Sartorial Elegance

    I am the proud owner of a new jersey.

If you have read any of my previous ramblings, you’ll be aware that I have a love-hate relationship with human-imposed clothes. It is a point for discussion whether any dog should have clothes inflicted on him by a human, but I’m not getting into that argument. Let me just say that I like, or loathe, my clothes according to how they smell. For example, a long time ago Mistress presented me with a horrible smelling blue plastic raincoat.  Not only did it smell disgusting, it also caused other dogs to laugh at me. So every time Mistress tried to force me to wear it, I adopted my “dig in the heels” strategy in an attempt to defeat her Iron Will.

The “dig in the heels” strategy works like this: Mistress (or A.N. Other human) holds out the raincoat. I, Hamish, turn my head defiantly to one side and curl my tail tightly under my body (not sure why I do that tail curl – it’s just a whippety thing, I suppose). This makes it impossible for Mistress to get the coat over my head. This is the end of Round One – which I always win.

Round Two begins when Mistress holds my collar tightly, and my head firmly. She then forces the raincoat over my head and along over my back, with her teeth if necessary. This is the end of Round Two – which Mistress always wins.

Round Three is my “dig in the heels” piece de resistance. In this round, I press my feet firmly into the ground and refuse to budge. Mistress pulls and pulls on my lead, and if I budge at all, it will only be to allow my paws to scrape for a few inches along the ground. She finds this infuriating. If I’m not on a lead, I simply stand stock still and refuse to move an inch – this works best with Master as he often forgets to attach my lead. This round can be won by either human or dog, depending on who cracks first. The human loses if he/she removes the coat in utter frustration. The dog loses if he gives in to a proffered biscuit and reluctantly accepts the need for coat-wearing in order to grasp the biscuit prize.

Oh, the games we play!

Anyway, this new jersey is different. Not only does it smell quite good, I have actually begun to enjoy wearing it. It is a dark blue colour and provides a great deal of warmth and comfort. I have found over the years that I have begun to feel the cold more and more. We whippets have thin skin and short hair (and, as I have explained previously, I now have a bald patch as well) so I feel the chill of autumn and winter more with each passing year. So far, no dog I’ve met has laughed at me for wearing the new jersey and, in any case, the older I get, the less I care about what other dogs think.

In fact, the more I think about this, the more certain I become that there is an equation here. It would need a dog with a more powerful brain than I have to work it out, but let me make a start. Let’s say

A = Age, i.e. age of dog,

B = Bothered, i.e. extent to which dog is bothered about what other dogs think, and

C = Comfort, i.e. comfort of garment worn.

As I say the writing down of this equation would require a greater brain than mine (and opposable thumbs), but…..

….I wonder if the same equation could be applied to humans?

Now, there’s a thought.

Hamish Sinclair

About Eric Sinclair

Writer, stroke survivor, whippet owner, music lover, charity volunteer
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