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A sweater for Lola: A Black Friday adventure
November 23, 2012 - April Diodato
My dog, Lola, celebrated her eighth birthday last weekend. True to her breed, this opinionated Cairn Terrier has a mind of her own, and has all of her humans wrapped around her little paw. Even though Lola became a part of our family as a puppy, we're continuing to learn her many quirks.
I made a startling discovery about my dog yesterday.
Lola was long overdue for a haircut and desperately needed one more before the onset of winter. It was trimmed a bit more closely than usual early this week, and with wintry weather coming this weekend, we fretted over keeping her warm.
In the past, whenever I've spotted a dog donning a sweater, my gut reaction has always been, “Poor thing! The last thing that pooch wants is to be wearing clothes.” There are exceptions, of course – short-haired dogs or ones with skin conditions that necessitate an extra layer.
Lola has never worn clothes. There was an ill-fated attempt at a Halloween lobster costume years ago, and I never pushed the issue again.
Now, my dog needed a sweater. After my family's Thanksgiving celebration, I stopped at Walmart just after 6 p.m. in search of the perfect garment. Yes – shamefully, I thought – I was becoming one of “those” people who dressed up their dog.
Fastidiously, I asked an employee distracted by the early onslaught of crazed Black Friday early birds where all of the dog sweaters were. As I scooped up the two best items, I couldn't believe the increasing insanity around me. The shoppers, grabbing anything that wasn't tied down, circled the sale displays like vultures, a wild, glazed-over look in their eyes. Were they drunk on tryptophan, the holiday spirit, the insatiable need to score hot deals or a combination of these factors? Overtaken by a sudden urge, I spotted a $9 Crock Pot and a $24 ceramic Tupperware set – none of the special sale items could be purchased until 8 p.m. – but then I regained my senses as I saw the situation quickly devolving into utter madness, bought the sweaters and got out in the nick of time.
Upon arrival at the homestead, Lola was giddy when she saw that I had come bearing gifts. She quickly grabbed one of the sweaters and carried it underneath the Christmas tree – which is where she enjoys keeping her toys during the holiday season. (She also adores laying under the tree, soothed by the soft glow of the lights, as if she, too, is a present).
I grabbed the other sweater, removed it from its package, distracted Lola with one of her favorite toy friends, Lenny the leopard, and wrangled her into it. To our utter shock, she leapt from the couch, positively elated.
She LOVED that sweater. It was as if she had a new lease on life.
I took her for a walk immediately afterward and she was absolutely jubilant. She practically pranced through the college campus, a wide smile and wagging tail greeting the odd passerby. When we got home, she didn't want to take the sweater off.
Apparently, Lola and I had even more in common than I knew. Will Lola soon have a more expansive wardrobe than I? Will she refuse to leave the house wearing something she's already been seen in? Will she insist on going shopping, claiming that she simply has nothing to wear? Should I limit her computer access come Cyber Monday, lest she borrow the credit card and start perusing the sales?
I may have created a monster ... an extremely adorable and fashion-forward monster nonetheless.
Lola's first sweater (with her pal, Lenny the leopard).