You are twenty-eight years old. One Sunday morning you wake before everyone else and drag your Macbook into bed, working quietly as your boyfriend sleeps like a dead man next to you. The order of the bed goes like this: you, near the door, in control of the alarm, heat, and lamp. The Dog, who exits her crate each morning around 6am and finds her place in the middle, her skinny chihuahua legs digging into your back. And finally, Jacob, near the window, in charge of the fan and taking The Dog down four floors and out to pee in the wet Seattle winter.
The three of you tucked back into bed, you open your Macbook and begin to check off items from the list you make in your head each night in lieu of sleeping. Schedule the loan payment, write the press release, buy the avocados, find The Dog a warmer coat.
When you were in college and imagining your adult life, owning a dog was always a part of the picture. Owning a dog that necessitated comparison shopping miniature winter parkas was not. But you’ve embraced it. You’ve dressed The Dog in a chambray onesie, a fair isle sweater, and an American Apparel hoodie. For Halloween she was a whoopee cushion. As long as we avoid rhinestones and faux fur, you tell yourself, we’re not exploiting her. No tutus. No tiny shirts pronouncing her “daddy’s little princess.” The same rule goes for babies.
This is The Dog’s first winter not roaming the streets of Los Angeles and she shakes when her feet hit the cold pavement. You click “add to cart” on an insulated bomber jacket that’s just butch enough, in spite of the miniature yorkie modeling it with a bow in its hair on Amazon.
Afterwards, the Internet starts following you around with suggestions for this. Uggs for dogs appropriately named Pugz. You remember your first winter away from home in New England, shuffling back and forth to class in Uggs, their lambswool lining soaked with snow. No socks. You remember how you threw them out upon graduating four years later, vowing to shower more, shuffle less, and perhaps invest in footwear that wouldn’t make your mother cringe in public.
You’re sure The Dog would devore the Pugz, mistaking them for large, soft mice. You’re sure there will be plenty of opportunities in your future to purchase small shoes for mammals who traditionally don footwear. Human infants, for example. The Dog crawls out from beneath the covers and vomits over the edge of the bed. There will be plenty of time for that, too.