What’s the Obsession with Dogs in Handbags?

3 min read

Lipstick? … Check. Cell phone? … Check. Chihuahua? … ummm Check!

Did you ever think that one day we would be considering our pets a fashion accessory? Turns out that it has become normal in some circles to take your dog for a walk and the animal does no walking at all.

You don’t have to be strolling the red carpet to purse your miniature K-9 anymore. Apparently it’s now socially acceptable to walk just about anywhere and have glazed eyes, a long tounge and a fur covered head bobbing out of your handbag.

It may seem silly, but you are clearly making a statement when something that you are wearing happens to be a living breathing animal.

But what exactly is that statement? A bit of history can clue us in…

An Historic Pastime!

Oddly enough the practice of carrying your dog in a handbag goes back to Ancient Rome. Elite women would put their tiny Maltese’s in a sleeve when walking throughout the streets. Another name for the Maltese dog in Rome was ‘the Roman Ladies’ Dog’ and the breed became a physical symbol of loyalty.

Today the Maltese (that’s the small white fluffy one pictured right for those less aquainted with dog breeds) is still a popular ‘carry dog’ with women. Now you can see a Maltese hung round a hot girl’s waist while she goes for a power walk on the beach.

Another early ‘carry-dog’ was the Pekingese lapdog, bred in ancient China to fit inside the sleeves of a man’s robe. So it hasn’t always just been women that have an obsession with carrying around small dogs.

Through recent centuries a wider variety of ‘lap dogs‘ became popular among royalty and the rich. Nowadays there is a diverse range of small pooches that have become fashionable ‘handbag dogs’.

Today a dog in a bag still screams out loud that you have a financial status that compares to few. Who else could afford to risk destroying their handbag and all it’s contents with Poodle piddle, not to mentions the high costs to buy and maintain these animals?

Who would have thought that millions of years of evolution would see certain breeds of dogs in some weird symbiotic class-status relationship with humans. The fad of carrying a bow-wow under your arm has been here for centuries and isn’t going anywhere soon!

But is lugging a turd producing mutt around town really worth it? Let’s weigh up the options…

Dog in a Bag Pros

  1. No need to pick up your dog’s crap in the street, it goes straight in the bag.
  2. You can wear animal fur and animal rights activists can’t say a thing.
  3. People know you’re a lady with money to burn.
  4. It’s harder to lose a handbag that barks.
  5. It’s a good conversation starter.
  6. Your bag has a deterrent with teeth for curious theiving fingers.
  7. If you bump into Paris Hilton in the street she might comment on your dog-handbag-coolness and become your best friend.
  8. If you talk to yourself in the street you won’t look so crazy, people will just think you are talking to your dog.
  9. You can get away with taking your dog into a shop, how cool is that!
  10. Carrying that extra lump in your bag will help you burm more calories and lose weight.

Dog in a Bag Cons

  1. You look like a dick!
  2. Other dog-obsessed idiots will want to talk to you, or if you’re lucky they’ll just smile and stare.
  3. Dog suffocation risk.
  4. You’re out of luck if you have a cat / ferret / fish / lobster etc. (actually, maybe you could keep a lobster in a handbag… but what if it snips the strap?!?)
  5. An expensive mutt may make your handbag more of a target to thieves and there’s a shortage of pet detectives.
  6. You might not do so well in that job interview.
  7. Paris Hilton might become your best friend.
  8. The dog will think it’s the pack leader and your it’s bitch. Just ask the Dog Whisperer.
  9. Your dog might chew your expensive designer handbag. If you’re really unlucky it might try to make sweet doggie love to it.
  10. You’ll need a big bag for that German Shepherd.

Still undecided? These pictures and facts might help…

Chihuahuas crave attention, affection and petting
but can be easily provoked to attack

Kissing your dog in public is not sexy

Chihuahuas rank #67 out of 79 dog breeds on intelligence

Carrying a dog in a rucksack is a more urban
alternative to a handbag but check this:
A greiving woman carried her dead dog in a
rucksack thinking it would come back to
life in 13 days.

It is not uncommon for a ‘handbag puppy’ to
cost more than $1500. Chihuahua’s are the most
expensive breed to keep with lifetime costs
estimated at around £90,000 ($145,000).

While lap dogs look pampered many start their
life in terrible conditions as they are bred in
intensive illegal farms to keep up with the high
demand and sell for high profits.

Airport officials wish to build and manage
a “pet-boarding hotel and resort”
near Louisville International Airport.

In Ancient Rome the Pekingese lapdog was bred
to fit inside the sleeves of a man’s robe

You can skip the bag and just hang
your dog over your shoulder.

Dogs primary role with humans used to be as work dogs, but
now most dogs are kept as ‘companion dogs’, often pampered
religiously by their owners.


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