A totally normal British couple has made headlines by wearing sweaters, knitted out of the hair of their deceased pet dogs. Beth and Brian Willis have made two sweaters, one out of Kara, a Samoyed, and the other from Penny, a Swedish Lapphund.Hmm, totally normal? Well, I guess I'm always saying that normalcy - like gender and race and a whole bunch of other goodies - is a social construct. Some constructs have a useful and benign function, though, and "thou shalt not wear the fur of your deceased pets" seems like as a good a taboo as any.
Here are the originals:
And here's the fashion statement/canine tribute:
I actually knew a couple who did something similar. I hadn't thought of them in years until this news item popped up. They were my landlords in Palo Alto the summer after I graduated from college in 1986, a young couple in the thirties with no kids and, from what I gathered, some fertility issues. They kept a couple of long-hard dogs (the breed is lost to history) who seemed to function as an ersatz. I was occupying my then-boyfriend's rented room for the summer while he was in Germany. They were very kind when Grey Kitty broke her jaw, driving us to the emergency vet at 10 p.m., well past their usual bedtime. I imagine Kitty saw this as minor compensation for all the times those critters put the fear of Dog into her.
They also evicted my boyfriend a few weeks into the fall - after he'd already lived there a year - when they figured out that he and I had been coupling in said rented room. Why it took them so long, I don't know. They were extremely Christian, so that may explain both their naiveté and their swift, draconian reaction. (And yes, I'm pretty sure the sex was worth it.)
Anyway, a couple of years later they moved out, and somehow I heard through the grapevine that they'd been collecting dog hair in order to knit with it. I couldn't picture it. Now I can - a bit too clearly.
Both photos from the Daily Mail (UK), which was Benny's source, too.