As I think I’ve mentioned before, I love dogs. Though sadly I’m unable to have one of my own, you’ll often find me walking my nephew Hector the Schnauzer around Pitshanger Park and I know one day I will have another dog of my own.
I also have quite a penchant for accessories (handbags, shoes, scarves and of course jewellery). And why do I love accessories? Because they add so much to any outfit and because they always fit.
Now you may be wondering why on earth I’m discussing my love for dogs alongside my love for accessories. Well, it’s because I’m starting to get more and more frustrated with the trend for our canine friends being treated as fashion accessories. I remained quiet when skinny Hollywood starlets started carrying their little pooches in handbags (though think it looks somewhat ridiculous) and I have no problem about dogs being taken out and about with their owners to business
meetings or social occasions if appropriate.
But now it’s gone too far. This week we saw Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, walking round East London with her friend’s Bichon Frise dyed pink. Now what possible reason can there be for doing this other than to show off and to create what is perceived to be the perfect accessory?
The dog didn’t want to be dyed and it certainly isn’t going to make little Darcy more attractive to other dogs that she meets. Apparently the dying was done because Emma’s friend wanted to support and raise money for a breast cancer charity. A fine and worthy cause I agree, but there are many other (and more effective) ways to raise money for charity without taking such ridiculous measures. Maybe if people had sponsored Emma to dye her own hair pink then the charity might have actually benefited in some way and poor Darcy wouldn’t have had to be subjected to this.
And this isn’t the first time dogs have been dyed. A quick search online shows many inhabitants of the West Coast of America going for the dyed dog look. (Oh what a surprise that the craze started there!) There seems to be a certain type of person who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to treat their dog like a toy, a plaything, by giving it a ridiculous haircut or dying it. It is even reported that Victoria Beckham paints her bulldog’s toenails pink. I really don’t think I’m overstating it by saying that it’s tantamount to animal cruelty. Do what you want to your own body to raise your self esteem, but to do this to your pet is really not acceptable, particularly when there is no reason to do it other than to satisfy your own needy ego.
Groom Dog City, the London dog grooming salon where Darcy’s bubblegum transformation took place, offers this service at £90 a go. They say that the semi-permanent dye used is harmless to the dog as it is made out of vegetable dye. I strongly disagree. Dogs predominantly communicate by smell and I just can’t believe that this dye does not change their natural scent. (The same with nail varnish or the acetone used to remove it on Posh’s poor pooch). And any scent change will
have a direct impact on a dog’s methods of communication and sociability, which in turn could affect the dog’s character or the reaction of other dogs to it. So why would you take that risk?
I really hope this doesn’t become another weird craze. If Emma Watson, or anyone else, really wants a new accessory, then go and buy a new necklace or scarf. It’ll be cheaper, look classier and won’t hurt a living, breathing animal.