Monday, November 11, 2013

Not art. Not craft. Just comfort.

I spent my morning making something. Normally, it's art or craft or art and craft. Not today.

Today, I made something practical. It's also something I used to see and cringe at. I make no apologies for my attitude. It was a product of honest ignorance. I just had no experience. I didn't know or understand.

Until Apple, the tiny terrier/chihuahua  joined our household, I didn't have much experience with small dogs. I'd met a few that were friendly and many who were not. I'd petted the nice ones and actively avoided the snarly ones. Even to the extreme of having to removed one from biting my much bigger and sweeter dog. I'd see them walking around the park in their fancy sweaters, polar fleece or raincoats and cringe. I'd shake my head at the doggy attire as silly, fanciful, doll clothes put on a poor unsuspecting dog.

Here's what I didn't know.

Many small dogs have little or no body fat. Their body temperatures are much more reactive to changes in the climate. Some, like Apple, have very short, sparse coats which provide almost no protection against cold or wet weather. Why? Because their country of origin was warm or moderate in climate, so they didn't need thick, water-proof fur.

Here's what I understand now.

Apple now lives in a cold, wet and rainy place. So when we walk through the park on a typical fall morning in the cold rain, she shivers. No matter how fast we walk, and she likes to go fast, she's still cold. She wants to go for her walk but I don't want her to suffer.

So I spent the morning making her a dog coat.  One side is red polar fleece to keep her warm.  The other side is black waterproof material to keep her dry.   I didn't make art.  I didn't make anything crafty.   I made something practical that, hopefully will make Apple's life a little more comfortable.

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