Peach was probably the precursor and progenitor of a plethora of present-day Purse Pups. (Oh, My. Too much caffeine).
My Aunt Lo was a trend-setter---in more ways than a few. In these days of purse-poodles and
in handbags with the price tags of SUVs,
I think of her dog Peach when I see an inquisitive little face peeking out of a
Some folks take it a bit far, with all the frills and furbelows and smugglings-in and those innocent “What noise?” questions to airline stewards and hotel clerks. The pup-jewelry alone would serve to deck chorus-lines the world over, and the jacket-and-beret sets in size 000 are the envy of Barbies far and wide. I swear, some of the little fellas reflect their owners’ ennui, and it’s a certainty that perfectly-cooked salmon and breast-of-chicken are sent back on their tiny Limoge, if Fido shows a sign of disdain.
Bruiser was a cutie, and Elle the perfect Cocker-Mom, and those dogs are being cared for better than they dared dream. Why, my OWN Lady Mother carried around a fledgling Banty Rooster in her apron pocket every day for months, for fear he’d get under our feet and be harmed. (My sister’s childhood pet, raised in the house---a long story told in a former post).
But Aunt Lo carried that pup around in a big ole purse until she walked crooked from so much weight on one side. She’d come staggering up the porch steps, draggin’ the bag, her little pumps straining for the next step, while that sweet little golden face looked out enthusiastically. And when Peach saw Mammaw, she’d do such energetic squirming that Aunt Lo would fairly have to drop purse, dog and all, to keep from sprawling on the floor.
Peach was a gorgeous little dog right from the start, with silky long champagne hair sweeping the floor from coat and tail by the time she was a few months old. She eventually wore her ears atop her head, the long trailing hair caught up in barrettes, for she kept stepping on them and tripping herself.
Peach later graduated to a leash---but not just ANY leash. Most of the leashes had a cover made-to-match Aunt Lo’s outfit. She’d save a bit of the material from every good dress she made, cutting a long strip of the fabric and sewing it together lengthwise. Then she’d take a huge safety pin and run it through to turn the tube inside out, then hem the ends. Every time she washed and ironed her clothes or sent them to the dry cleaner, she included the matching strip, and when she hung the garments away, the strip went around the neck of the hanger to keep the matches together. Once she even cut a big slice off the bottom of the jacket of a “bought” outfit, shortening it almost into bolero length, just to make that fancy cover.
Down over the leash went the cover-of-the-day, plumped out in little poufs like a pinafored chandelier chain, and the two ladies were ready to step out, even for a trip to the grocery store---which, in their case, meant spending the afternoon, for the only real store in town was Aunt Lou’s, and the three sisters had a visit in the little front heater-space every day except Sundays.
Well, Aunt Lo and Mammaw did, for Aunt Lou was the dashabout, running to reach down this and get that and slice some steaks or a “nickel worfa bloney.” Her visiting was limited to stopping long enough for two puffs off a
vaguely tried to catch up with the conversation, then off she’d go, her quick steps responding to that little jingly-bell over
the door. Chesterfield
And little Peach would sit at those two ladies’ feet or nearest the stove, receiving guests for the whole afternoon. She lived a wonderful life as an only dog, pampered and petted and treated with more love and care than I believe ANY of her court-bred ancestors ever knew. They might have sat on embroidered cushions, being carried around in ornate silky sleeves, but Peach traveled in STYLE.