STORY+PHOTO: Rheya Tanner
Around my house, I am the queen of the Princess Pack. My family loves dogs passionately, and as such, we have a pack of three lovely ladies: two dachshund sisters named RC and Pepsi and a lab/Aussie mix named Pearl. Each of my princesses is beautiful, of course, but Pearlie in particular is special; she’s a model. She has thick black fur, big brown eyes, a charming smile, and currently, a flowery blouse I leant her from my closet.
Yes. I dress my dog in my clothes. Yeah, it’s weird. But you know what? She looks pretty darn good! We even do glamour shoots. She pulls off blouses, sweaters, and dresses and even skinny jeans with the proper clothes pinning. Honestly, she looks better in a lot of my clothes than I do (it’s the calisthenics, I think). She’s not the perfect model; some of her photos come out blurry because she won’t sit still without treat incentives. But I remind her often of
how beautiful she looks, and I’ll be damned if the camera doesn’t agree!
I dress my other dogs up, too, but admittedly less often. They’re too small to fit into my clothes and are decidedly not as…shall we say “stylish” as their sister. It’s partly that they’ve chunked up with age, and their neck fat bunches up into furry muffin tops around their shirt collars. But it’s also because, while Pearl is slender and graceful, Pepsi and RC are just kind of weird.
Pepsi, the runt of the litter, has an oddly shaped body (by that, I mean she looks like a pork sausage with dog parts slapped onto it), and a small airway that causes her to snort when she breathes. RC, meanwhile, hunts and kills roaches for sport, and her dense, portly body is about as elegant as a brick. While I love them both to pieces, they just can’t model a hoodie with the same poise Pearlie can.
In all seriousness, though, I am well aware that I’m gushing about shoving my dog into $10 blouses like it’s a thing to do. It’s not like I flaunt her around town or anything—she’s a closet model. I’m not totally sure where it came from, either. I wasn’t big into dress-up or dollies as a little girl, and I don’t normally find clothes that interesting.
Maybe I subconsciously personify my dogs far more than I ought to? Maybe I just need to get out more (I definitely need to get out more). But good reason or not, what’s wrong with getting your dog all vogued-up in the privacy of your home? Not a thing, as far as I’m concerned. All I know is that there’s something about it that makes me happy—and hey, isn’t that all that matters?
Speaking of things that make people happy, my dog pack is rather unexpectedly in the process of expansion now. A few days ago, my family met a litter of 3-week-old Australian shepherd puppies, and my mom fell in love (because this one is different from those other dogs we have, don’t you know). So, we’re adding a fourth princess to the mix: a blue merle named Miss Maizee. This pup won’t get quite as big as Pearl, according to the breeder, but I’m secretly hoping she’ll still be able to model with her older sister.
Either way, Maizee will quickly blend in as a member of our ever-growing pack. I’m not sure how many more dogs Mother will hoard over the next few years, but I can at least guarantee they’ll be well-dressed.