Editor’s Note: Margaret Cho is a contributor to Dogster’s sister SAY Media site, xojane.com. This article first ran on xoJane, but we’re rerunning it (with permission!) so you readers can comment on it.
I am extremely starstruck by my dogs, but I feel weird asking for autographs, mostly because they can’t hold a pen in their paws. Every once in awhile, they will pose for pictures, and if I am very quick about it, they might allow for an easily put-on accessory or even a full costume. But that is usually only after a long walk or late in the dog evening, about 7 p.m., as they start to get sleepy eyes around 6:45.
Generally, I prefer to photograph them au naturel, maybe with their paws on each other, like that Janet Jackson Rolling Stone cover from the “Hot hands as clothes” 1990s.
I don’t live in a very hot climate, and dog clothing will be tolerated by my little rescue Chihuahua–Pomeranian mix Gudrun, for a brief period, just to maximize the Mommy interest in her, but my older, slow-to-change-and-progress, Australian Cattle Dog mix Bronwyn will never take to a simple dog sweater, even if it is hand-knitted in a chunky, marbled, high-end vegetable-dyed yarn by her aunt.
So Bronwyn gets excused for not wanting to participate in photo shoots. I don’t make her wear clothes. She’s a big dog, and big dogs suffer indignities worse than small ones. Their elegant long dog bodies and paws are perfect for stylish, classic dog outfits, but they can’t be persuaded to don them.
She might find the humor in those dog costumes that look like the costumed character standing up, the images that are thrown up and disseminated as memes and group emails with the subject header “Halloween for dogs” during October, but she’d rather not put it on.
Bronwyn had a hard life, abandoned downtown, lost and homeless for no one is really sure how long, before she came to me, starved and scarred, limping up my front steps directly into my heart. She doesn’t have to wear anything to impress me.
Bronwyn survived, and thrives, now possibly more than 13 years old, but I’ll never know for sure, because I don’t care, I just love her, so just color me impressed, always.
Gudrun however, is the belle of the ball. I am careful to dress her in things that are specifically made for dogs, like this spectacular handmade kimono that was designed for her just after the release of the film, Memoirs of a Geisha. It’s all Velcro, and it stays on only as long as the photo takes to be shot.
There are a bunch of moving parts that can get caught on things, and even though I am home all the time, there’s no way my eyes can be on everything, and I don’t want my dogs to be hurt by anything, least of all, fashion.
If you don’t have the will or means to make a dog kimono — serious work for people with much more skill at the sewing machine than I — then you can improvise a high fashion look like the one Beyonce did for “Crazy in Love.” Gudrun pays homage to Beyonce below, in a fairly inexpensive necklace that I never wear, but it momentarily transforms this household Chihuahua into a powerful pop diva.
Like the kimono, the necklace is worn only for a moment, just for the photo, so it will last me for all time. I know it’s adorable, but you don’t want your pet eating anything like this, because you could be picking the components out of poo for weeks, or even worse, down in the middle of the night at the vet emergency room, a place no one ever wants to go.
Top photo: Bull Terrier with headphones by Shutterstock.