Easter tradition: Dye the dog
Initially, I was opposed for humanitarian – or should I say, dogitarian – reasons.
Back then, and even now, on the Saturday before Easter, we gather to dye eggs. One year, my sister looked at all that dye, then she looked at our almost-white yellow Labrador retriever, and before I knew it, we were out in the yard, dyeing the dog.
That dog was Bo, one of the best-known, best-loved members of the South Jetty staff. She was our official greeter. To say she stopped traffic on the Monday after Easter would be an understatement.
After Bo went to doggie heaven, Uno, another yellow Lab, carried on the Easter tradition. Then, along came Uno’s daughter, Chica, and until two years ago, we had two Easter Labs. Now my sister brings her little white dog, and we dye him along with Chica.
It’s an art. Murray and Betsy (my sister) perfected it. Daughter Libby eventually learned the skill. I watch through the window.
This much I know: You take a tray with cups of leftover dye to the yard, well away from anything you don’t want turned pink, purple, orange, etc. Call the dog to you and hold his/her collar. Carefully take one of the cups and dip one of the dog’s ears in it. Repeat with the other ear using either the same or a different color. Next, dip the dog’s tail in the dye color of choice. Using the remaining dye, press the cups against the dog’s body and slowly pour the dye in different places on the dog’s body. Place each of the dog’s feet in dye cups (one at a time), providing the cups are big enough.
It is advisable to wear old clothes while doing this – unless you need a tye-dyed look shirt. Murray has worn a raincoat on occasion.
When the dyeing is done, run inside and lock the dog out. Do not let the dog in until the next morning.
It is important to have an elderly, rather laid-back dog for this project. That, or little dogs that can easily be controlled. Take it from me -- young, rambunctious Lab pups are not well-suited to this endeavor.
We’ve said – for other reasons, such as we can’t stand the pain of losing our dogs to illness or old age – we won’t have another dog when Chica goes to doggie heaven. However, we’ll have to find a way to carry on this tradition. Maybe we’ll borrow someone’s Lab.
Chica has some tread left, so it’s not something we have to worry about just yet.
So the tradition lives on. I’ve already bought the eggs and the dye, and this year we get to introduce the tradition to my “rent-a-granddaughter.” She’s so pink it would be hard to tell if she got any dye on her. She’ll fit right in.
Cheers to the Dyeing of the Easter Dog(s)!
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.