Trial Balloon

The Well Dressed Bear

Posted at 6:10 AM on April 26, 2010 by Dale Connelly (35 Comments)
Filed under: Bart the Bear

I received a long overdue text message from the woods this morning, full of the usual techno-jargon, abbreviations and misspellings. For your reading pleasure, I've translated it below.

Bart Blackberry2.jpg

Bart here.

I'm out of my den in case anyone cares.

It's been pretty warm and dry this spring, and then we got some rain. Good thing. Only you can prevent forest fires!

I'm not a big fan of fires of any kind out in the woods, 'cause fire is dangerous and we live here! Some bears are actually OK with it, because a campfire is a place where humans get real casual about food. To me, there are some risks worth taking to get a s'more, but burning down the house isn't one of them.

I found a new phone at a campsite last week, and this one has the internet so I've been able to look at videos.

Here's my favorite so far.

Anything that takes The Three Bears down a notch is OK by me. People make a lot of assumptions about bears based on the silly stuff they read and see - not much of it comes out of real contact.

I like the Smokey the Bear ads best when you don't see him. He's pretty much a good public image for bears, but the clothes don't make sense. Why pants only? You never see him wearing a shirt. I don't know if you've thought much about the things bears do in the woods, but take it from me, pants would be a hassle. A nice shirt? I could work with that. Pants, not so much.

Otherwise, whenever you see bears wearing clothes they do it as kind of a joke. Like in that You Tube video, - the mom with the apron and the dad with the too-long tie. And who wears suspenders anymore? Dress nice or not at all, that's what I'm saying.

Sorry about being so grouchy. That's another bad bear stereotype with a little bit of truth to it, especially early in the spring. I'm trying to cut back.
I guess you can see there's not a lot to do yet - stuff is just beginning to grow. Don't know how I spent my time before texting.

Come visit this summer, but not too close!

I told Bart I would probably NOT be coming to visit him in the woods this summer, but I get his point about animal fashions. I admit to having put a shirt on a dog recently, but that was for medical reasons - to protect a patch of bare skin from the sun.
Otherwise, I've never seen an animal dressed up in clothes that seemed comfortable or approrpriate. Or stylish, even.

What's your reaction to animals wearing clothes?

Comments (35)

Good morning, Heartland Ballooners,

Animals in clothes? silly.

Does anyone else remember the organization that was formed -- in the 70s, was it? -- to advocate for diapers on all animals in the name of modesty. It was one man with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, but the "organization" made a ton of money from folks serious about it. I think he ended up giving the money back -- he wasn't scamming people, he was trying to make a point about human psychology (to the best of my recollection)

Cynthia here, back from a weekend with Norwegian affeciondados..

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | April 26, 2010 6:24 AM

Good morning to all. Doesn't Bart already have a fur coat? I supose he could use something to dress him up, like the bandanas that people some times use to dress up their dogs, but I hope he doesn't do this. That isn't a look I like on dogs and I don't think I would like to see a bear dressed up this way.

May be Bart could use one of those vests with lots of pockets, including a pocket for his cell phone.

Posted by Jim | April 26, 2010 6:27 AM

good Monday morning, All!

as you know, i do put sweaters on baby goats. not for cuteness but for warmth - and only if temps dictate. but, and Catherine i assume you are still designing the ultimate boy-goatling sweater, a unisex sweater presents problems.

i also have fleece jackets for the big Girls in extremely cold weather (Majority never stands still so he is always warm and he keeps Niblet warm because he wants to play). the jackets warm the Girls for about 10 minutes and then for the next hour while they work to get them off. duel purpose. keeps them warm and challenged.

we put little kitty-size santa hat on our dear kitty Julius (RIP) about 10 Christmases ago - i don't think he ever forgave me.

welcome back, Bart! i prefer to see your shiny fur and no shirt, tie, or pants.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 26, 2010 6:32 AM

I'm agin it except in case of real illness, Hod did the world survive until 1955?

