Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hair of the Dog

I love dogs but this grossed me out.

A couple of dog lovers decided to keep their beloved pets with them forever by wearing them.  Yes, that was my immediate reaction too until I realised they weren't talking about skinning their dogs and being walking taxidermy specimens.

Beth and Brian Willis doggedly collected the moulted fur of their long-haired pedigree dogs and knitted jumpers out of them.  

According to the Willises, the hair of the dog keeps them remarkably warm and dry no matter the weather.

Their first canny jumper was contributed by Kara, their white Samoyed, a Russian breed of long-haired pooch, in 1990 while she was still alive.  The dog that is.  Well, so was Mrs Willis, I think.

Mrs Willis declares that the raw material is superior as it is not "hair but wool".  

I'm sorry, ma'am but in this here dictionary, it says:

    1. The dense, soft, often curly hair forming the coat of sheep and certain other mammals, such as the goat and alpaca, consisting of cylindrical fibers of keratin covered by minute overlapping scales and much valued as a textile fabric.
    2. A material or garment made of this hair.
  1. The furry hair of some insect larvae, such as the caterpillar.
I ain't seen a dog that can cloak itself so well as a sheep, goat or alpaca ... or even caterpillar yet.
She collects the "wool" by wetting her hands and running them over the carpet.  I must say that would save on the Hoovers.

In the Daily Mail article, where I got this information, it claims that "The Samoyed breed is native to northern Russia, where they were used to keep children warm.  Its fur is almost waterproof and softer than alpaca".  Wonderful bit of journalism there.  Pray tell, how the Samoyeds kept the children warm?  By cuddling up to them or shedding all over them?

The second pooch padding was from their Swedish Lapphund, Penny, who passed on 6 years ago.  No, not from baldness as far as I know.  Mrs Willis had a jumper made for her husband this time who wears it into town every Saturday to do his weekly shopping.  He claims he gets the sweats form it because it is so warm.

I'd like a penny for everyone's thoughts as they see him lapping around town in his dog suit.


The dog hairs are sent to a woman called Ms Malise Mcguire who specialises in the hairy task and has been at it since 1977.  Really, she had me at woof!  

I keep looking at the picture of the Willises, all pennied up and just think ... Doggone it, that's the most hair-brained thing I've seen in a while.