Saturday, July 31, 2010

What does yours say about you?

I’ve been thinking about something most of my dog friends and also many of my cat friends have. Something we share in common, but which says something about who we are and how our family thinks of us.

What am I woofing about… collars.

You see collars are important. They are functional, but they also say something about us (and not just what is written on our tags). There are thousands of designs but somehow our family picks one and it becomes ours. Our collars become part of who we are, and are sometimes even kept by our family when we cross the Rainbow Bridge.

So today I thought I’d tell you about mine, and then learn about yours.

My current collar goes back to when my human mum first learnt she was actually going to get a puppy. I’m the first puppy she has ever had, so she was really excited, and the preparations for my arrival started many weeks before I arrived at my new home. Toys were sourced, puppy food was purchased, newspaper was stockpiled (put on the floor especially for me to shred!), my first bedroom (a.k.a. the laundry) was prepared with a new soft fleecy blanket (that I still sleep on) and my very first collar was bought.

How did she choose it? Now my dad would probably have just walked into a shop and bought the first puppy size one he saw, but mum puts more thought into things. If you have been following my blog, you will have already seen an example of how she things too much in her June post about the Koru.

As you know there are so many options these days...

Mum likes some colours and not others. For example orange was always going to be out because of her age - it’s a 1970’s thing I’m told, as my mum has memories of her own mother impossing a totally orange bedroom on her.

She also wanted something soft for me to wear, without bells (which I’ve learnt go on cat collars, so us dogs know when the cats are sneaking up on us) and without anything to fancy like jewels or brand names, and she didn’t think a golden retriever would suit one of those studded or spiky leather collars, but she knows there are lots of other dogs and cats out there who like these styles.

There are probably trends and variations of buckles and fabrics that mum was not aware of…

After much looking my mum finally found a collar she thought was really cute - a little blue denim one, and anyone who knows my mum knows that she is the sort of girl who is happiest wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Ever since that collar all my collars have been blue denim – and that suits me as I’m a pretty laid back and casual sort of dog.

My first collar!

I can’t imagine wearing anything else now.  I go swiming with it on, I run around parks and wear it at home, and when my collar is dirty it gets thrown in the wash with her jeans, and fades, gets softer and acquires a well worn look.

So that’s I got a denim collar. Now I’d like to learn about your collar, so please leave me a woof or meow to let me know...

What your current collar looks like? (I can't always tell from your blog photos, as some of you have a furry chest like me).

What you think your family meant it to say about you?

Does it suit your personality?

And do your humans keep old collars that aren’t yours in the house (as my mum still keeps the last collar from her first dog) 


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What a great theme fur a post!

All of my khollars are purple - one is purple AND orange -

I wear two most of the time - it a bukhkle one - that is the one my kharabiner gets attached to - it shouldn't khome off due to the tightness/etc -

I used to wear another that had a plastikh snappie thing but they khrakhk and break - which means I KHOULD run off -

I also have a Martingale type AND a Wolf-Pak Limited Slip WITH reflekhtive stripe -

Given my furry self and nekhk, getting a khollar with a pattern/etc would be lost -

Mom says they've kept past pups khollars as part of their memory -

SO much thought fur such a great reason!


Mr Koda MD said...

I have had black collars, blue collars and red collars in the past, but at the moment I have:

2 spare orange and black limited slip collars - I got one and then Mum had to get another just in case (I had another one which was too raggedy and got chucked..)

My current collar, much to my embarassment is yellowylime and purple limited slip. It was made by our friend and Mum thinks colours are important, everything of mine is colourful and all different. I think thats because Mum is a bit strange and weird and likes to keep in touch with her inner 5 year old.

It does suit my personality but also contradicts it. I don't know where I would be without colours. Probably just another black dog!!!!

sprinkles said...

Shiver the big chihuahua has a blue collar. I got blue because he's a boy. Chico the small chihauhua has a black one. I wanted his to be different from Shiver's. It has cute little paw prints on it that have mostly rubbed off and faded. I never really thought about whether or not the collars suited their personalities. I suppose it does just because it's a part of them.

