Fall Fido Fashion

22 10 2009

As the cold weather rolls in and we experience our first snows in Colorado, I am thinking of how to keep Hamlet warm while out on our walks.  Enter: Fall fido fashion.  Say that five times fast!

Dog clothing is new to me since growing up my family had a lab/greyhound mix and a lab, both with thick enough coats to keep warm during their bathroom breaks in the winter (they preferred to be inside when it was cold).  However, Ham’s coat is practically non-existent on his underbelly and is rather thin around his neck, legs, and ears.  He is Chilly Willy the Penguin when it’s cold outside, even if we’re only out for five or ten minutes.  So, I’ve been window shopping on this great society of the world wide web and finding all of the apparel that any Hamlet could want.

Here’s a run-down of what Hamlet and I are panting over for fall and winter.

Mascot’s reversible puffer jacket will keep Hamlet warm on cold, snowy days.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s super fashionable either!  The red and blue color provides a masculine touch.

Mascot's Reversible Puffer Jacket

Mascot's Reversible Puffer Jacket

Beantown Handmade’s shop on Etsy offers handmade, unique dog apparel and gifts (such cute stationery!) for those looking for something different than what’s available at the PetsMart around the corner.  I love this Beanzilla hat and especially love the picture!  I’m not sure if Hamlet would tolerate a hat, but a girl can dream.  Plus, Beantown Handmade is a member of Etsy for Animals (a group of more than 500 artists who combine their efforts to provide charitable relief to animals) and offers items for the monthly MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue (MABTR) raffle.  And we all know how much Ham and I love MABTR!  Plus, how can you resist a Boston Terrier as cute as their mascot/inspiration/model, Bean?!

Beantown Handmade's Beanzilla Hat (via Etsy).

Bean wearing Beantown Handmade's Beanzilla hat (via Etsy)

I’m totally loving the rough-and-tumble vibe of this skull sweater from Hands N Paws.  I imagine that the boy would like it for its uber-manliness.  However, it’s hand wash or dry clean only and with the way Hamlet sometimes smears a mixture of drool and Purina crumbs, I would have to pass for something machine washable.

Skull Sweater from Hands N Paws

Skull sweater from Hands N Paws

The Climate Changer Fleece by Ruffwear is not onlymachine washable but made of Polartec fleece so is sure to be rugged enough to handle the drool/Purina crumbs mixture as well as anything else Ham can throw its way.  Ruffwear says it’s ideal for clear, cold conditions but I can imagine Hamlet lounging around the house in this sage green beauty (it also comes in black and has a side zipper for easy on-ing and off-ing).

Climate Changer Fleece Coat by Ruffwear

Climate Changer Fleece by Ruffwear

Speaking of Ruffwear, I have been lusting after these Bark’n Boots Skyliner dog boots since before I even had a dog.  That’s the gospel truth and no exaggeration; I do write a blog about my dog so you know I must be pretty dog-obsessed. Blog about my dog, blog about my dog – say that five times fast.  Just look at the Golden Retriever and how comfortable and callus-free she looks tromping around in her Bark’n Boots.  Hammy and I are jealous, my Golden friend, Jealous with a capital J.

Bark'n Boots Skyliner by Ruffwear

Bark'n Boots Skyliner by Ruffwear

So that wraps up this installment of Fall fido fashion.  Hopefully Hamlet and I can pick up some of these warm goods for Christmas.  Hint hint, Santa Claws!

What are you and your dog loving for fall fashion? It could be anything from a new bowl to an additional four-legged friend for the household so spill the beans.

Note: I was not compensated in any way by the companies or individuals listed above.  I simply find their products stylish and worthy of Hamlet’s fashion must-haves.


Denver: Coyote Country, USA

21 10 2009

Sunday night I came home from dinner at my parents’ house to find two coyotes hanging out on the street corner.  The street corner that is about 100 yards from my front door.  The street corner that has two streets running by it (hence the term street corner, right?).  I had to do a double-take to make sure I had seen them correctly.

Upon my second look, yes, they were indeed coyotes.  Yes, two of them.  Oh my gosh, much bigger than any other ones I’ve seen.  They are obviously well fed.  I hope they have been dining on rabbits and squirrels and not canines and felines. (Sorry Thumper and Rocky, but you live in the wild and are therefore at risk of coyote consumption.  Domesticated, suburban animals should not be subjected to such risks.)  Oh boy, just look at the surreptitious looks on their faces.

Yes, these are the thoughts that ran through my mind as I drove past the two brutes smoking cigarettes and cackling on MY street corner.  Ok, so they weren’t cackling and smoking cigarettes.  But they may as well have been for how comfortable they looked in the neighborhood.  With people driving by.  In cars.  On the street.   Under a bright street lamp.  Enough exaggerated fragment sentences but I just can’t get over how utterly right at home, and not scared in the least, they looked standing there on the sidewalk.

For illustration purposes only. Do you really think I would whip out my camera to commemorate those hoodlums' presence in my hood? (Ok, I would have if I could have done it safely but no dice.)

For illustration purposes only. Do you really think I would whip out my camera to commemorate those hoodlums' presence in my hood? (Ok, I would have if I could have done it safely but no dice.)

Metro Denver has had a coyote problem over the last year or so.  I have seen a few scampering about in the night time but had never seen any up close and personal like the cigarette smokers.  Plus, my previous coyote sightings were of skinny, mangy guys that looked like they were trotting out of harm’s and human way while these two lugs looked like they were waiting for the cocktail waitress to bring their Amstel Lights.

All joking aside, let’s review the best practices for staying safe while coyotes are afoot.  Afoot, get it? (Numbers 2, 5, and 6 taken from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.)

  1. Always stay alert.  Keep your iPod to a level where you can hear what’s going on around you and not Katy Parry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” whatever you’re rocking out to.  Nix the cell phone in favor of your own thoughts.  Keep those eyes scanning for anything suspicious.
  2. Keep your dog leashed and close at hand (coyote country is not a time to be pulling in your 50 foot retractable leash, trying to reel in Fido).
  3. Avoid walking or running early in the morning or late at night, when most animals prefer to hunt.  Also, avoid walking when it’s dark (which happens to be early in the morning and late at night).
  4. Assume that any coyote(s) you encounter are dangerous and treat them as such.
  5. Do not approach the coyote.  Avoid, avoid, avoid!
  6. If necessary, attempt to scare it off by yelling, clapping, or even throwing something at it.
  7. Carry a can of pepper spray that attaches to your belt so you can have it handy if the coyote gets too close for comfort.  Buy one like this and keep it with you on walks.

So in my neck of the woods the coyotes have won this battle with their street corner scare tactics but I will win the war.  Hamlet will remain safe and sound and those coyotes will hopefully lose their smug, smiley grins and hightail it for the high country.

Note: No coyotes were harmed in the writing of this post.  Normally I do not hold anything against coyotes.  However, they are highly adaptable animals that have been known to thrive rather than dwindle when forced from their original habitats.  They are happy, regardless of suburban street corner or high country meadow, as long as they have food and shelter.  These factors and their getting accustomed to people and the city life make them even more dangerous so be aware.