Dog in a Dress


This is Samantha, my sweet puppy, lurking through the window of our house in Fairbanks, Alaska. She used to sit on top of her dog house and try to guilt us into letting her in the house, which didn’t happen on too regular of a basis, as she was an outdoor dog, and if you keep your dog in the house in Alaska, they don’t grow all of the fat and fur that they need to survive in sub-zero weather. If it were today, I would do it differently. I think dogs are happier in the den with the pack, and I think the pack is happier with the dog inside as well. But, as we all know, we can’t change the past, can we?

Anyway, the point of all of this is to tell you a humorous story about Samantha. See, Nance was discussing the special hell that is for people who dress their pets in costumes; or at least, if said pets have any say in the matter. Which reminded me of my so, so very patient baby dog, Samantha. She would let me do anything. She let me climb in her dog house with her when she was giving birth. She would have done absolutely anything for me. One of the things I used to like to do was to dress her up in my clothing. I was mostly a tomboy, but my mom would generally buy me one long prairie girl looking dress a year. Once I outgrew them, they were perfect for putting on the dog. So one day, we’re in front of the house, with the gate open, and I’m admiring how pretty she looks in my floor length dress. Look at that picture up there…see how we lived on a corner? Well, there was a stop sign right in front of the house, at the corner. So along comes this big green truck, with a big dog in the back, and it stops at the corner. In jumps Samantha. Off drives the truck. It was like a horror movie, one of those things where you absolutely cannot believe what is happening. My sweet baby dog is in the back of the truck, and the truck is driving away, and here I am, maybe 8 years old, completely unprepared to handle the situation. So I go running into the house, crying and yelling, “MY DOG! MY DOG! MY DOGGY IS GONE!!!” So we hopped into the car, and went off in search of Samantha.

Fairbanks was a tiny little town back then, and I’m not sure it’s all that big now. One the one hand, that’s a good thing, because there’s not that many places that she could go. On the other hand, it’s a bad thing, because if they were to leave the center of town, who knows how long it would be before we found her.

She turned up, of course, a few blocks away in the co-op parking lot. Sitting there, looking like a girl who had maybe been out partying with the band all night. Dress torn, hanging off one shoulder, mascara all running down her face. I was so crazy relieved, and I was (mostly) much better at keeping her on her leash after that.

Later, my mom had a really good laugh, wishing she could have seen the look on the face of the guy driving the truck when he looked in his rear view mirror and saw a pretty black lab mix in a frilly swirly patterned dress. Priceless.

4 thoughts on “Dog in a Dress

  1. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO SAY.

    Oh, but really. Please tell me that you didn’t just do better at keeping Samantha on her leash after that. Tell me that you stopped putting dresses on that dog. That you heard what she was so obviously telling you. LOL. What a hoot. I am stealing this and writing a cautionary children’s book. I’ll be rich!

  2. Sorry Nance, I didn’t learn a darned thing. Though the only time I ever dressed Gen up was in her Easter Bonnet. Maya tried once, and Gen tore the shirt she had put on her. But Maya and I at least have the excuse that we were quite young at the time. :)

  3. Awwww
    I imagined you hung signs or your mom drove around asking anyone on the street if they’ve seen a dog in a dress with you sobbing next to her and all of the people’s thoughts/expressions.

    I dressed my cats in my clothes too. Somewhere there are pictures. I’d like to find those someday :)

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