I'm pretty sure dog ownership causes temporary insanity.
Over the holiday break, my dog has breathed toxic fumes into my face, woken me up to his barfing noises (one of his favorite hobbies) multiple times, whined incessantly for turkey scraps, and pulled gastrointestinal pyrotechnics so unholy they earned him the nickname The Golgothan and made me late for work.
And yet, after giving him a haircut this afternoon...all I want to do is knit the foul beast a sweater.
Hobbes is the sort of dog who actually needs sweaters in the winter. He's fourteen years old and has arthritis that flares up when he gets cold. Add to that the fact that we live in Minnesota, and the ridiculous baby blue dog parka I got for him a few years back is his favorite thing in the world four months out of the year.
But there's a problem with most dog sweaters (and parkas). They're not designed for dogs with shoulder joint problems. Even the cardigan-style ones have to be pulled over the dog's head with his legs pulled out straight, because the opening on them is along the chest and belly, like cardigans for humans. Hobbes's shoulders won't move like that anymore, so this is as far as I can get store-bought sweaters onto him:
He seems to think a badly fitted cowl is better than nothing, though, because he's been happily wearing his old fisherman sweater around the apartment like this.
This got me thinking about dog cowls. Which got me reaching for the baby alpaca/acrylic blend in the bottom of my stash that I got from a friend's destash and never found a use for. Which got me thinking again about the construction of dog sweaters. I've tried knitting back-closure dog sweaters before, and they're still tricky to get an arthritic old dog into, because there's leg-lifting and sensitive paws to worry about. But what about a sweater with a neck and shoulders knit in the round that splits at the legs and gets buttoned up in lines behind them?
It may be the temporary dog insanity talking, but I'm going to try this. If it works, I'll report back with some kind of arthritic dog sweater formula. If it doesn't, I'll rip it out and knit him a nice lace dog cowl for the hell of it.