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It wasn’t too long ago that I was balking at the price of fleece jackets for dogs. Now, I’ve become one of those dog people who purchases hand-made, custom-designed coats for her Basenji…

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7 February 2012, sporting her ‘old’ Montana Dogware fleece

I’ve struck out too many times now with store-bought and factory-made duds. Target, for example, has a number of cute designs at reasonable prices, but many offer very little in chest or undercarriage cover, let alone neck warmth. In other words, they skimp on fabric to offer something that looks cute at first glance, but is actually cheaply constructed. I purchased one before, but returned it as soon as I saw the poor fit.

Then there was the “Basenji-approved” coats that we bought on mega-sale at Fetchdog.com (featuring a Basenji model). We got two back in September for a very low price. Though they were the right length, they were way too tight in the chest for Bowpi, which made her immobile and unhappy.

Immobile and unhappy
6 October 2011. Can’t… breathe… chest… constricted.

Craftier Basenji people suggested affixing an additional strip of velcro to the back, which is how the jacket holds together. I was too lazy to go to a craft store, and frankly, I didn’t much like the obtrusive ridge. So the coats ended up being donated to our local shelter. I hope some little guys can make good use of them!

Bowpi’s coat count is now up to three — a red Outward Hound Foul Weather Coat which is quite thin but rain-resistant (and works nicely as an outside layer), her dark, hand-sewn Montana Dogware fleece, and now, this one that we just got from Wild Hare Creations.

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31 January 2012

It’s currently her thickest and plushiest coat, double-layered and reversible. The wrap-around belt also makes for an adjustable, snug fit. I’m very pleased with the tailorship!

Wild Hare’s motto is “run fast — stand pretty — keep warm — look fabulous.” I think Bowpi fulfills their mission quite admirably.

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running fast

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standing pretty

Feeling cozy
keeping warm

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looking fabulous!

Recently, we’d been hearing too many horror stories about Basenjis who backed out of their buckle collars, so we also bought a limited slip collar for Bowpi (Bowdu already has one). RJ was particularly insistent that she needed this, since he’s usually walking them on lead at night while I walk them off-lead during the day. According to him, she’s become increasingly bratty about refusing to follow, and has threatened to shake loose more than once.

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Wild Hare had a nice selection of ribbons, many of which we’d not seen elsewhere. After some deliberation, we went with the rabbit design because it seems to suit Bowpi’s mad sprints.

They don’t have a shopping cart system, so you do have to contact them directly to place an order. The process is a little slower than Etsy or other, more automated stores specializing in sighthound gear and custom collars, but their prices are very fair for custom work. I am happy to recommend them to anyone who might be interested!

Final Grade: A