Sock Dog! Sock Dog! Party

Sock Dog! Sock Dog! Party Time! Excellent!

This week’s meme is sock dogs. Kate sent me an email Friday morning, with a link to Hugo the Ferret’s blog at If the graphic design weren’t so deftly done on this site, you might dismiss it, at first, as an eye-roller: blog about a ferret with cancer, and his progress after the operation. Yeah, well, you’d be wrong: you’d spend nine hundred bucks on surgery for your dog, wouldn’t you? And you’d at least think about chemotherapy, if your cat needed it. Hugo’s owner Anna needed about a thousand dollars for his operation, so she asked for donations on her site. The impressive part? She actually raised the money. If you donated $30.00, Anna promised to make you a sock dog.

So I follow a link to see the recipient of the first sock dog, a German designer named Witold Riedel, and I come across this haunting picture of him with his sock dog. I think you’ll agree that the photo transcends the boundaries of normal Internet jokesterism and becomes genuine art. I don’t have the critical language to describe the picture (one part Liebowitz, one part Alfred Eisenstadt, plus some William Wegman and Duane Hansen?), but if this picture were a twenty-by-thirty-inch gallery cibachrome, I bet it’d fetch a mint at Christie’s.

Right, so Witold’s diffident-man-with-diffident-sock-dog portrait, plus Anna’s sock dog gallery, set me off (which, I suppose, is easy to do); anyhow, I decided that I HAD TO MAKE A SOCK DOG THIS WEEKEND. Anna was very nice; she sent me a scan of the 1958 instructions that she used, plus a link to the Martha Stewart version of the instructions. Kate was even nicer; she drove me to the fabric store and introduced me to the mysteries of needlepoint floss and bagged polyester filling. The last thing I made with a needle and thread, I think, was a muslin loincloth in an eighth-grade home-ec class.

Anyhow, all the expert advice paid off: resulting sock dog pictured at left!

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