A Dog In A Dress

Day 30 - A Dog In Costume - Doodlewash

Since nobody in my house dons a costume for Halloween, in answer to our Doodlewash prompt today, I ended up with a quick doodlewash of a scruffy dog in a dress. Philippe and I were browsing pet costumes the other day, but both agreed that Phineas would sooner die than actually wear one. Though he does enjoy his form-fitted sweaters in winter for the warmth, I doubt he would enjoy any of the silly Halloween costumes we envisioned for him. I can certainly see the allure of dressing a pet up in a costume. Unlike children, you always get to choose the theme no matter how old they become. I’ve no idea if this little dog feels like a princess in this getup, or indeed, if the dog is actually a girl. But it’s fun to imagine that she does feel a bit glamorous and is ready to hit the neighborhood and wow her friends. Replete with an overly elegant walk that clearly says, “you’re not going to get to sniff this butt tonight!” I’m rather sure that pets have no clue what crazy thing their parents have just placed on them, but they certainly feel and appreciate the joy they’ve inadvertently managed to make happen in the process.

Our dog Phineas isn’t quite like other dogs. He doesn’t bark and doesn’t really wag his tail. On rare occasions when he can’t seem to control his famous composure, he will sometimes simply flick his tail back and forth before catching himself and making it stop. We call it the “tick tick” and it’s incredibly cute to see, assuming we don’t blink during the show since it only lasts for a couple of seconds. The fun bit is watching him immediately put on a face of indifference as if to say, “yeah, you’re home, that’s cool. I wasn’t waiting or anything. I have my own things to do.” Yet we know by the “tick tick” that he’s really quite thrilled despite himself. But, with all of the independence, putting a costume on him has always been a bit out of the question. When he was younger, we managed to put a little tie on him once that he wore around for a bit. I’m rather sure he thought it was an award of some kind because he started to slowly strut for a moment, before yanking it off with his teeth. Or perhaps it was our little bits of fawning and light applause that gave him the impression. Either way, he was very pleased with himself for just a few seconds. Tick tick.

I’m not immune to this behavior myself. I’ve done many things in life that are silly, foolish or otherwise ridiculous just to make my friends smile with giddy approval. It feels good! We can’t see our own smiles, after all, so it’s always best to appreciate them on others. And I’ve always been happiest when I know that I’m making the people around me happy as well. So, I’ve no idea if a costume means anything at all to a pet more than the positive energy it creates in the room. But that’s more than enough reason to celebrate it. Anytime happiness happens it’s a really wonderful thing. As I keep sketching and sharing what I make, I hope these doodlewashes and stories make you smile as well. I’m certainly not a master painter and feel a constant sense of awe for others with exceptional talent. My unique talent is the crazy ability to actually show up each and every day to doodlewash and tell stories. And even when my own little approach to art doesn’t seem to quite fit in with whatever current trends and styles are taking place, I’m more than happy to show up to the party, thrilled to simply be there, like a dog in a dress.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Reference Photo: C. Watts. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 30 - A Dog In Costume - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

24 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    I do think that some dogs love the attention they get when they dress up. My mastiffs on the other hand would go lie down on their bed, and look at us mournfully as if to ask “WHY have you done this to us?” Sort of takes the fun right out of it, lol. Their happy dance of greeting also was short – maybe half a minute, but with two 200 lb creatures wagging tails that could knock down iron fences and feet that could crush clamshells, there was no missing it!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Their short happy dance sounds like a blessing in disguise! 😃💕But 30 seconds is still impressive compared to the 2-second Phineas “tick tick”! lol And I think he was share your mastiffs reaction were we ever able to slip a costume on him! hehe

  2. smzang 3 weeks ago

    Just super! I have come to know Phineas rather well from various snippets that you’ve posted, and I dare say he would take you to court if you tried to put a costume on him.
    He might also abandon his reserve and snarl in a most menacing way. ( then I read Sandra’s comment about the tail wagging that could knock down iron fences AND crush
    clam shells and I’m sitting here in stitches…again!)

    Charlie says, “Anytime happiness happens it’s a really wonderful thing.”

