I'm not a fan of costumes on dogs. They already have to endure the indignity of prison life what with their strictly scheduled meals and having to poop in front of friends.
Carving a prison tattoo into his coat however? That seemed reasonable. In fact it was so reasonable that I decided to cover him in prison tattoos for Halloween.
The skull was just the start. I wanted to do all the classics, you know? We'd start with the skull then move onto a heart, a banner with the word mom, an anchor and maybe a star on each shoulder.
That led me down a Google hole of historical Russian prison tattoo photos which is a completely fascinating explanation of the meaning behind the tattoos.
Within a day Philip's skull tattoo had already begun to grow in. Then it was apple harvesting time which as you know led to apple preserving time. Then there were the potatoes to harvest followed by pumpkins and so on.
What I'm leading up to here is I have a lot of vegetables stored, great knowledge of the hierarchical Russian prison tattoo system and a fully grown out Philip with no more tattoos carved into his coat.
You can actually coat carve into any dog's coat, but poodles are especially perfect for it because of their fluffy, always growing hair. The coat is carved into whatever design you want with a small electric shaver like this one that I used.
I started out during a grooming by defining the basic skull shape on his hip and then clipping around it. Then I went in and carved out the full skull freehand with the mini clipper and scissoring.
It definitely takes an artistic eye, a bit of sculpting and precision to carve a coat but it's something a groomer (or home groomer like me) could have fun with.
Dressed up but dignified. Although if I had been able to get these wolf ears and tail delivered in time for Halloween, I 100% would have put them on Philip. Why?
Because then he could have gone out for Halloween as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
And I could have dressed up like old Little Red Riding Hood. What about the case for dignity?
It's O.K. to abandon dignity if it'll result in smiling and laughter.