this afternoon, and my attention was pulled from my data analysis outside where two terriers, seated on a doormat, eagerly awaited hotdog pieces. Their front paws pulled in to their ribs, they are seated on their hindlegs and rears, resembling prarie dogs.

It amazed me the extent to which dogs can look expressly happy when wearing tiny jester hats and matching green sunglasses. Seeing the tight ellastic around their necks made me feel bad, especially since it looked as though they really didn't want to sit like that for as long as they were being instructed. I suppose the hotdogs were worth it. I know I wouldn't dress like that for a hotdog. Not even a veggiedog.

I've mentioned this before, feeling bad for animals when they've been made a mockary for our own entertainment (although, after having gone to see the penguins at the Biodome, I retract my earlier complaint that parading animals through a zoo is mean… forcing them to remain in an enclosed space where all they can do is perch for hours at a time is far worse). Here, I am torn between whether or not it is crazy to dress animals.

When I was a kid, I would dress my cats in doll clothes. Every little girl does this. The Simpsons had a fabulous scene where Lisa is playing with Snowball I, who is dressed in a bonnet, and Lisa is shoving Snowball I into a baby craddle, much to the chagrin of the cat. This is how cats react to being played with. My cat was lovely, he put up with an awful lot, but if I'd ever tried to push him into a craddle like that, he'd have flown for sure.

Anyway, I dressed my cat. I don't know why, probably because I could and there was little else to do. Really, the connection made sense. Tiny cat, tiny clothes. If the shoe fits, why not strut around in it for a while?

One day, probably the last time I ever put my cat in doll clothes, I put a pair of jogging pants on him, and shoved his tail down one leg, then sent him outside. I have never seen such complete humiliation on an animal, and probably never will again. Maybe he would have prefered being dressed to the left.

But this was the day that I realized that animals really do have feelings. Everyone who has a dog says that it's important to tell the dog, following a new trim, that he or she looks wonderful. And I've done so, and the dog will prance around like he's the cutest thing in the world.

Looking at these dogs, I wonder whether or not they are happy. The argument may be made that they are too stupid or have too short a memory to feel true happiness. But what is true happiness anyway? Does one really need to understand what it is in order to experience it?


Entry filed under: , This That and The Other.

scents…smells… set the mood: Volcano – Damien Rice Bad Habits… set the mood: sympathique – pink martini

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