Behold, the Canine Tramp Stamp

Last month, I wrote a long essay on animal aesthetics for Aeon magazine. I explored how our pets have become aesthetic objects and examined how humans have used selective breeding, cosmetic surgery, colorful dyes, and even genetic engineering in order to create more attractive animals.

It did not even occur to me to discuss tattoos. Because, well, why on Earth would it? Tattooing a pet was beyond my wildest imagination. But perhaps it should not have been. (After all, I once met a woman who had pierced her cat’s ears.) In any case, dog tattoos are now absolutely on my radar, thanks to an item I saw today on DNAinfo (via the New York Observer). And I quote: 

Owners of fashion-forward fidos in Manhattan’s toniest neighborhood are starting to beg groomers for temporary tattoos — reflecting a burgeoning international interest in dog body art, industry insiders tell New York.

And the key player turning on tail waggers’ masters to the idea is Jorge Bendersky, a celebrity dog groomer whose clientele hails mainly from the Upper East Side. The tattoos are especially popular among owners of short-haired dogs, he explained.

“In the summer, they cut the dogs’ hair short, so you’ve got to supplement the glamour,” he said. “Having no hair is no excuse not to be glamorous.”

The tattoos are needle- and ink-free, requiring only “canine-safe glue,” glitter, and rhinestones. So don’t worry, doggies–that rhinestone rose that seemed like such a good idea six drinks into the evening? Totally temporary.

Read the full story here or here, and be sure to check out the can’t-miss slideshow.

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