The other night I came home to find Boss sitting snug in his crate.
Wait a minute. I look closer. What is this? What has been put on to my dog? From under the red blanket I notice something pink. Something pink is fastened to my small yet masculine dog. For the love of all things gender appropriate in the world - is that a pink bra that he is wearing? Is that a pink bra on my dog? And if so, where did he get it from?
Chris is standing in the kitchen. He looks at me. And with that look I know. Grandma Betty – she had something to do with this. Grandma Betty strikes again with her love of pink. And this is exactly why we should not send Boss to Grandma Betty’s house.
Grandma Betty adores pink. She is nothing but 100 percent girlie girl that believes all girls should be smothered in pink. And even if it’s not a girl, if it is small it should be wearing pink. Just ask Chewie, her male Yorkie, about pink. Literally swaddled in pink as a puppy. Believe me, gender miscues like that can confuse even a little dog. You see, Chewie actually wore a wedding dress on my wedding day (not kidding, there are photos of this).
When we first brought Boss home, Grandma Betty was thrilled. A new little baby in the house. And then soon after she went shopping for Boss. She showered him in gifts. Got a whole new wardrobe. For the dog. Most of it – pink.
It didn’t stop there. Pictures surfaced of Boss spending time at Betty’s house while wearing a sleeveless shirt that said Surfer Girl. He came home one day with a pink blanket for his crate. I begged my husband to please stop confusing the dog. He needs to wear rugged hoodies or just wear nothing at all. He’s a boy, he’s still got his balls so can we please just treat him like a little man?
No such luck. A few days later Boss enters the house with a Juicy Couture t-shirt.
For as much as I – a girl - love pink (I really do not love pink), I would rather not see it on my boy dog. After losing his balls, gender is a bit of a touchy thing. So finding him in a pink bra didn’t help much with the gender identity crisis that I expect he is going through (I would go through one too if someone cut off my bits).
From his crate, Boss looks woefully up at me with eyes saying it was bad enough you had them take my man bits now add insult to injury and color it pink. He knows. Any man would know when he is wearing something pink. I look back at him with the same I’m sorry woeful eyes. Chris stands watching me and Boss engaged in a communication of glances and stares – dogspeak if you will.
Liz, he was ok with the pink harness until you said something to him.
Good thing. Someone had to save him. I mean, it’s about time he was told hey fancy-nancy-pants you are wearing PINK. Take it off because we are not going to the dog park like that. The Beagle would eat that pink thing right off your back. We just worked up to the point where the other dogs started accepting you – you were on your way to becoming a cool kid – and now this?
Boss is still looking up at me. So I ask my husband the obvious – after all, he was at the house when it happened – why is he wearing that thing?
Because he was the only dog at my mom’s house that fit into the harness that she just bought.
So what you’re saying is that because my dog does not get fed a dinner of people food – including cooked broccoli and boiled chicken, he – HE –is the one “rewarded” by wearing something pink? Tell their female chihuahua chowbox Aichee to drop 10 pounds and then put her pink bra on. My svelte manly man puppy doesn’t want to wear that thing.
But alas that does not help. Because there Boss sits with his pink bra. I feel bad for Boss. So I do what any dog mom would do. I feed him. Real manly dog food. Puppy chow, kibbles dumped straight into a real doggie bowl. He quickly eats down the food, sloppily scattering kibble all over the floor like a real boy dog would do. Go Boss!
In the middle of this, Chris comes upstairs.
He is eating again?
Oh no. Did I do a bad thing? Yes, apparently I overfed Boss with food. Apparently he had already eaten Easter brunch at Grandma Betty’s house. And now he is on bowl two. Actually bowl three for the day. And I guess Chris was surprised that Boss ate the extra food. Uh, he’s a dog. Put food in front of him and he’ll eat it. He is not concerned about his weight. But if you keep that pink harness on him long enough I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts walking in front of mirrors asking if he looks fat.
Soon after, Boss is completely shutdown. Kibble coma, if you will. His stomach gurgles and expands. The pink harness is tighter on his back. He curls up in his favorite red blanket in time for bed. Which means I have a good chance of getting that pink bra off of him before he breaks out in his unpredictable late night crazy laps.
But I never did. I actually went to bed before remembering to take the harness off and he woke up the next day still wearing it. He actually slept most of the morning with kibble hangover so I had a great idea to kick start his day – dog park. Maybe I just felt sorry for him or maybe I forgot he was a boy – but I left the pink harness on. Went to the dog park and just walking up I noticed the crowd was already going wild.
Oh look at that little dog it is SO cute!
Oh he is. And I am at the end of his leash and hey don’t you see that I am SO cute too? Ok, not really. But at least today I put on real clothes. We enter the dog park and immediately Boss is surrounded by Sophie the Bichon, Andre the Miniature Pinscher and Comet the Dalmatian.
Wait a second – what gives? Is this not the under 30 pound dog park? The Dalmatian is way over the weight limit but the owner insists that he can play nice with little dogs. Little dogs like Boss – who they are all going ga ga about.
Oh she is SO precious, what is her name?
Uh, er, ah….actually….even though it’s wearing a pink harness – she’s actually a he.
I swear Andre the Miniature Pinscher started laughing. The two women looked up at me like – you did not just come to the dog park with your male dog wearing a pink harness. Yes, yes I did. Right then I was feeling the shame and scorn of a thousand suburban dog moms staring down at me if not from here then from the houses surrounding so I did what any dog mom would do…
“My mother in law bought it for him.”
With that, they understood. The mother in law is not to be messed with and there is no explaining away the things that she buys. We all have mother in laws and somewhere on our children or in our house there is something the mother in law insisted we have that we would never want but know better than to throw away.
At that moment, I promptly removed the pink harness telling Boss to run and be free. He did until Comet chased him into a stand off in the corner where Boss realized he is small enough to sneak through the dog park fence.
But I guess that’s what I get for taking him to the park wearing something pink. Which I promise I will never do again. It’s blue blankets and camouflage from now on – real boy things so someone best tell mother in law. It’s not so much that we mind if he wears pink in the house but out in public – well, that seems to be a different thing. After all, he's trying to run with the cool dogs so pink will never do.