Posted by c in k | April 26, 2010 6:39 AM

My sister's dog seems to like her sweater in cold weather. She does dress the dog up in Christmas costumes and so forth, which Gertie (the dog) doesn't seem to mind. She looks silly, though.

Good Monday morning, all.

Posted by elinor | April 26, 2010 6:39 AM

Well, I'll admit to you all that I do put bandanas on my dogs if they receive them at special events (Humane Society Walk, Take Your Dog to Work Day) and then I tend to leave them on until they're too dirty to bear and then it's history time for them. Sorry... hope you all still like me anyway!

On a completely different note, it is GORGEOUS out in the Cities today... walked the dogs on our favorite route and one of the gardens we enjoy is in perfect spring bloom this morning with every color of tulip imaginable and lilacs everywhere are starting to give off their fragrance. Hope everybody enjoys the day!

Posted by sherrilee | April 26, 2010 6:40 AM

Count me as one who is "agin" animals in pants. Heck, there are times I don't want to see pants on humans (I'm thinking of elderly golfers wearing lurid plaids).

That video, though, had other resonance with me that might be unique. I shuddered at the sight of bears partying on the lawn. Several years ago four bears broke into my cabin and had a party there that was legendary.

Four bears can really do a number on a cabin. They knew all about refrigerators, so they opened mine, ate the veggie crisper and stripped out all the food there. They ate my telephone. Worst of all, that thing that bears do in the woods? They did THAT in my living room. The initial cleaning filled 16 trash bags and took four days. I decided to leave the bear paw prints on the walls as a conversation starter.

I like bears just fine, but I like them without pants and I prefer them on the wild side of my cabin doors.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | April 26, 2010 6:47 AM

Good Morning RHers-
Bears in the back yard destroying my bird feeders are enough of a surprise. Bears in clothes would put me over the edge!
On another subject. . . . Sincere thanks for the tickets to Eliza's concert at the Cedar. It was our first visit there and we're already planning our next one. Eliza was fantastic! Could you please play one more of her songs this am?

Posted by Julie | April 26, 2010 6:50 AM

I'd be happy to play an Eliza song Julie.
Any suggestions? Any other reports from people at the concert?

Posted by Dale Connelly | April 26, 2010 6:55 AM

Greetings! I took my youngest son to see the movie last year with the talking chihuahuas starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and dogs voiced by Drew Barrymore and Placido Domingo. That movie took doggy fashion to a whole new foofy level. There was a hysterical scene where Jamie Lee Curtis is at a store buying new fashion clothes for her pampered pup -- all manner of canine fashion for a little chihuahua, including booties and hats. Totally absurd.

Clothing on animals for medical or practical necessity is fine. Leave fashion for humans -- we invented it!

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | April 26, 2010 7:15 AM

Hello everyone....

Yes, the Eliza concert was great! She did some new songs and lots of my favorites. How about playing the song about taking a walk where she whistles? Sorry, I can't recall the name of the song. She had the audience whistle along and stopped one side to get our side to join in, until she was happy with our progress, it was fun.

Paradise Hotel is nice as well.....

Happy Monday all.

Posted by Kate in Eden Prairie | April 26, 2010 7:18 AM

i want to thank you for the martin sexton tickets last night. he was great the warm up band (accompanied him for the evening) was fantastic.
steve great bear story.
clothes on critters is a pet peeve (no pun intended) other than dogs putting on a vest to play cards i can't think of a reason.
barb the girls don't count. they need to stay warm. there is no fashion statement there just a function, like boots on sled dogs, but poodles in rumba outfits and schnauzers in sweaters are a definite no

Posted by tim | April 26, 2010 7:26 AM

When I was a kid I used to dress our pug and any available cat in doll clothes. We have a cat now, Ginger Pie, who is so amiable and accepting of about anything you do to him that we call him a little girl's cat-he almost seems to be crying out "Where's my frilly dress? Where's my bloomers?" I love seeing the bulldogs in Drake's beautiful bulldog contest in their finery.

