The Etiquette of Dog Days

Twiggy keeping cool

Twiggy keeping cool but not still

When I was a child, I preferred to wear dresses.  My mother was constantly trying to get me to wear pants, but I was insistent on my own sense of fashion.  I have no recollection as to why I would have wanted to wear dresses or even that I did, but I know that all the photos of me up until I was in about the first grade prove my mother’s story.

In most of these photos, I have skinned knees or knees marked with the white residue of a white-painted fence we used to climb.  I my memory, I spent most of my time outdoors running around, frequently falling or managing to bang myself up in other ways.

Tisen enjoying a rub

Tisen enjoying a rub

This was not, however, the concern my mother had with me wearing dresses.  Rather, it was the constant battle she had going on in her head between wanting to preserve my childhood innocence and wanting to help me learn to conform to some social norms.  While I’m sure someone somewhere has written a book that tells parents when girls should stop being allowed to run around climbing on things when they’re wearing a dress, my mother hadn’t read it.  Even if she had, she might not have agreed on the cutoff point.

In any case, eventually my mother did convert me to wearing pants.  Had I been born a generation or so earlier, she might have made me stop climbing trees and fences and kept me in dresses.  I feel pretty fortunate that pants afforded me freedoms that might otherwise have been denied to me.

Twiggy does not wear dresses or pants.  She goes out in fur every day of the year, although her parents were kind enough to have her coat trimmed for her as the temperature rose, she otherwise dresses the same every day.  As a dog, we humans don’t expect her to have adopted our own hang ups about sitting primly with ankles crossed.  Yet, Twiggy frequently does sit that way.  She assumes a sphinx pose, crosses her front pays, and holds her head in a pose that makes you think she might be Cleopatra reincarnated.  She truly is regal.

Tisen takes Duck to the other side of the room

Tisen takes Duck to the other side of the room

But the other day, when our inside temperature was pushing 80 (yes, I am trying to make it to June with no A/C), she had no qualms or self-consciousness about flopping down on the floor in as unladylike a pose as imaginable.  And I found it so amusing that I had no qualms about taking a few photos (using the Camera! app on the iPhone) to share with you.

Tisen, who was happy to opt for a belly rub when Daddy was available, didn’t seem quite as comfortable with the whole belly-twist pose Twiggy assumed.  Although, I don’t know how much of his shyness came from my with the camera vs Twiggy sprawling across the floor.  All I know is Tisen took Duck and moved to the other side of the room.

Tisen decides to hang out with Duck

Tisen decides to hang out with Duck. Photography note: backlight seems to create a very hazy effect with the iPhone

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