Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted a pet that I could dress up. My first pet, Silver, was a goldfish. You can imagine how well that attempt could have turned out. Fortune would have it, when I was a little older, we got Patches, a calico kitty. And then Snickers, a black and white kitty. Turns out that cats don’t really like to play dress up. It’s amazing how fast an animal can get out of a cute little top! Or a big ole T-shirt. My hopes were dashed.
By the time I got my first pet as an adult, a hamster NESPA (named for the National Speech Pathology Exam which I had just passed the day or so before getting her) I had let go of my childhood dream of pet dress up. The cats I have since had, Smokey, Bennie, Buddy, and Periwinkle have benefitted from my childhood lessons of kitty dress up. We did attempt to get Buddy into a diaper held on by a cute shorts and suspenders outfit (he had a not use the litter box problem). He looked so good. What a wonderful idea we thought. And then my poor waddling friend shimmied out of this expensive get up like a snake out of its skin.
Then along came Layla. And, as it turns out, a Doberman looks very good in a costume. I was just looking up information on Dobermans, and came upon pictures of these Dobies looking smashing in their Halloween outfits. So I began to look excitedly for a costume for Layla. We decided we wanted her to be a Jedi: Dobie-Wan Kenobie. I thought surely it could not be that hard to find this simple get-up for my girl as doggy costumes are all the rage. As it turns out, doggy costumes for small doggies are all the rage. Dobie size costumes, which would be either a 2XL or 3XL in doggy sizes, were hard to find. And when found, very expensive. And not the look we wanted anyway. So where had people found their Dobie’s outfits? I went to the Doberman forums to find out. And learned that many small boy costumes fit a Dobie quite well, or can be easily adapted to fit. And so it was, we got a small boy cloak for our girl, and a light saber. I was like a little kid at Christmas when her stuff arrived.
The day before Halloween, we had a practice session.
First, we (meaning my husband Jon) put on an old T-shirt.
Her cloak was then draped just so on her.
And she was given her light saber.
But really, all she wanted was her Jolly Ball.
We considered this trial run successful and were ready for Halloween. My parents love all things Layla, so we decided to Skype with them while dressing up Layla on Halloween.
Admittedly, she looked the same the next day! But she gave us some more humorous moments.
Like when we tried to put the hood back on, AGAIN!
Or kept her in the costume longer than she saw fit.
Luckily, she let us get two nice shots with mom & dad. Dad definitely got more in the Halloween spirit then mom. Mom works in the schools, and there is no dress up anymore in the schools, so no adult costume wearing :-(.
In a life filled with chronic pain, and frequent disappointment of what I can’t do because of it, Layla has been a light in the darkness. No matter how bad I hurt, she loves and licks. No matter how hard my day was, there she is at the end of it, tail wagging with joy. No matter how grumpy or even sad I get, she does something just so silly, I have to laugh.
I am, and always will be, a cat person. At times, I think I am a cat with all the sleeping I need to do. And my desire to often just be left alone unless it is my idea. I love my cats. They soothe my soul, providing quite comfort. Even their purr is healing. But the Dobie, she just makes me laugh. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry. And I need to laugh. So now I am a cat person with a Dobie in their heart. And I think that is the best way.
And this Halloween, I learned that sometimes, we just have to wait to see our childhood dreams come true. God hasn’t forgotten, it was just a delay.