Ask a Terrier: It’s In the Bag!
What’s the best bag for a dog? My sweetie Brussels Griffon, Tinker, commutes everywhere with me in her suede faux-fur lined carrier. But she’s an uncompromising fashionista! And a style trendsetter, judging by the head-turning envy her presence evokes.
The problem is that the fringe on her carrier – I call it her runway – is looking a bit ratty. And worse, passé! She deserves better. Well, the best!
I’m desperate for your voguish advice on her replacement carrier. A tote that will part crowds when they see her coming. Something savvy and sassy and cleanly fashion forward. Otherwise we might as well just outfit her in a velour tracksuit and platform pumps and call it 2002.
J. J. and Tinker, #MadShoppingInNY
Dear J. J. and Tinker,
Happy to assist. Fashion is my life! Just after killing chipmunks. Oh, and tug-tug.
Full disclosure, though: With the exception of my collar, I’ve never worn any fashions. Yes, there was a brief afternoon when my Giants and I “discussed” a no-pull dog harness. That didn’t end well. For anyone.
However, I’m not without a keen and very personal fashion sense. Like Tinker’s carrier, I’m fur lined. And there’s nothing faux about mine. Can Michael Kors make that claim? I think not!
While style is important, for dogs comfort must hold sway. Not all fit in a personal carrier. (See Clifford, the Big, Red Hernia.) Giants first must ask themselves: 1. “How small is my dog?”; 2. “Seriously? That small?”; and 3. “Wait! Is that even a dog? It has six legs!”
Having correctly calculated your dog’s dimensions, and fumigated your apartment—Ewww!—choose a tote that is roomy, protective, and rent controlled. Let me explore the pros and cons of several styles of carriers without actually getting inside one.
Dog backpack and front pack carriers, while popular and functional, serve different purposes. Roomy and secure, backpacks allow your canine to observe where he’s just been. Front packs do the same, provided you walk backwards. Not recommended for use by Giants with fewer than three legs.
Another option is the carrier sling, which is at once stylish for you and humiliating for your dog. Essentially the sling is a strap with a pocket, much like an athletic supporter undergarment with room for credit cards. Oh, and a dog. Few professional sportsmen use them this way, or at least won’t admit it.
An ever-popular choice for Giants and Canines is the chic and sophisticated designer shoulder carrier. Spacious for dogs and offering plenty of storage, many modern shoulder carriers also are ergonomic, meaning they bare live young, yet are aquatic.
Least attractive is the “puppy purse”, a minimalist harness that fits a small canine, legs dangling, and includes a carry handle on the back for transporting the dog. I don’t consider this an acceptable carrier for the same reasons that it was outlawed by the Geneva Convention.
Feeling besieged by too many fashion options for Tinker, J.J.? Just take your time. I’m sure that she’s blessed with a figure that looks fabulous in everything!
Well, not cap sleeves.