My daughter expressed that she wanted to buy sir Oliver a raincoat, after his first experience with an autumn downpour. I immediately had an reaction. I didn’t want to expose sir Oliver to any dress up games. To me that is so animal unfriendly and only joyful for the pets owner.
Later I could track down where those reactions and opinions came from. My mom would tell about how she as a child would dress up her cat and walk around with him in her doll’s pram. It was the kind of energy my mom used to express herself in those stories and how she laughed about it that gave me the shivers as a child. Thinking, this is not normal. Furthermore, my mom loves any picture of dressed up animals, the dogs in suits, smoking cigars, and playing poker kind of thing. I found that as a child and adult awkward behavior and deemed it as weird and abnormal.
So the minute my daughter even suggested the raincoat, weird pictures of dressed up animals were going around in my mind. No practicality was found anywhere near me. Even though we had read that Beagles are not the kind of dogs that are eager to go out in the rain. And the fact that sir Oliver is still skinny and gets easily cold.
So whatever reactions I was working through, my daughter had still common sense on this point and ordered a raincoat with an extra cozy inlay for a winter’s day. It took quite a while before the package arrived and lucky enough we had no rain in between that period of time.
The moment my daughter unpacked the coat I thought it was the cutest raincoat ever. I mean it is a coat, but for me, it would make him the most beautiful dog in the universe. Do I love him to death already? Yes I do. I sound like a mom who thinks her child is the prettiest child in the world, to see the pictures of her child years later, thinking he/she wasn’t that cute at all. What pink glasses did I use back then? So there is this mommy or granny hormone that gushes through the body at any cuteness alarm.
Getting the raincoat, was step 1. Getting sir Oliver ready to wear the coat and walk with it at the same time, was step 2. The first time he seemed very awkward and didn’t want to move much. So we repeated it daily to put on his coat in the house for a few minutes and then take it of and rewarded him with a praise.
Today it was a rainy day and we decided to test out sir Oliver’s raincoat. First we had to put on his harness and on top of that the raincoat, and through a hole in the jacket we could fasten his leash. I had no idea if he would go out off the house. He acted normal when we opened the door and halfway he stopped. I put myself behind him, touching him softly with my legs to encourage him to go forward. And off he went! No problems at all! I did fear he would be difficult with the coat on, but he wasn’t more difficult than always. Only his head got wet, and then he would shake his body as if he was entirely wet.
When other people past by, I felt a slight bit of shame. Like wanting to come up with excuses in my mind of why we had a dog with a raincoat on. The reality was that nobody asked or looked at sir Oliver in a weird way. When I was aware of what I was doing I could stop myself by not following the thoughts, since I knew what it was all about, and I was able to enjoy the rain and the walk with sir Oliver and my daughter. Life can be so simple!