Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Pooches: On Scuffed and Worn Collars

Probably the most ridiculous thing I stressed out about after adopting Miss M was finding her the perfect collar. I think it was ingrained in me that once I chose a collar, there was no going back. 
See, growing up our dogs always owned the same collar. They were simple, brown leather collars, but I felt that was the one thing that they ever really owned. It became symbolic that this collar, a gift we gave them when they came to live with us, was something they wore their entire lives. And it was the one thing they gave back to us after they passed away.

And much like making the perfect mix tape, I felt the pressure to find the perfect statement-making collar that she could wear for the rest of her life. It would not only show Miss M's personality, but also get people to stop calling her "dude".
So, I went for a pink collar with skulls. I thought this matched her stubborn, independent personality while letting everyone know she's a girl--though people still call her a "handsome dude".
Getting Mr. B a collar was easier; he would get a matching blue collar and they would become the 'hipster pirate dog duo'.
In the years since we've had our pups, their collars have become a bit scuffed, the leather breaking through the coloring. I have been tempted to just buy new collars.
Or possibly buy new versions of the same skull collars?
But, I think there's something to be said about the authenticity of something we gave them since they first came to live with us. Even if they do break down to bare, scuffed straps, I think it's significant because everything they've done in their lives made them that way. 
Or maybe I'm just being too sentimental.
Is there a sentimentality to collars? Or is it all about the fashion?

Also:
Naked!


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16 comments:

Rachel said...

I think you make such a great point about picking out collars for our pups - it is such a huge decision for me also! Our pups have also had the same collars that we initially got them, however, the fabric has now torn and is looking quite ragged. I definitely need to get a new one, but then the stress of choosing comes up so each day, Amy wears her tattered collar. Like making the perfect mixed tape haha I love that.

Karen said...

Great post! Lucy gets a new collar every year, kind of a Gotcha Day present. Before I brought her home, I purchased a collar and leash ensemble that was going make everyone in the neighborhood take notice there was a new fashion sheriff in town. The bad news was the collar didn't fit...Argh! I made it to the House of Target for a new collar before they closed that night, but not before I had been pulled over for running a red light. The officer was understanding (and fortunately a dog person) and let me go, but without the requested police escort to Target. It just seems fitting each year, she gets a new collar though now legally through the mail. :)

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

Since neither of our dogs came with collars, we had to have one before we picked each of them up -- and we greatly over-estimated their neck diameters. So we ended up with two hilariously oversized collars. We made due with them for a bit by poking extra holes and trimming ends, but they really needed new ones. So we never really got a chance to be sentimental about their collars -- but I would totally be sentimental about yours!!

Kari Ginsburg said...

I stress about this, too! We typically us non-leather collars. Since our older dog has long fur, his collar is often protected from mud and weear and tear. But with our rambunctious pittie, her collar gets really gross. We try to wash the collars once a week, particularly if they're muddy, but after a while they start to fray. We maintain their color schemes and replace them only when absolutely necessary. BUT I kept their "baby collars" in a box, because I'm sentimental like that.

Courtney said...

I still have the leather collar we got for Chaos back in 2003. He's gone now, but I still have that collar and I don't think I could ever bring myself to get rid of it.

Brooke Lowry said...

My childhood dogs were the same way ... they mostly had the same collars their entire lives with us. My current dogs get new collars routinely, but I still have the first collar I ever bought for them, and I'll keep those always.

maddeelou said...

My dogs always wore the same collar until Baxter. He is the first short haired dog that has lived with us. I love Sirius Republic collars and change his with the seasons. Everyone in my house makes fun of me but I like changing them up. We have always buried our dogs with their collars and a favorite toy.

maddeelou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KS said...

I still have Vinnie's "coming home" collar (also a pirate skull motif!), which he wore for the first year or so before it was replaced by a more high-functioning 'Deluxe Martingale' in a preppy stripe (to match his collection of outerwear)...which has since started to fray, too. I actually just ordered a replacement, and yes, much deliberation over collar choice! Of course I'll keep his original one forever, though :)

My Dog Barry said...

This is so sweet! We've been looking for a new collar for Barry. He's had the same collar since we brought him home from the shelter. It's pretty sturdy but we just keep wanting to get him a nice leather one - something new and no more reminders of his days in the slammer.

He looks great in gem tones and I'd love to get him a royal blue/purple or red one but he so often gets mistaken for a girl when we're out and about with his red sweater and purple booties or purple scarf that I think we should do something more masculine. It is 2014, though. I don't think he cares what color he gets!

adventuresofadogmom said...

That's a great way of looking at collars. Boomer and Dottie both got new ones when we moved to Colorado, I thought it would be a great way for us all to show we were starting over!

Two French Bulldogs said...

You do look pretty hip. We hear 6 more inches of snow is on its way
Lily & Edward

OG said...

Love what you said about the first thing they get that really means commitment and...what they give back...When I first got Petey he was really scary and scrawny looking. He was also one of the first PB in the neighborhood, so to many he was doubly scary....so I put a hand me down pink jeweled collar on him for awhile...:)

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

Reminds me of an old pair of shoes that you can't let go of!

ohmelvin.com said...

1. Melvin's first collar had pink skulls on it also (to compliment me AND him)! 2. I agree there is a sentimental factor...when we lost Max, we asked that one of his collars be included in his ashes and we used the collar he was wearing on his last day to adorn the box his ashes are in. I still remember agonizing over that collar and what color to have his name embroidered with!

Laura said...

You are definitely not too sentimental! What a beautiful message you expressed about everything the pups have done in their lives made their collars scuffed and worn! There is a lovely life lesson in those words. Thanks!

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