While I watched Crufts dog show last week, I listened to the television commentators shower praise upon the toy dog group.
These dogs were “Stylish and curvaceous” and “Fine-boned, dainty and freemoving”. We witnessed a “Gorgeous silky top coat”, some “High stepping action”, a restrained but no less welcome, “Level top line”, as well as a pair of “Lovely candle flame ears”. Perhaps the sweetest tribute was to a Pomeranian who was aptly described as, “A little ball of fluff on fine dainty legs.”
Dog show or fashion catwalk? When Crufts comes round it inevitably reminds me of my old job as a fashion editor. All the effort, the judging and the jargon appear so eerily familiar. Although there is one aspect that doesn’t bear comparison: the majority of handlers who take the dogs through their paces are missing a sartorial trick and I can’t work out why.
If my aim was to show off the glorious results of getting my dog’s bone structure right, the coat immaculate, ears at the correct tilt and tail just so, I would do my utmost to make sure that whoever was holding their lead, faded into the background and let the dog shine. The thing I can’t fathom is how it isn’t second nature.
After two years of living with Teddy, in all his tones of glorious grey, I can’t seem to get dressed without pulling on some semblance of #shadesofschnauzer. It’s seeped into my subconscious. My wardrobe is full of it. My home is full of it. And it’s no coincidence, I’m sure, that Teddy gets copious compliments when he’s sitting on a grey sofa/rug/blanket or when we’re both dressed in shades of dove, granite or steel. I’m very happy to take the back seat. Over to you, Dalmation fanciers.