Creating the Perfect Canine Carnival Collar

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While most of the world is deep into Valentine’s Day festivities, my thoughts have turned to carnival season. About this time last year, I wrote about South Louisiana’s obsession with Mardi Gras. (You can click here to refresh your memory.) The season begins on the evening of Epiphany (January 6) and runs right up until midnight on Mardi Gras, which isn’t until March 4 this year. For almost two solid months, humans will enjoy king cakes, balls (not the kind you chase and catch, but the kind where you dance), and parades. Fortunately, dogs get to have a little carnival fun, too. In Baton Rouge, we have our very own parade just for us this weekend. It’s called the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society (CAAWS) Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade, and attending this one has been on my bucket list for quite some time. But oh, the horror, I didn’t have anything to wear.

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Never fear. My human mommy had an idea. Several years ago, she saw a little tutu for sale and thought, “That sure would make a cute dog collar.” And then she thought, “I can make that.” Uh oh. That usually means that Mommy is going to spend way too much money and way too much time making something that she just should have bought in the first place. But in this case, the fancy children’s-tutu-turned-canine-collar project has worked out well. She made my pretty Christmas collar and a jeweled collar for me to wear to the occasional black-tie event. (True, I’ve only worn that one once, but I’m sure another special event will come along at some point.) So Mommy and I decided to make a fancy tulle collar for me to wear to the Mardi Gras parade. I sent Mommy to the store to buy fabric in the Mardi Gras colors–a half yard each in purple, gold, and green. Then I watched (well, I might have napped just a bit) while she cut the fabric into strips that measured about two inches wide and 12 inches long. (Honestly, I would have loved to help with cutting the fabric, but I won’t be five years old until next month, and so I’m not allowed to use sharp scissors.)

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Next, Mommy figured out how much three-quarter-inch elastic she would need to go around my neck slightly loosely with about an inch overlap. She says that this step is much easier if the dog actually wakes up and lifts his or her head off of the ground. Whatever.

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Then she sewed the elastic together at the overlap with a zig-zag stitch. You could easily do this step by hand or even safety pin the two ends of the elastic, but Mommy feels super creative when she gets the sewing machine out, so it’s best just to humor her.

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And then you start tying all those tulle strips in knots around the elastic. Trust me, this part is super boring, so you really should just let your human do this step. Mommy says this part only takes a little less than an hour, and the time just flies by if you have something like Olympic figure skating on the television. I’ll just have to take her word for that, because I found this to be the perfect time to nap. After all, I needed to look lovely and refreshed when it was time to model the finished product.

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And voila . . . the perfect canine carnival collar. I cannot wait to wear this to the Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade this weekend. I’m sure to collect gobs and gobs of beads to add to my collection. Throw me somethin’, Mister!