dogwalk show autumn/winter 2012

It all started when I went to New York last year. I was bowled over every time we went outside by how stylish all the New York dogs were. They were accessorised to the max, with little coats, matching leads, fancy hairdos, the whole shebang. NYC dogs lead a life of luxury, it would seem, judging from the range of readily available services across the city. From pampering dog spas on the main streets to special doggy cupcakes from snack trailers in the parks, there was no end to how a dog could treat itself. By the end of our two week stay I felt like we were positively depriving our poor dog back home, and wondered what Maud would think of her current lifestyle if she could only see how dogs on the other side of the Atlantic lived.

So one afternoon, riddled with guilt, I wandered in to one of the many trendy doggy outfitters near our hotel, and checked out the styles on offer. I ended up leaving with a very fashionable, Burberry-style waterproof number in Maud’s size, that she could wear on rainy days, since she’s so sensitive about leaving the house when it’s raining. (She was clearly born to be a fashion dog all along.) And she fitted right into it, and still wears it happily whenever it’s wet – though there are certain members of my family who refuse to be seen out with her in her raincoat, not that I’m going to name any names. Perhaps they’re just worried that she’ll show them up in their boring cagoules. But even the most sceptical of you must admit that she looks mighty smart in her new coat (this photo is of when she first tried it on – a particularly sunny day, unfortunately).

However, now I think things have got out of hand. A few days ago I received an overjoyed email from my mother, who had just finished knitting her first ever lace scarf, after much ripping out and re-knitting (it was painful to witness). But rather than sending me a photo of the scarf by itself, or even of herself, modelling said scarf, I received two photos of the dog, draped about with the finest handknitted red lace scarf. What is the world coming to? I would be surprised if even the most pampered NYC dogs were afforded this sort of luxury. (Or maybe they are, and I just wasn’t mixing in the right social circles.) Was this all my fault? Those darned New York dogs have started something unstoppable! Where will it all end?