Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

May 17, 2013

It’s a barnyard fashion show

By Rebecca Todd

— I’ve not kept it a secret that I find people who dress their dogs in clothes to be, to put it nicely, somewhat more than just eccentric. And many friendly, helpful readers out there have not kept it a secret that they really wish I would not express my views about dogs dressed as humans.

Unfortunately, they usually say it something like, “I wish you would catch on fire and fall off a cliff while simultaneously choking on your own vomit!”

Apparently, some people are very passionate about their fashionable pets.

Cat lovers are worse. This we know because they constantly post pictures online of their cats with cute little captions. I sincerely despise these pictures. I’ve lived on a farm and have seen cats commit truly heinous acts. You will not sway my opinion of cats with a picture of a cat dressed in baby clothes. I don’t care what they are wearing; they will still rip a rodent to shreds, eat its heart and drop the carcass on your front porch. Yes, you will think they are doing it for your approval, but no. Make no mistake about it; it is a threat.

I’ve recently become aware of another strange phenomenon: rabbit lovers. A friend of mine — we’ll call her “Nickie” because I wouldn’t want to give away her real name — is currently enamored of her newly adopted rabbits. They live in the house and have their own room. They potty in a litter box. I am told they have personalities and temper tantrums and favorites in the family. Currently, she is not dressing them up like people, but it is only a matter of time.

Take heart, dog, cat and rabbit lovers. You are not the only ones that are, in my humble-do-not-send-me-emails opinion, overly zealous about your pets. It seems there are quite a few chicken-lovers who are in the same boat.

Just for fun, type “chicken diapers” into your favorite search engine. Yes, that’s right. There are people that diaper their chickens because their chickens live inside with the family. You can also get clothes for your chicken if you are so inclined.

Should I give you a minute to ruminate on that or are you on board? If you are on board, let me politely tell you that you need to stop reading right now.

Point blank; chickens are stupid. I personally know chickens that have drowned in the rain, just because they looked up to get a drink. You can scare a chicken to death by speaking too loud. Let’s not even talk about their sense of hygiene.

On the other hand, chickens are delicious. I am making chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight. No word on whether my chicken’s wardrobe was donated to charity after his untimely death but frankly, I don’t care. I’m pretty sure there are no chickens out there in need of a wardrobe because — news flash! — chickens are animals.

Nor do dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, mice, snakes, foxes, ducks and geese — even the concrete ones on your front porch. I beseech you to stop dressing up geese on your front porch. Geese are hideous creatures who have taken over every retention pond, creek and mud puddle in Indiana. Please don’t idolize them.

As for me, I have a dinner to finish. Mmmm … it smells so good.

— Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point?” Contact her at btodd@tds.net.