We are a dog-loving nation and nearly half of us share our homes with one of the lovable creatures. They are always excited to see us – even if we were only gone 5 minutes, are always ready to listen – even when no one else will, and always ready to help clear the dishes – even if we weren’t done eating. Some people are firm believers in “dogs are dogs,” but in other homes the dog gets more attention than most children. They are the reason that the pet accessories market is worth over $50 billion and the reason why dog umbrellas really are a “thing.”
The dog is well-known as “man’s best friend” but it wasn’t always like that. When the dog that we know today first began hanging around with humans, he may have been friendly but he was still quite wild. Over the centuries, through selective breeding, the wolf-like animal has morphed into a species that ranges in size from “Miracle Milly,” a 1-pound Chihuahua who only measures in at 3.6 inches tall to “Hercules,” a 282-pound Mastiff with a 38-inch neck, and the Great Dane, “Major” who is 51 inches tall but stretches to about 8 feet when on his hind legs and he may not be finished growing yet!
Dogs come in all shapes – tiny and petite, short and stocky, big and bulky or long and lanky with different hair from the wire-haired poodle which needs regular grooming right down to the “ordinary” short-haired mutt who doesn’t require a trip to the groomer’s but sheds all over your black pants. Appearances make one breed look like an entirely separate species but the biggest difference may be their character traits.
Of the near 200 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Association, each has personality traits specific to the breed. These traits match the “job” a breed was intended to do. Shepherds make great children-tenders but are smart enough that if they don’t have a job, they can get into trouble, the howling hound dogs can become so distracted when following a scent that they become lost, and a Labrador will swim in your pool and wear you out with an endless game of catch. It makes sense when you consider that shepherds are in charge of herding the sheep, hound dogs were bred to track and “hound” animals during a hunt (but only with supervision), and retrievers were bred for “retrieving” waterfowl that has been shot. These are the “working” dogs – the dogs that are usually treated like…dogs.
Then there is the other kind. The cute kind which may have originated from a working line, but as pets, are mainly companions and entertainment. These include Shih-Tzus, toy poodles, miniature Chihuahuas, the Lhasa Apso, and the Maltese to name a few. These are the wardrobe-wearing dogs that take trips to the beauty salon, may expect to be carried in a handbag and generally live only inside – which means they need to go out. Even if you have a yard, these dogs have high expectations.
Fussiness – that’s how it happened. Whether it was a fussy fluff-ball dog wearing an outfit with “bling” or it was the fussy owner – someone who didn’t want the princess to get wet. The owner uses an umbrella when it rains – so why shouldn’t the princess get one too. In addition to the billions of dollars spent on outfits and accessories, people are spending some of that money on the dog umbrella.
Constructed as a leash with a canopy between you and your pet, the dog umbrella eliminates the need to try and share your own umbrella with your four-legged friend. Owners of the “dog-is-a-dog” variety, may think its frivolous but they don’t understand how the dog umbrella can save time and money. Just think – no doggy raincoat to don, no post-walk drench from the doggy shake, no repeat trips to the salon to repair the new hair-do, and no indoor mess made by a pooch who refuses to go out.
So when someone asks about your new accessory – tell them “yes, dog umbrellas are a thing.”