I do have old collars from past pets. I keep them in my purse so that they're always with me.

Jacqueline said...

I have kept old collars from beloved pets=I still have my dog, Seagrams' collar, from 1981...My cats now do not wear collars=my outdoor cats kept pulling them off, I would find them all over the yard and sometimes, just didn't find them at all...My indoor babies have never had collars...I really like the idea of a blue denim collar, handsome Riley!...Hope you all have a fun weekend together...xo...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki

The Thundering Herd said...

Great questions. But you should mostly know that we are a multiple collar type of family. We wear breakaway collars in the house (due to an incident years ago where one dog almost choked to death). The red dogs wear red, the black dogs wear black, and Qannik, the white dog, wears purple. When walking, we wear limited slip collars - can not back out of them, but they are loose on our necks as long as we are walking well.

Our favorite are not collars - they are harnesses. We wear seat belt harnesses in The Jeep and we wear x-back harnesses when pulling sleds. Harnesses means we are going on an adventure.

And yes, we have lots of collars around the house - including at least one from each past member of The Herd.

Heather and Ellie said...

I absolutely LOVE collars--and I have a habit of collecting them. My favorite maker is Lupine Collars and Leads and I have quite a few of their patterns.

I also make my own collars by sewing on strips of fabric or ribbon--it makes for a lot of different designs.

JD and Max said...

Hi Riley,

What a great idea for a post! We have a certain theme for our collars, being red and blue. Max is the alpha dog out of the two of us so likes to wear red, JD wears blue as he feels it compliments his dark fur. Actually, he had a great denim one that he lost whilst on a treck one day (we still have no idea how!) and we can not find a replacement denim one over here in the UK, FH is very disappointed so we're pleased to find another doggie wearing denim.

The only issue we have with our collars is, being doggies of a smaller breed, a lot of smaller collars are very, very girly. We're very masculine doggies (he he he!) and we like to feel manly in our garb!!

Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

houndstooth said...

This is a great idea! I was thinking about writing a blog post of our own about collars and then I saw yours!

We Greyhounds wear martingale collars, because our necks are wider than our heads, so they don't fall off when we're on walks if we put our heads down. We have got all sorts of fancy collars! I also wear a harness when I walk, it's easier on my fragile neck, if something would happen and the leash would get pulled or jerked.

Morgan, the German Shepherd, just got a nice braided leather collar and that's probably what she'll wear most of the time, even though she had a few other adjustable buckle collars.


Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Riley .. this is a great post idea. I'll do a post about ... next week. Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Riley - thanks for your comment on my recent post! I think you misunderstood me though – am not on an “all meat diet” at all! :) Am on a Raw Diet which means most of what I eat is fresh (or fresh-frozen) or natural and not manufactured and processed in a factory – that’s all. And it is not grain-based – which means I eat primarily raw meaty bones, with a bit of grain added (eg, cooked rice or oats) as opposed to kibble which is mainly grain (eg. corn, wheat, soy, etc) with a bit of chicken or lamb meal added.

I do have vegetables with my meals sometimes – just any leftovers from my humans – so I do have things like broccoli and carrots & cabbage, etc. And I do get “supplements” in the form of an oily fish meal once a week or fresh raw eggs or honey or apple cider vinegar or other stuff added to my meals – it’s just that my supplements don’t come from a store in the form of pills – they come in their natural form.

Honey the Great Dane
ps. will come back and answer your collar questions later!

the booker man said...

hiyas riley!
this was a cool post. me and asa and mama enjoyed reading about your kind of collar!
i have a hunter green collar with a snap buckle. mama's favorite color is green, and she thought the green looked nice with my furs. i am an easy going guy, so no patterns or anythingie like that. the buckle makes it easy to snap on and off of me cuz i can get kinda wiggly. heehee.
the booker man

Mrs. JP said...