Posted by Renee | April 26, 2010 7:34 AM

If it's not for necessity or medical reasons, I'm pretty much against it. And so is our dog Barney who has been known to wind up in tutus, fairy wings, feather boas, scarves, and other, ahem, fabulous, ensembles pulled together by Darling Daughter.

Posted by Anna | April 26, 2010 7:40 AM

Jim, is that you pictured in the Corner Post receiving an award from the Suatainable Farmers of MN? If so, congratulations!

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | April 26, 2010 7:44 AM

Off topic, but I am formally announcing my exercise schedule-something I had discussed several weeks ago. I am committing to two hours a week at our community center starting May 1. Its not much time, but I'm doing lots of yard and gardening work now, so that will also help. You are all cordially invited to ask, encourage, and monitor my progress as you see fit. Oh no, what have I done? Now I have to be accountable!

Posted by Renee | April 26, 2010 7:58 AM

Two dogs meet on a sidewalk, each being lead by their owner. The first dog is a border collie the second is a Pomeranian wearing a leather coat with angora puffed sleeves.
First dog: I find an overcoat on a canine rather superfluous.
Second dog: I’M A DOG??!!

Posted by cly de cynice | April 26, 2010 8:08 AM

Thanks again for the tickets to Martin Sexton & his new band; Patti & I really enjoyed the performance. So much going on here in music, I'm reminded again, seeing the comments about Eliza Gilkyson too; what a rich music scene we've got here, and Radio Heartland + the Current so much a part of it. Lucky Twin Cities and MN in general.

We really liked Sexton's new, jazzy/bluesy ensemble, its energies and versatility, but Sexton ended the first set with a talking jazz piece I hope you have and could play soon. It must be called "How Many Times." Very powerful. If he said what album it is from, I missed it, but would appreciate knowing if any Heartlander has the info.

Could you work it in, or, failing that, any Sexton from the new album.



Posted by jimck | April 26, 2010 8:12 AM

Two dogs meet on a sidewalk. The first dog is a beagle being lead by its owner and not wearing any clothing. The second is poodle wearing a silk lace jacket and a diamond necklace, and with a pom-pom on the end of its tail.
First dog: We aren’t you on a leash?.
Second dog: My owner thinks dogs should roam free and unfettered the way God made us?

Posted by Cly de cycliste | April 26, 2010 8:13 AM

Four dogs are in a kennel for the weekend together discussing their fancy clothing:
English bulldog: Shows you what God could have done if he had the money.
Eskimo sled dog: I am inventing 32 words for stupid.
German shepherd: God is dead.
Russian wolfhound: Clothing is the opiate of dog owners.
French poodle: Après nous le déluge"

Posted by Cly de cynice | April 26, 2010 8:21 AM

Love Robert Preston -- maybe he should have done exercise videos! He makes a lame song great!

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | April 26, 2010 8:23 AM

Oh dear! I just heard Robert Preston and I think I'm going back to bed for the rest of the day.

Posted by Renee | April 26, 2010 8:23 AM

Two dogs meet on a sidewalk. The first dog is St. Bernard wearing no clothes.. The second a Chihuahua wearing a knit sweater
First dog: Doesn’t that itch?
Second dog: Well, thanks for reminding me. So okay, just for that, isn’t your tongue too big for your mouth?

Posted by cly de cycnice | April 26, 2010 8:32 AM

really like that last joke, Clyde - and the first one and second one also.

Tim, long ago we had a rescue cat that had a little hole at the bottom edge of her ear - just begging for an ear ring. tried it. she thought she was beautiful enough - hated it.

i do put a lot of thought into collars for the goats. the colors, the pattern, have to be right. except for Majority, who needs one larger than 28 inches - almost impossible to find except for chain and i won't put chain on his neck. it's just too Micky Rourke

and Dale, thanks for the apology :-) i did hear a tiny bit of throat singing this morning in one of the songs, so it's ok.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 26, 2010 8:38 AM

and the fourth one

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 26, 2010 8:41 AM

Okay, sheerilee, although I probably will not dress up my dog with a bandana, I am open minded about others doing it. A bandana probably would not work well on our dog, any way. He is a Corgi and he is build too close to the ground to wear a bandana around his neck.

