“A new cummerbund and bow tie!” Fido yowled. “That can mean only one thing! Hey hey hey hey! It’s party season!”
Fido pawed the flat box in delight. He tossed the green and red ribbon into the air.
“It’s my favorite-favorite-favorite time of the season!”
“I know, Old Boy,” I said. “I take it you’re all set for some holiday cheer, and now you have a brand new set-up for your black tie events.”
“These are just the right color,” he muttered. “How did you know?”
“It was just last week, Fido. You remember Bark Friday, don’t you?”
“But there was so much going on!”
That was true enough. We like to go to San Francisco for Thanksgiving, for the Dungeness crab feasts, the walks in the green hills, the ocean breezes, and …
“And Bark Friday in Union Square!” Fido said, neatly finishing my thought.
“Bark Friday really is something,” I agreed. “It’s hard to imagine all those people in one spot, much less all the corgies, Labradors, labradoodles, terriers, and mutts [“That’s me!” Fido interrupted], all on their best behavior.”
“I like the SPCA windows at Macy’s,” Fido said. “It’s proof humans love four-footers like me. But the best part is Bags Fifth Avenue.”
“Fido, I think you’re getting things a little bit mixed up again. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of Bags Fifth Avenue.”
“It’s the cummerbund store!”
“Ah. Saks Fifth Avenue, you mean.”
“A Sak, a bag, what’s the difference?” Fido wanted to know.
“Let me count the ways,” I said.
“Either way, just look at this new cummerbund!” Fido said.
Fido loves the party season. It gives him a chance to break out his formal wear, although he’s never shown much of a fondness for white tie affairs.
“You’re pretty much of a black-tie dog, anyway,” I said. “In Mammoth, white tie is a little over the top, no matter what. Even at weddings. Black tie is the way to go.”
“With black tie, I can wear my new cummerbund,” Fido said.
Fido is quite a sight when he goes formal.
He has a black tuxedo jacket and although he does not wear dress pants (for obvious reasons), he likes to paint a black line down the sides of his hind legs, to simulate “the look.”
Under the jacket, he wears a white dress dog shirt with turned-down collar, a black or patterned bow tie and cummerbund, which always match, and black formal anklet socks, Fido’s toenails are jet black anyway, so all he needs to do is polish them to simulate patent leather oxford shoes.
Last year, he showed off a little bit too much, deftly tucking an old opera ticket into the upper fold of his cummerbund.
“That was a little too snooty, even for you,” I said.
“But I still have the pièce de résistance!” Fido said, and he reached into the closet for his formal gloves. They’re not really gloves—they’re more like dog bracelets, and they’re certainly not made of dog leather, like in the old days. Even so, Fido knows what’s what.
“I’m puttin’ on the dog!” he yelled. “Hey hey hey hey!”