Hi, neat post. Since there are six of us and we play so hard in our fenced in yard we only have collars on when we go somewhere. Which means when mom gets the "collar box" out we get really excited....especially Scrappy.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Scout 'n me have oodles of collars for every holiday and every season. Right now Scout is wearin' one that says on it "Best Friend" and mine says "XOXOXOX" (for hugs and kisses, of course) and it is red. Momma likes to buy ones that are easy to wash because when we roll around in the yard we can get them PURRty dity☺

Samantha said...

Cool post, Riley and love the theme idea for all your collars! We are spoiled and I (Sammie) have a lot of collars. Avalon has two, one a blue with a native American style design woven into it which is very cool. Her other collar is a green martindale for training and looks purty on her. The collar is wear mostly is the plain red breakaway with my id and rabies tags. But I might wear my beaded collar that sort of goes with Avalon's native one or my blue collar with goldens and pheasants on it. Or.. or ... must do a post on this! Thanks for telling us about yours!
Hugs xoxoxo

MAXMOM said...

Hey there Riley
What a splendid post! I don't think I've ever seen so many collars in my life! Our variety here is pathetic...but then I've really been a plain Jane with my dogs...
Generally my dogs don't wear collars around the house - only when they go out! ...and I think its better to keep them covered! :)
You've got me thinking though about our prospective new little guy...perhaps I must do something extra special..mmmmmm...???
You've certainly got me thinking.
Sending lotsaluv to you all...summer's coming!

MySpecialDoggies said...

Hi Riley
My companions have always worn buckle collars with an ID tag. Apples, age 15+, who is white/gold with a hint of black highlights - she wears a black collar and uses a puppy leash. Neeli - age 2, a golden, wears purple - along with a matching color leash. Neeli had a harness when she was a puppy so as to not pull so hard (ha ha) and it was black (there were no purple ones in the store).

Nadine Apples & Neeli

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Riley - sorry it's taken me SO LONG to come back and do your collar questions! We've been having computer problems and then changing my blog over to a new I've fallen really behind on catching up with my blog friends!

This is a great idea! I don't have much interesting to say in the way of collars though - basically, Hsin-Yi doesn't like collars much on me coz she thinks they break the line of my neck and she thinks I have a very beautiful long arched neck which is a shame to have a collar around! But of course, I do need to wear a collar for the dog laws and for my tags - so usually when I go out, I just wear my check chain as a collar coz it sits at the base of my neck like a necklace and doesn't really break the line of my neck as much. It's also MUCH easier to wash and clean coz I'm always rolling in poo and other stinky stuff - which would be a nightmare to get out of cloth collars!

The other reason I don't have many collars is coz my humans can never find nice pretty FEMININE collars for big doggies. They are always really ugly and butch or functional and in leather, which Hsin-Yi doesn't like (REALLY chunky around my neck!) - she thinks it's so unfair that they only seem to make the pretty collars for smaller doggies. I do have another collar which I sometimes wear - it was the only "pretty" one that Hsin-Yi could find and she was very pleased to find it - it is baby blue with little daisies on it. But I usually only wear it at home to keep it clean and nice.

I had a very plain, ugly maroon nylon collar as a puppy - everyone told my humans not to bother getting a nice collar for me as a puppy coz I would probably chew it and ruin it turned out, I wasn't a chewy puppy at all - I hardly chewed anything! So my collar was fine - but I outgrew it fairly quickly! My humans do still have it, I think, although I'm not sure where (I don't think they know either!)

Hsin-Yi has seen some beautiful big hound collars on American websites which she thought of ordering but they are very expensive and also probably not very practical coz they are made of satin with sparkly bits but again, the way I play so roughly, I couldn't wear those collars out as I'd ruin them...and it seems silly to spend so much money paper to only wear them at I guess for the time being, I'll stick with what I've got!

Oh - I may not have a lot of collars but I do have a lot of bandanas! So I make up for it that way! :-)

Honey the Great Dane