Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My "Hi Viz Dog Vest" in Hunter's Orange Finished!

Over the weekend I finished the blaze orange coat for Her Royal Highness the Newfoundland. She was kind enough to model it.

She thinks it's lame to wear, and when it comes off after a walk, she rolls all over the floor like a giant goofball. She's our Goofundland. Now if she could continue to get over her extreme fear of sudden loud sounds, she just might be a decent hunter...

Na! Her temperament is just not right for that, but her brother the curmudgeonly spaniel - man did he miss his calling in life! He would have been an awesome bird dog. He loves to flush and has always paid attention to what's up in the air.

If only Katy wasn't afraid of guns, and if only I actually wanted to hunt birds, we'd have quite the pheasant hunting posse. Max would flush, I would shoot, and Katy would retrieve.

I'd probably be crap at shooting a moving target, but that's what practice is for. I'd still like to see if I could hit a clay pigeon. That's on the agenda for next year, and I'm going to finally use the rifle my dad gave me (just not for the clay pigeons). I could use some good old fashioned target practice. You can take the girl out of MT, but you can't take the MT out of the girl :)

I have mixed feelings about hunting. I have never had to kill the meat I eat. The only time I did was a fish I caught when I was like 12. It's not the same as shooting a bear. I couldn't do that for sport, and I wouldn't want to eat it or have it as a trophy. But, some do and if it weren't for hunters, far fewer people would care about conservation. Every hunter I've met is a bit of an environmentalist. It's one area where liberal "tree huggers" and right-wing republicans can find some common ground.

I saw on one of the national news shows today that a little kid shot his first bear. I think the images they showed of the little boy and his dad and the bear would be shocking to some viewers. It reminded me of how my family is a hunting family, but it's a dying tradition for us. I also think it's a dying tradition all over the country, in some places more than others - New England specifically. The large predators have vanished from the ecosystem along with hunters. Deer run rampant.

Alas, I will never really be a hunter - and neither will Miss Goofundland, but we could in principle, if we had to, hunt to stay alive. For now, we stay home and eat meat somebody else processed. She practices eviscerating her prey and I have fun watching her disembowel her sock toys. She pulled out the entrails of one I made today.

When I make sock monkeys or sock gorillas, I always have little pieces of sock left over. Today I sewed some fabric scraps into the sock scrap and gave it to Katy. I made that goof's day. Talk about a cheap toy. She doesn't care what it looks like - as long as it feels good in her jowls and squeaks! I need a squeaky toy insert supplier... you know just the gizmo that squeaks so I can insert them into these silly toys. She loves them. And I don't mind if the entrails get all over the floor. I just scoop them up, let them air dry and restuff a different sock. How pragmatic.

Her jacket - size XXXL measures about 36 inches long and 32 in girth. It cost $12 and about 2 hours in work. It's also completely reversible. It comes with a blaze orange "mouse."

She's already received a few adoring looks from her neighborhood fans. She will get a lot more accolades from people when she parades downtown. I would love to have some custom patches embroidered for her coat. *That* would be kick *ss!


Psychgrad said...

Nice vest!

I'm not a big fan of hunting - but it's kind of hypocritical for me to be a meat-eater and then criticize hunters. As long as they eat the meat of the animal they kill.

SquirrelGurl said...

What an awesome coat! I always wanted to attempt to make one for my horse but was afraid to find out how much fabric it would require! If Katy is a XXXL, then that must mean Buttercup would be a 20-XL! hehe

I saw in Petsmart that you can buy replacement squeakers for dog toys for when the squeaks "go flat."

As someone who used to hunt and who grew up in a family of hunters I have no problems with the sport so long as you use the meat and obide by the laws and hunt responsibly. Quite a few people I know donate deer meat to Hunters Feeding The Hungry, where donated meat is used to feed those in homeless shelters.

It's unfortunate that in today's society that so many people consider any hunter a bloodthirsty killer, seeking a "thrill kill." When in reality they are doing their part to control the population and prevent the animals from suffering horrible deaths due to disease and starvation caused by overpopulation.

sweetbeans said...

Oh! I want a Newfie! Congrats on your Ph.D.

Chase said...

She's adorable but SCRAWNY! Moo's girth is 44"! Tee hee. We love that coat!

Field Notes said...

Who you calling scrawny? She'd be Mooshy's size if I let her! Is MOo's waist size 44? Katy's jacket belt goes around her waist not her chest, so she's not actually that scrawny.. but pretty slim. Maybe scrawny.. Hmmm now you've got me talking myself into feeding her more!?! How is Moo? Katy would love to play with her cousin. That would be a kick to see.