Columnist, Veronica Clark: Doggy couture is barking!

Deborah Hatton, the owner of new dog grooming salon on Manchester Road, Ince, pictured with her dog Bubbles, wearing dog clothes that are for sale in the salon.
Deborah Hatton, the owner of new dog grooming salon on Manchester Road, Ince, pictured with her dog Bubbles, wearing dog clothes that are for sale in the salon.

Barking mad story of the week had to be that of Queenie - a pampered pooch.

The fashion-conscious chihuahua has a huge collection of couture dresses, coats, hats, and even WIGS! I kid you not. But the canine craziness doesn’t stop there. For regal Queenie boasts her own personalised buggy to transport her from one location to another. Owners Josephine Carter and daughter Kelly are so besotted with their four-legged friend that they admit they’ve already splashed out more than £30,000 on her to date.

Is it me, or does Queenie sound more like a fashion-accessory than a dog? But back to the story. Queenie the chihuahua is so splendid that she even has her own outfit-matching poo bags. Yes, that’s in no way odd at all, is it? Maybe her owners think someone might steal her poo bags and try to pass them off as their own. Who knows?

Unsurprisingly, Josephine, who owns a dog fashion website, makes sure her pooch never goes out dressed less than her best.

“I spend way more on Queenie and her wardrobe than I do on my own,” she admits. “I just can’t help myself and when I can I make sure we’re matching, even when it comes down to her poo bags.”

Eh? But she continues.

“She has her very own personalised buggy too, complete with fully functioning chandelier...”

Whoa, there, lady. Did you just say chandelier? Stop the world, because I want to get off.

Is it me, or do you think this is all a bit, well, over the top? If I put my crazy spaniel in a buggy, he’d look at me as though I’d lost my marbles. As for hats and wigs, well, they’d be off within a nanosecond. To be honest, Maxwell thinks doggy toothpaste is taking pampering a little too far because he clamps his teeth together every time I go near him with a toothbrush to try and tackle his dog breath. But obviously I’m doing it all wrong, because whilst Max likes nothing better than a run in the woods, a stick to chew, a ball to chase and a good tummy rub, Queenie prefers a full paw pedicure with dog friendly nail varnish and doggy reiki sessions to balance her Chakra.

Josephine insists: “Our motto is not to follow trends in the dog world but set them. Life’s too short for an ugly collar. People think we’re barking mad but I wouldn’t change it for the world, it’s all just a bit of fun.”

With all her dressing up in couture outfits, Queenie has certainly become a ‘star’ in her own right, taking the internet by storm. She now has 30,000 followers on Twitter (where else?), and her followers boast celebrities such as Jonathan Ross.

“I can’t take Queenie anywhere without people making a fuss, she’s definitely a celebrity in her own right in the dog world.”

Josephine adds her company sales have rocketed since Queenie became Managing Director. Yes, I did just say that. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking TOWIE here, but for dogs. And if that idea makes it onto TV, then I want a cut (although I wouldn’t put my name to it).

I can just imagine my spaniel, shaking his head in utter despair. You see, I’m lucky if he manages a walk without diving head first into a boggy stream. Max’s idea of personal grooming is to rub his neck, back and legs in fox poo - and that's if I’m lucky. What on earth next? Botox for dogs? Watch this space...