    I say yes indeed!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      haha! Love it! 😃💕 You’re so right, Sarah. Phineas would indeed take us to court, or as we joke with each other, report us to Social Services. Thankfully, he doesn’t require a costume at all as he’s already blessed with entirely too much character.

  3. Sharon Nolfi 3 weeks ago

    LOL at today’s painting. Phineas seems like a dignified dog, so I can understand why he wouldn’t want to dress up!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I can’t imagine Phineas looking like this for even a couple of tick ticks. lol

  4. Lisa 3 weeks ago

    Ha! Cute dog costume. I’m pretty sure that he’s a boy dog. Just has a certain look to him. We only have cats here. You just don’t dress cats up. Ever! 😁 They find it humiliating, and the human trying to dress a cat will find it painful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, I sort of those this was a boy too… though, of course, I take lots of liberties when I translate a reference. And I think attempting to truly dress up our Phineas would be equally painful, so we’ve never attempted it.

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 weeks ago

    Fun painting, just in time for Halloween.

  6. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    You little canine princess seems to enjoy playing dress up…
    I’m sure there is a smile on her face. Your doodlewashes and stories always make me smile.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I do thing dogs enjoy a bit of dress up when we humans applaud and praise them along the way. They do love to please!

  7. creatingincolors 3 weeks ago

    Oh yeah. This is cute. Made me smile and giggle a bit.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      hehe! Yay! I hoped this one would bring a few giggles! 😃💕 Glad I made you smile!

  8. June Hadaway 3 weeks ago

    This is adorable. If only they could talk!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕I honestly think if Phineas started talking it would make me faint. But then I would come to, and find it perfectly fascinating and amazing!!

  9. LoriCtoo 3 weeks ago

    So cute. I once put my son’s build a bear football helmet on our cat. Needless to say, it didn’t last long. Cats are difficult to dress up! Our Lilly has quiet the personality, thanks to me. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, your cat and my dog would get along famously! Phineas doesn’t have time for such silly things!

  10. ehwilson2013 3 weeks ago

    Cute Doodlewash painting…..pretty doggie delight! Our cat, Ariel, says: “Don’t even think about costumes for me!” LOL! Since I play in a symphony orchestra, I have long black dresses…..easy to put on a witch hat and I’m good to to! Our neighbor children seem to like it. We have a bowel of kid candy for them and Bob bought some Heath Bars for us! Happy Halloween! Cheers. Think I will paint a witchy painting today!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 I’m so happy you enjoyed this! And love that you play in the symphony! I played violin in a symphony during high school and it was a fantastic! Yeah, cats can be so contrary! hehe… hope you have a perfectly fabulous Halloween!

  11. mlaiuppa 3 weeks ago

    I don’t think dogs process wearing a costume as anything akin to embarrassment. They don’t do humiliation. But they do react to attention and if they associate something with positive attentiona. I had a friend with a pug and she swore he loved to dress up in hats. I was skeptical. So she left the room and when she returned with a bag he started to run in circles and jump up on her. She pulled out a hat and he ran up and stood up on her knees for her to put his hat on. Then he strutted around the room. I swear. Of course when he came to me I cooed and praised him and gave him pets. That’s probably why he loved his hats.

    My dog will wear costumes, not because he enjoys the attention but because it is something I’ve requested of him. I mostly just put a festive collar on him but he will also wear hats if it is something I want him to do. But I think the easiest thing is the most minimal. My dog is black, so one year I got a can of non-toxic, absolutely safe hair color in white, then sprayed a line from the top of his head, down his back and down his tail. That’s right. He was a skunk for Halloween. And it didn’t impact his comfort in the least.

    We don’t live in an area that gets cold but I have no doubt that if we did, he would learn to tolerate a sweater. And there isn’t much difference between a sweater to keep you warm and a costume to attract attention.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      haha! Love those stories! 😃💕 Yeah, the cooing and praising is the real prize for dogs. But it’s fun to think they actually adore the dressing up! lol I adore our furry friends… they always know how to make us smile and making us smile is something they adore as well!

  12. Rod Fletcher 3 weeks ago

    Nice one Charlie

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