Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

My Two (Fashion) Cents July 18, 2013

It startled me at first. There I was, minding my own business, when someone else’s business looked me directly in the eye. There she was, the most beautiful West Highland Terrier I’d ever seen, all dressed up. Literally. She was walking down the street in a dress that matched her collar that matched her scarf that matched her visor. Yes, you read that right. She was wearing a visor obviously made special for a small dog, as it had teeny tiny holes for her ears to peak through. Our eyes met and she radiated this powerful positive energy that led me to believe she was incredibly happy to be waltzing down Antoine Avenue covered in matching pink fabrics.

It didn’t make any sense to me at all. I guess it would be plausible for a dog to wear clothes to keep warm, but it was a beautiful 70 degree day. There is no need for extra layers upon an already warm fur coat. But I don’t think it was a coincidence that I happened to be living with Tiger (the black lab) and his litter of puppies. They took me in as part of the family after I misjudged Tiger as the big, bad dog in the neighborhood. (When in reality, he was gruff and pushy because he was a single dad trying to provide for his family).

I learned a thing or two about the judgment trap from my experience with Tiger. First impressions aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Its never fair to judge a book by its cover. So why would it be fair to judge a dog by its clothes? Fashion is an art form, and no form of self expression should be off-limits for us canines. (Or our people for that matter). Donning the Green

I say this now, as the proud owner of a small assortment of doggie sweaters, T-shirts, and turtlenecks. I occasionally sport a timepiece people call a watch. I even have a classy blue Body Glove swimsuit top should I ever feel the need to don it. I say this as a dog who now feels naked without my collar, lost without my identity. I say this as a believer in all things artistic. All things joyful. All things alive.

Next to my collar, my favorite animal accessory is my green scarf. It was a gift from my dog groomer Mary, who gave it to me at about the same time I started this blog. It’s threadbare, dirty, and falling apart so mom doesn’t let me wear it anymore. But it wears itself on my heart. Symbolically speaking, green is a color of renewal. Rebirth. Life.

I get it now. It’s not about matching pink outfits or visors with holes for doggie ears to poke through. It’s not about how many collars you have or whether you have that sweater in enough color variations. Sweaters, T-shirts, and timepieces aside, a the art of self-expression never goes out of style. “Fashion fades,” as fashion icon Coco Chanel put it, “only style remains the same.”

To read the story of how I met and befriended Tiger: http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/03/14/forget-first-impressions/


21 Responses to “My Two (Fashion) Cents”

  1. You are one wisely stylish pup Wiley! Woooowoooooo, Ku

  2. Bongo Says:

    The only clothes I ever wear are my Anxiety Vest when it thunders – and the thunder is still scary.

  3. You are so beautiful, you need no adornment, W. I, on the other hand, have an assortment of dresses and sweaters and scarves to make me cuter. I always get excited when Mom dresses me up. It is the signal that I am going to work, or we are having company, or something fun is about to happen.

    Love and licks,

    • Dear Cupcake,
      What a coincidence! I feel the same way about you needing no adornment due to your natural beauty! But I’ve seen the pictures of you all dressed up, and that’s pretty darned cute too. And you’re doing it to bring joy to the lives of others, which is truly admirable. Thank you for what you do! 🙂

  4. Lyn Says:

    Oh I’d love to see you all dressed up Wiley, I think you’d look wonderful!

    • Awwww! Thank you! Have you seen some of my older blog posts? I think I might have been spotted wearing some of my sweaters (and even my Packer jersey!) in some of the posts from earlier this year. 🙂

  5. finnhoward Says:

    We tend to go in the nude here. I love looking through the clothing section for digs though at the store. They have some really adorable outfits!

  6. We have something in common then, Wiles. I love scarves, and I always make a point of getting one from every new destination I go to! My latest favourite is a lovely pink one. I’m sure you look quite wonderful with your green one 🙂

    • I love having things in common with my favorite people! 😉 I might have to convince my mom to start doing that for me too – getting a scarf at each of my destinations to commemorate the adventure! Thanks for the tip!

  7. I’m a natural boy – I have only a warm dog coat when it is cold outside.

  8. Gizmo Says:

    Truth is Wiley that I let Momz put a scarf or t-shirt on me just to make her happy but I’m at my best in just my nekkid furs…Thank dog she’s not into Halloween!

  9. huntmode Says:

    Ah, Wyles, the fabulous tale of the green scarf we see knotted around your neck in various pictures. Thank you for satiating my curiosity. We’ve got coats here in this HuntMode household just because it rains or, in the winter gets pretty darn cold. Both Claire and Ella appear to tolerate them if only because it means we’re going for a walk. Ha! We went for an adventure today ~ about an hour or longer walk in the State Park that abuts our property. Great fun!

    • Thank YOU for suggesting the topic! I do need help coming up with ideas sometimes, and yours was greatly appreciated! I’m glad to hear you’ve got coats – I know greyhounds are more prone to the chills in the cold. Your adventure sounds like great fun! Pictures on the blog perhaps? 🙂

      • huntmode Says:

        I confess, Wyles…. I bought a used digital camera on EBay and was thrilled to think I’d be taking brilliant pictures. Then, I realized it was missing the upload gizmo between camera and computer – researched, shopped, got it – and, in the meantime, the camera went a bit wonky – so I have not made much progress here. I confess, it does everything but make coffee and hulu dance. I am supposed to make choices, but I don’t understand ’em. HuntMode

      • Darn those fancy cameras! My mom was trying to use one at the big family gathering yesterday and she couldn’t figure hers out either. Technology confuses us sometimes. 😉 Glad to hear things are starting to get straightened out now though! I look forward to all kinds of brilliant pictures over at Chasing Rabbit Holes. 😉

  10. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    Only style remains the same.

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