Monday, September 14, 2009

Manicure For Best Pet Dogs 1902

Is prominent society the only ones who pamper their dog?

One enterprising young woman in New York makes a comfortable income taking care of the pet dogs of rich society women. Not only must a dog in this class have a tailor and hospital for his especial benefit, but he is becoming more fastidious than Mother Hubbard's remarkable pet. He must be waited upon by a manicure. The young woman who makes a business of this travels from house to house by appointment to make the dog's toilet in a most complete fashion.

When the pet dog of Miss Cynthia Roche, daughter of Mrs. Burke Roche, is curled and bathed it is no exaggeration to say that its toilet articles are as dainty as any that might grace a spoiled baby's outfit. There are bushes with silver handles, a basket covered with spotless dimity to contain them, a comb or white with silver mountings, a powder box of crystal, and a puff to match. There are files for the delicate white nails, (that don't look a bit like a real dog's nails should.) and there are scissors that would make many a proud mother's eyes gleam if they were a part of her baby's basket: also a silver soap box with antiseptic soap.

All this is very pretty, but nevertheless there is an everyday side to it, as the young woman who cares for the dogs twice a week by appointment can testify. This young woman is never late. If the dog is not on hand when she arrives she does not wait with a patient smile. Her time is well taken up, and the dog's bath is a matter of business. The operation usually consumes twenty-five minutes, for which the young woman is well paid. First comes the bath. This is a sweet-scented affir, toilet water being used. Often the dogs make things lively while in the bath, but the young woman says that. "If you hold them under the chin they won't move much."

Mrs. George Gould has an entirely different outfit for her little pet. The basket is of wicker, and is padded with silk of dark color, without many bows and fixings on it. Around the sides are pockets for the brushes and combs. They are all of black ebony, with a small silver piece on the back, engraved with the family initials. This pet dog has a bath of its own__a small porcelain tub that might be the delight of some child's heart for her doll's house.

Mrs. Jack Bloodgood has a white dog that is a perfect beauty, both in appearance and in manner. This dog is the delight of the manicure's heart. She is as docile as the proverbial lamb. This little white bit of life has long silky hair, but alas, it does not curl naturally. Its mistress is just as anxious that it should have curls as a mother is that her child with straight hair should be the possessor of ringlets. Consequently there is an instrument of torture in the Bloodgood basket that does not often appear among the toilet articles of a dog__ a pair of small curling irons and a spirit lamp to heat them. The dog is curled three times a week.

Some up-to-date dogs are bleached. If they are a despised yellow shade they are bleached white. If they are an ugly tan they are dyed black. Vanity reaches even to the canine kingdom, for an animal with a yellow coat that is not particularly pre-possessing seems to know when he has changed it for one of a shiny black.

source: New York Times Nov 9, 1902. p.25 (1 page)

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