OFF THE CUFF: March 20, 2015

I promised my kids (adult children, more precisely, as their average age is 50) that I wouldn’t turn this column into Curmudgeon’s Corner.

Published March 22, 2015 8:14 PM
3 min read


CUFF-thI promised my kids (adult children, more precisely, as their average age is 50) that I wouldn’t turn this column into Curmudgeon’s Corner.

By Allen Clark

CuffI promised my kids (adult children, more precisely, as their average age is 50) that I wouldn’t turn this column into Curmudgeon’s Corner.

 But sometimes it is a little hard not to wonder what the world is up to. Take this headline in a recent issue of The Journal News: “Don’t Expect Puppy Love at Pet Wedding.” There, big as life, was the lovely Dee Dee next to her cousin, Clifford – both elegant-looking dachshunds, she in flowing white, he in formal tux. (Let’s hope they weren’t first cousins.)

Now, I’m well aware there’s always been a segment of the dog-owning public that loves to dress up their pets in rather remarkable fashion, often posed for a snapshot over a birthday cake with five or six of the dog’s best friends decked out in their own costumes, all sporting those conical cardboard party hats attached by elastic straps under their snouts.

My wife and I ran into one of these types many years ago. We were selling five of the six bearded collie pups our Beardie had given birth to in our kitchen. A prospective owner came to buy the last one for sale. She signed the papers and said she’d be back with a check the next day. Then, because everyone likes to show off their grandkids and the like, she asked if we’d like to see her photo album. There, page after page of poodles in tutus, boxers in (you’ve got it) boxer shorts, chihuahuas in chintz. She described all the parties she’d held last year and how our Beardie would fit right in.
Well, as soon as she had driven out the driveway, my wife looked at me and I at her and we ripped up that contract and left her a phone message saying, how silly of us, but we plumb forgot that we’d already sold that dog to someone else and hoped she’d have a nice day.

But back to the dogs at the altar. A simple affair might run about $300, according to Adina Slotsky, owner and CEO of Hollywood Pet Parties. If you really want to make a statement, Slotsky said, “puptials” can get up there. For starters, add groomsmen and bridesmaids (your choice of breed), flowers (maybe some small potted trees?), a nice reception. Then there’s music (live or a DJ?) There are lots of great dog tunes: Rufus Thomas – “Walking The Dog” (1963); The Everly Brothers – “Bird Dog” (1958); Elvis – “Hound Dog” (1956); and don’t forget Patti Page – “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” (1953). 

I wondered if there weren’t some dances that would be custom-made for the occasion. No luck. The closest may be the foxtrot.

 Most important is the bride’s wedding dress. In 2012, “Baby Hope” Diamond married Chilly Pasternak. (It was a mixed marriage, Coton de Tulear and poodle. By the way, the Coton is the official dog breed of Madagascar, and you can pick one up – still single – for about $2,000, shipping included.)  The gown cost a reported $6,000, and there were a sushi chef, a mixologist who whipped up “puptails,” an orchestra, and a groaning board from Ellen DeGeneres’ pet food company. 

Of course, if you’re on a financial leash, there are lots of on-line options. Take Martha Stewart Pets’ Seersucker Ruffle Dress, which features striped ruffle details and a flower appliqué. “The high waist and light material keep your dog cool and comfortable,” promises the ad, for just $13.99. The groom? “Get wild this season with the brat-pack inspired Leopard Frankie vest by Ruff Ruff Couture. “Proudly made in the USA, this original design features a classic cut luxurious leopard velvet vest complete with gold buttons and matching bow tie.” It even has a little pocket for a hankie! (You know how emotional some guys can get at a wedding, especially basset hounds.) And if you hurry, they’re marked down from $41.95 to $24.99. Mention this article and save another 20%!


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