Did I ever tell you Merry's real name? I mean, the one she's registered with? Let me tell you quickly: when I found her at a breeder's, they'd already decided to keep her for breeding, but I begged and pleaded and batted my eyes and asked to come out and see her anyway. But because she was already four months old, she'd been named, tattoed and registered with the CKC (just like the AKC).
And her name... was Xena.
I changed it, of course, to Merry, but I thought that little story might be relevant today. Because despite the fact that I could never imagine my sweet baby pug in anything approaching battle armor, which is why the name change... here she is, right in front of us, wearing battle armor.
This unbelievably fabulous and detailed dog costume (could be used for a Pet Halloween costume, or just for an event) was sent in from the folks at Organic Armor. They're specialists in creating handmade costume pieces that look like ancient metal, bone and leather. In actuality, they're made from soft, lightweight, lightly padded rubber. (RUBBER! I know! I didn't believe it either till I saw it in person.) And truly, this costume looks amazing - like something out of Xena, or Lord of the Rings (my stepkids have taken to calling her the Pug of War in this outfit).
The quality of workmanship and attention to detail is nothing short of stellar. This is work that will last a lifetime (or two or three pug lifetimes). You'd expect to see this kind of quality on big budget movie sets... but everyday joes like you and I can buy it.
The costume comes with two main parts: the full-body armor (which is wrapped around a generic nylon walking harness in a non-obtrusive khaki color) which covers the entire back and sides (but not below) with an additional piece that comes over the chest. This way little of the harness is visible, but the entire costume stays in place regardless of the activity level of your pup. And then the (oh my gosh how sweet) helmet, which secures to the head with a pair of leather thongs and a leather slider-thingy that allows you to make it snug under the chin.
The back of the costume looks like full-on battle gear, with plates of "armor", wicked (but not so pointy someone'll lose an eye) spikes, a small "tail" and even a small loop to hook a leash up to. Mystical symbols, also out of "metal", and iridescent jewels (some which are HUGE).
The wearability of the outfit impressed me the most. No hard edges, everything's soft and very lightweight. Merry's worn it for a good long period without getting tired or rubbed the wrong way; even the helmet stays on better than most pooch hats, thanks to its design and the leather thongs. The design is just gorgeous, but this isn't the only style you're stuck with - the folks will do custom designs for you.
Honestly, this has got to be one of the cutest, most original and best-made items we've ever reviewed. Makes me determined to get the pug out to a Renaissance Faire because seriously, wouldn't the crowd go crazy?
That's my girl. Celebrating her inner Xena. :)
You can find out more about Organic Armor from their web site at www.organicarmor.com.