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Photo taken 29 July 2010

Bowdu got a new collar from Earth Dog today since his last “new collar” was such a joke (the plastic cone of shame). It’s made of hemp canvas, very sturdy, yet soft and pliable when new. It’s advertised as being naturally hypoallergenic, which is obviously a concern of mine at the moment, especially since Bowdu still has a touch of a bald spot on his neck (you can kind of see it in the photo above).

The Doggy Daddy was sad to see the old collar go. “But it’s his collar…” he protested, meaning the solid red Martingale that he’s been wearing for the past nearly-four years straight, with only a handful of runs through the washer. Ew. The way I see it, I don’t wear anything for months on end without laundering, and even if I have articles of clothing that I’ve worn for years, nothing that presses that close to my skin has made it that long through daily use. A new collar might do him good, and all the better if it’s reputedly hypoallergenic. Besides, it’s not like the old one’s being tossed out…

Maybe the Doggy Daddy’s sentimental attachment stems from how brilliant a device the Martingale collar seemed when we first got one. They didn’t sell anything like it in Taiwan, and everything else we had tried to put him in — harnesses and collars alike — just slipped right off whenever Bowdu decided to disprove the necessity of any such accoutrements. “Trappings” indeed, hmph. True to shiba reputation, he got really good at escaping, such that our daily walks (something he never enjoyed in urban Taipei) always required maximum alertness and vigilance levels at 300% just in case he decided to shake free of his collar or harness the moment he sensed we had been lulled into assuming we were going to have a nice, relaxing stroll.

I took almost a devilish delight in seeing Bowdu fail at slipping out of his Martingale the first time. Two quick backward tugs, and he found himself… still leashed! Walking him on a loose lead only got easier after that.

So we can’t use anything else but a Martingale with Bowdu. Thus, when my advisor gifted our two dogs with special Southwestern themed buckle collars (we dogsat for him while he was in Arizona), I guess felt bad that Bowpi was able to enjoy some new duds, but Bowdu was not. Well, the plastic cone is currently affixed to his Southwestern collar — that hardly counts as enjoyment. So in the interest of fairness, Bowdu gets a new collar too.

Photo taken 15 July 2010