The longer I live on this strange planet of ours, the more I am convinced that there are some things that I am just not meant to understand!
Now, this is, I believe, a good thing, as it makes for a considerably less stressful life than I used to tolerate in the days when I genuinely believed that everything really does genuinely happen for a reason.
Allow me to present an example.
For many years, I lived within commuting distance of Tokyo, and so that is what I did every day – I commuted.
Each and every morning, I left my shoebox at 06.55, walked to the station and caught exactly the same train at 07.08 (it was never late, of course).
And, each and every morning, as I got on the Tokyo bound semi-express train, the same, slight framed, reasonably well dressed businessman got off.
Wearing a wig.
With an all too apparent bald patch smack bang in the middle, right above his eyes!
This was a significant section of his wig where there was not one single hair present, where the brown canvas underneath did not just show through, but visually assaulted your eyeballs.
Did he know about it? How could he not know about it, unless there were no mirrors in hs home (or, indeed, his entire world!)?
If so, did he care? Why was he wearing it in the first place?
Surely the idea of the wig is to cover bald bits, not to accentuate and exaggerate them??
Now, please do not think I am insulting or mocking people who choose to wear wigs or toupees.
I write these words as someone who is regularly likened to a billiard ball, so I understand all about baldness, although it has never particularly concerned me one way of the other.
Nevertheless, this guy perplexed me for so, so long, until eventually I decided that short of asking him (and that was never going to happen, was it – especially in Japan) I would just have to accept the fact that I would never know the answer.
Which brings me to dogs that wear clothes.
Something that, once again, no matter how many years I still have on this planet, I will never understand, and have therefore officially given up trying.
And, in a somewhat spooky parallel with my erstwhile Japanese friend – I never actually spoke to him, of course, but I began to think of him as my friend – I can never really ask a dog exactly why it is that they dress up!
Now, I obviously accept that it is not Fido’s own decision to kit himself out with a natty little tartan coat, any more than those dogs that you see on supposedly comedic posters wearing sunglasses, actually believe themselves to look cool!
Furthermore, were I to ask the owners why they love to dress up their four-legged friend, I am sure that I would receive perfectly logical and sensible answers, that dog clothes are merely an outward sign of their love for their four legged kindred spirit, almost like treating them like members of the family.
See, I guess that my problem is threefold.
First, I live with my wife, kids and a very black, square built lump of a Golden Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog cross called Jack (my daughter was into that Beanstalk fellow at the time) in a place where temperatures, even at midnight on the coldest day of the year (if we had one) never, ever fall below mid 20’s degrees Celsius.
Thus, he has absolutely no need at all for clothes, nor does any other dog in this country.
Nevertheless, given a certain type of dog (small, high pitched yap/bark/screech) and (even more relevantly) a certain type of owner (old, female, widowed, probably quite lonely) then, even here, they are dressed up.
Second, I grew up in England in those pre-Global warming days when winters truly were winters.
Our terrier never had clothes, and I strongly suspect that, if for some strange reason some deranged Aunt had decided to start giving Christmas gifts of haute couture garments to the family mongrel, then his opportunities for exercise would have been severely limited by our unwillingness to be seen outdoors with him!
Not the done thing in the industrial North of England in those days, I can assure you!
Thirdly, and finally coming around to the true purpose of this diatribe.
Take a look at some of the myriad websites selling dog clothes. Now, I am not daft enough to mention any particular site or sites, but look at some of the slogans that these sites use.
They are all aimed at the dog himself, as if the dog can read the site, and then make his or her own decision!
‘Buy Only The Best’, ‘Top Quality Tartan Coats’ or whatever (and those are both, incidentally, made up, or, at least, I hope that they are!).
They do not add the bit at the end ‘For Your Dog’ or ‘For Fido’, which they would surely logically do if the site owner were aiming to seel these garments to the dog owner!
Do these people believe that it is the canine member of the household who makes the purchasing decisions?
If so, then the world has indeed advanced much further than perhaps it appears from my obviously limited perspective sitting here writing this!
But, read some of the plethora of websites out there, and it is very hard not to arrive at this conclusion.
The dogs make the decisions – not in the offhand manner that ‘owners’ usually use to refer to Fido, viz, ‘oh, him, he just does what he wants anyway’ kind of thing – but, right down to actually controlling the household purse strings, and we, apparently, just go along with and see nothing srange with this!
In which case, I think that I have every justification for accepting that there really are things out there that I am not meant to understand!
To read more of Steve’s often bizarre world views, visit [http://webbiz99.com] And, for free stuff, Steve has 36 free mp3 audiobooks at [http://www.TalkAlive.com]