Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Canine Christmas Conundrums

I’m just saying...



“Julia…what is all THIS?”

MY husband, Marty, had walked into the bedroom where I had a whole bunch of little jackets and shirts strewn across the bed.

“I’m trying to find something for Charlie to wear for the holidays, Marty…you know…for when the girls from church come over for the Christmas party. I may have to have something tailor made! He has nothing that’s appropriate!”

I had searched high and low for the perfect outfit for our Shih Tzu, Charlie, to wear when my Circle Girls, or as we like to call ourselves, The Church Chix, were coming to our house for our annual Christmas party but so far, to no avail.

I had found a jacket online, but it was over $150 so I figured that was a bit much to try and sneak past Marty’s radar. But OH! It was ADORABLE! The online photo showed a little velvet jacket that strapped around his tummy, and it had a perfect little bow tie attached so he would look every bit the Dapper Doggie he is.

Now I’m not usually into dressing up my furry friends but I have been known to do photo ops with various seasonal hats for them…and believe me… you haven’t lived until you try to put bunny ears on a persnickety cat! But I have become friends with a lady who absolutely adores dressing up her pooches. She literally has designer outfits made for her two “girls,” and…they do look pretty darned cute!

She and a couple of other friends had been to the house a few weeks ago, and she brought her “girls” decked out in some mighty fine outfits. I’m talking taffeta and pearls, folks! I’m talking about outfits just this side of an “After Six” cocktail party. Poor Charlie was only wearing his collar.

I tried to explain this to my husband.

“Marty, it would be so cute on him…with his white fur that red will show up beautifully!”

“Are you telling me you’re willing to spend A HUNDRED AND FIFTY dollars on a jacket for the DOG to wear only ONCE to impress your girlfriends’ dogs?”

“Not so much the dogs, Marty…but you didn’t see Charlie when they were over last time. He felt totally underdressed when those girls showed up in their snazzy dresses.”

Marty has this thing he does when he’s questioning my sanity…he stands board straight, holds his arms across his chest, and raises one eyebrow—just the one.

It’s very intimidating.

And irritating.

“And Charlie told you this? The dog TOLD you that he felt underdressed and wanted a jacket for Christmas?”

“Don’t be silly, Marty…of COURSE Charlie didn’t TELL me anything! He’s a dog after all…he doesn’t speak English!”

“And what languages does he speak, Julia? French? Italian? Or wait… Shih Tzus are from China aren’t they? Is that it? Did he speak Chinese to you?”

“Oh, now you’re being silly, Marty! I could just tell he was embarrassed. A mother knows these things.”

I enlarged the photo of the doggie jacket on my phone to try to convince him this was indeed something we needed for the holidays. When I did, I noticed it also had one of those pocket squares, the little pieces of cloth that looks like a handkerchief, in the breast pocket.

“OOOH looooook, Marty…just Loook! It has a little hankie in the pocket like you wear with your suits! Is that just gorgeous or what?”

He was still standing straight with the crossed arms, but the eyebrow was coming down. I took that as progress.

“So…can we get it? If I pay an extra $22 it can be here Friday!”

The eyebrow shot back up, but he let out a huge sigh. That was encouraging.

“Come oooon, Marty….let’s get it…please!” I felt like I was breaking him down. He let out another huge sigh, and I jumped on it.

“It can be his Christmas present, Marty…it will be just precious on him!”

“If you want to throw away that much money, Julia, I can’t stop you. But I want it on record I think it’s ridiculous!”

“THANK you sweetheart!” I gave him a big hug and a sloppy kiss. “You’ll see…it’s going to be delightful! He’ll be a total STUD in this! Those girl dogs will fall in love with him when they see him in this jacket.”

About that time, Charlie came in, his paws covered in mud, his fur damp from the rain, and a big doggie grin on his face. Marty burst out laughing.

“Well, would you look at that? It’s a good thing he wasn’t wearing his ‘evening wear’ just now. A ‘stud’ dog is right…playing in the mud is a dog thing…wearing velvet coats is NOT!”

“Oh it’s going to be awesome, Marty…just wait.”

“Sure…sure it will, Julia. But you’re overlooking one very important thing.”

“What’s that, Baby?”

“If you’re getting the jacket for Charlie and spending that much money…”

“Yes? What am I forgetting?” I was getting a little nervous.

“What in the world will you get the cat?”

That man of mine… he’s just hilarious.

I’m just saying…

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