Cynthia, you did see my picture in the CornerPost. I don't like awards, but I am glad to receive one from the Sustainable Farming Association because I think there is a big need for an organization of this kind to improve our food supply and take better care of farm land.

Posted by Jim | April 26, 2010 8:47 AM

jim--in my comment about How did the world survive before 1955, I was referring to several changes in our attitude towards nature right then, one of which is what you fight against.
It has long seemed to me that right about then we lost enough daily contact with nature to respect and fear it. Lots of ways we thought nature in all of its aspects was our toy.

Posted by Clyde | April 26, 2010 9:00 AM

Clyde, I think we are in agreement. At the meeting just held in Bolivia directed at trying to do more to protect the earth, they proposed that there should be a declartion for the protection of nature that would be similar to the UN declaration on human rights.

Posted by Jim | April 26, 2010 9:16 AM

Bandannas on a dog don't count as clothes, no more than pretty collars do. My Katie (English setter) looks spiffy in certain bandannas.

I had to dress her recently when she had a sore on her side that she kept chewing. The solution was a t-shirt that was slipped over her front end and pulled up tight with a knot over her back. The shirt said, "Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican." I thought that was a little confrontational, but that was the shirt she chose. The dog park where we walk is 99% DFL.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | April 26, 2010 10:00 AM

Good morning Kids,

I took a personal day and am right now at Lora's place in St. Paul, having a lovely leisurely morning drinking coffee and listening to RH on her HD radio.

Yeah, yeah -- Eliza was SOOO good! She's funny as all get out too. She talked about how cool the people are here in that they take care of one another and that she could easily live here. When we talked to her after the show, Lora gave her more reason to relocate by telling her about the fair.

Re animals in clothing - I don't imagine they like to be dressed up anymore than humans do. Sherillee's 'go casual' look sounds about right.

Love hearing from Bart again. It's great knowing he feels enough at ease with us to share his toileting habits.
Steve - I've been thinking about those bear paw prints you let stay on your cabin walls. It doesn't bother you that they're likely comprised of the stuff they dumped in your living room??

Posted by Donna | April 26, 2010 10:01 AM

Speaking of concerts we saw Mark Knopfler last night at the State Theater.
A terrific show with songs from the new CD plus some prior solo stuff and some Dire Straights. Lyrics were clear, musicians great and a terrific audience that stood and cheered several times in the middle of the concert. I think we even got an extra encore song but maybe he does that for all the concerts and we just think we're special.
He spoke of appearing on PHC and how GK said of Mark, "you could buy a house here"...

No clothes for any of my animals short of colors and tags. And Ear tags for the cows if that counts...

Posted by Ben | April 26, 2010 10:15 AM

Oops, meant 'Collars'....

Posted by Ben | April 26, 2010 10:25 AM

ben--no bells?
cynthia-.-we were expecting a full report, in norske
all-I'm just having fun about clothes on dogs. We have friends who rescue golden retrievers, have several, each of which has his/her own bandana pattern.
concert goers--I envy you--what a weekend for music in TC.
bart--many of your ancestors used to live in my neck of the woods; we were sometimes too intimately acquainted. I should not tell you this, but some of them liked the taste of chicken. And one of them I shot through our kitchen window as he tried to break in, but that was a very dry year and they were very hungry.

Posted by Clyde | April 26, 2010 10:39 AM

Can you die of smells: the elevator outside my door burned out again, filling the air with burned electronics. The city is patching 2nd street. Grinding into the pavement, blowing the cracks clean and filling the air with their dust. The tar melter is parked outside my window. If I am not on tomorrow, you will know one can die of smells. And I wanted to hear about Donna's illicit weekend in TC with Carlos . . . .

Posted by clyde le Pew | April 26, 2010 12:37 PM

Donna I have good reason to believe the bear paw prints were soy sauce mixed with flour. That at least is what I choose to believe!

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | April 26, 2010 2:40 PM

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