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2009-05-13 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

"Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair. Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen," hearing these lyrics at the terrific revival of Hair on Broadway, prompted the refurbishing of a canine coif column I did 13 years ago called "TheHair of the Dog". First an historical paw note about the Hippie Hounds… As a long time owner of the ultimate longhaired hippie dogs-Afghan Hounds, I chuckle when I think how Afghan aesthetics had Flower Children fooled. Afghans were quite popular with hippies in the early '70s because the dogs looked just like them but the breed's free spirit temperament and high maintenance coat made them too much work for the commune crowd. It was too hard to make a peace sign while carrying a pin brush. Besides independent Afghans never stayed put off leash during tambourine practice. Thus these Hippie Hounds were inclined to dash off for the opposite coast faster than you could say "Haight Asbury". Some time during the Age of Aquarius hippies learned laid back Labs suited their lifestyle better. Afghans went back to the show ring, lure coursing, and lounging on the sofa in style.


We now return to our regularly scheduled commercial- "The Hair of the Dog". …Are you listening Miss Clairol®? You are being offered a marketing gimmick that just might take off.Madison Avenue knows that dogs in ads evoke that warm, fuzzy feeling and sell more merchandise, so why not name your hair dye colors after appropriate breeds?


In photo above, Hippie Hound showing off her natural Lilly Munster streaks.

Afterall the title of the shade and the associations it conjures help to make the sale. Even before adding dogs to the equation, cosmetic companies realized the same consumer who'd snub "Murky Mud Mahogany" would grab the bottle if it were labeled "Bronze Bombshell Brunette". I stumbled on this advertising gold mine by accident when I complimented a shelter friend telling her that her new darker shade of blonde was "Afghan Hound Apricot" which happens to be my favorite color of my favorite breed. Later as I was applying a rinse to drown out my own "Schnauzers" (grays), I thought: "Wouldn't this "Ash Blonde" solution sound more provocative if renamed "Lady & the Tramp Buff"? The shade would have a sultry hint of fantasy while stirring memories of the most romantic scene in all of cinema- the Disney Dogs sharing spaghetti & meatballs al fresco while the cooks serenade. Other bottle blondes might prefer lovable, but mischievous "Goldilocks Retriever" or spunky, yet cute "Tawny Toto".


Poster Pets of the Week At left, a young Chihuahua at Babylon Town Shelter

So you want to be a redhead? Leave "Awesome Auburn" on the shelf. Instead wash in some "Irish Setter Scarlet" to bring out the feisty Miss O'Hara in you, or "Vizsla Paprika", if you want a spicy Hungarian accent, reminiscent of the glamorous Gabors. Just for men- there's the literary "Big Red's Red" or "Bloodhound Blush"- macho, nose to the grindstone, plus forever faithful. Back to earth tones- discover "Collie Collage" since no one's more beloved than "Lassie"; for a sporty look, there's "Springer Spaniel Splash" or "Liquid Chocolate Lab". If you want to go darker, then select "Scrappy Scotty" or "Rottweiler Rinse". What if you prefer frosted locks? Try pert and petite "Yorkshire Yearning" to drift back to the Wuthering Heights moors of Catherine and Heathcliff; "Best In Show Brindle" to capture those Lilly Munster streaks; or "Beagle Blend" if you're hunting for adventure. Our spectrum of color hasn't forgotten the mature set. Senior citizens, try your favorite type of white. "Maltese Malted" is upper class- straight, yet snobby; "West Highland White" blots out those unsightly Lady MacBeth spots, while "Borzoi Borscht" brings you the mystique and aristocracy of Anastasia. Elderly blue-hairs, dab in some "Kerry Blue Terrier Tint". It's electric. Enough said. My "Schnauzers' are creeping back again. Time to call my groomer for a touch up.


At right, Smudge nose cat at Babylon Town Shelter

Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Pets Waiting For Homes: This tiny, young male Chihuahua in the Puppy Room was found by Pathmark in N. Babylon. He's a bit scared which often happens with Chihuahuas in new situations. "Smudge" in C-3 is a super sweet spayed female cat. Theshelter at 51 Lamar St. W. Babylon is open for adoptions from 10 to 3:30 weekdays and 10 to 2:30 on Saturday.


Female: Sussex Spaniel mix Cage 29; "Hallie"- blue eyed Pit Cage 38; "Tyra"- Rottie mix Cage 42; calico "Katie" in the lobby.

Male: Bichon in Puppy Room; Beagle Cage 13; Cocker mix Cage 17; "Rocky"- Hound Cage 12.

Upcoming Pet Events: •Babylon Shelter "Buddy Cares" Pet Fair- Sun. May 17 from 1 to 4 at Tanner Park in Copiague.

•Last Hope Dog Walk & Low Cost Microchip Clinic (for dogs and cats) - Sat. May 30 from 1 to 5 at Wantagh Park-Call 661-6164 for chip info.

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