20 April 2014

Operation Naked Dog

Hello, hello, hello! Well, I have a confession to make. I have been up to no good. And when I say no good, I mean downright illegal. Oh, yes. In fact, I am surprised I am not being hunted down all over London by Scotland Yard by now. Let me explain.

Right around the corner from where I live, there is a vet surgery. It is, in fact, the one we use for the Cat. Here it is, in all its unassuming glory:

So far, so good. But if you look closer at the above picture, you'll notice something slightly unusual. Can you see it? I mean, of course, the lifesize dog statue that's guarding the entrance of the surgery. This being my neighbourhood, I walk past the statue nearly every day on my way to the station or the town centre, and in the six months that I've lived here, I have to say I have grown extremely fond of it.

Here, have a closer look:

How sweet is this, right? Nothing like a cheerful dog to give you a proper welcome, even if it's made of stone. Anyway, I don't know why, but one day as I walked past my friend the Dog Statue, it suddenly occurred to me that it looked pitifully naked. Seriously, who would have the heart to leave such a faithful guard dog freezing - and starving - as it fulfilled its duty without fail? Mmh? I ask you.

Well, from that day on, I decided that dog would be provided for. It would receive a bone for its faithful duty - this open mouth was obviously begging for one - and some kind of cover to keep it from the elements, probably a hat. And why not a stylish bow-tie to mark his all-important status as guard dog?

Hence was born "Operation Naked Dog".

I knew immediately which yarn I would use - for yarn it would have to be. A few months before, I'd purchased a variegated yarn from an online website. I had never seen it in the flesh, I mean fibre, and predictibly, it turned out to be vile. See for yourselves:

Ugh. There was seriously no other use for it. In fact, long before Dog Statue emerged in my consciousness as a possible yarn-bombing victim, the idea was to turn this lump of foulness and its twin into a hat for a real dog.

So, without further ado, I set out to make a crochet top hat made out of Foul Acrylic Yarn. I used this very good online tutorial by Mamma That Makes. And pretty soon, this is what I got, embellished with a blue ribbon:

Gorgeous in its foulness, isn't it?

Next came the bow. I used this online tutorial by Delia Randall on the Mollie Makes website. It worked up extremely quickly, and very soon, I had a Foul Bow Tie to match my Foul Top Hat.

On to the bone next. Again, online tutorials proved to be very good friends indeed, as I used this very detailed one by Nalan Ünal on her website. For this particular one, I did not use Foul Acrylic Yarn, but scraps of Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter DK in Archie and Tabitha shades, previously used for a set of cute amigurumis. The only reason I combined them was that I feared I might not have enough of either yarn, but I think the end result makes for an interesting colour effect.

Once all accessories were completed, logistic preparations were in order. First came absolutely necessary model fittings. The Cat very kindly obliged for those.

Once we - for I had accomplices - had established that the Hat, on top of being foul, also looked suitably ridiculous, we started making plans for the actual bombing. And careful planning was indeed needed, for we wanted to yarn bomb Dog Statue at night, in order to surprise passers-by and the owners of the surgery first thing in the morning. But we also wanted to take picures of the adorned statue, and that required an additional, highly risky expedition in plain daylight on a Sunday, to avoid our cover being blown. On top of it all, we needed some long-lasting favourable weather, to avoid the accessories being ruined within a few minutes of being up, and this is no mean feat, as this is the British weather we're talking about.

And so, last Sunday afternoon, we decided it was time. Looking as inconspicuous as we could, we headed down to the vet surgery and adorned Dog Statue. I have to say that if we hoped not to be seen, we failed miserably. The vet surgery stands directly opposite a bus stop, where three people were waiting, and immediately started staring at us. One of them even missed the bus, so captivated was he by our strange activities. On top of all this, an old lady with a dog - a real one - walked past us and grinned broadly when she saw what we were up to. Damn. I doubt we'd make brilliant spies...

Anyway, here's what Dog Statue looked like after our ministrations:

Now, doesn't the little fella look much happier for all of this? I have to say I was really pleased with how it all looked on the actual model. I wish I could have left it all there, but we wanted to put everything up for good at night time, so that was it for now. We took everything down and went home.

The following evening, we established temporary headquarters at the nearby tapas restaurant, a convenient 30-second walk from the vet's and also a very good place to eat, and once we'd had some much needed and delicous sustentation, we headed towards the vet surgery and proceeded to adorn Dog Statue again. This time no one saw us, and we walked home feeling like two little mischievous schoolchildren, hee hee.

The next morning, when we walked past the surgery on our way to the station, Dog Statue still sported his new attire. And so did later he that day. And the following day. And the day after that, and the day after that... So far, nearly a week later, he is still wearing it.

But the best thing of all? Well, that very day, the surgery's Facebook page posted about it all, and included a link to a local news website reporting the story! Yes, reader, Dog Statue was now locally famous for having been viciously yarn-bombed overnight. By yours truly. I feel a new career opportunity looming, especially since I have discovered this statue in the town centre:

Mwahahaha !!!! ;))

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