Wednesday, March 21, 2007

SLIDESHOW | Pink poodle to dye for

I've noticed at Cherry Blossom events this year that Lacie the pink poodle, seen at right, is always a crowd favorite. And it's not just the young who are enamored with Lacie and her brightly colored hair - she has quite a following among all generations. I think she might even be more of a Cherry Blossom celebrity than founder Carolyn Crayton herself.

I've even had a faithful reader ask the question, "Just how do they get that poodle pink?" Well, I happened to find the answer to that question in The Telegraph's archives. At the end of this post, you'll find a story written by former Telegraph staff writer Karen Shugart that was printed on March 18, 2005.

Not everyone thinks pink poodles are cute, but I happen to think that Lacie is adorable. And she seems to handle the fame as though it is nothing at all. It's not every animal that could handle her duties as a pink princess. Why, just Sunday, there was this white- and brown-spotted horse in the parade that had been dyed a hideous shade of neon pink. That poor animal looked more like a horrible blend of Pepto-Bismol and diarrhea.

Also, Lacie isn't the only pink poodle in town. I guess she started a trend because pink poodles are popping up everywhere from store fronts to gift shops. Just take a look for yourself. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS OF PINK POODLES AROUND MACON.

---- story begins here


Not many dogs have their own 1975 pink Cadillac Eldorado.

Not many dogs sport bright pink nails encrusted with nail art.

But then, not many dogs spend four and one-half hours getting their hair dyed.

Not many dogs are like Lacie, the Cherry Blossom Festival's unofficial pink poodle.

And that's not just any pink. Bright pink. As in the Manic Panic shade of hot pink, the shade punk rockers and teenagers use.

"When you do pink, you really get noticed. You really get noticed," says Lacie's owner, groomer Paul Williams of Macon.

The pink poodle has been a festival tradition for years, joining the ranks of other pastel attention-grabbers: pink pancakes, pink grits, pink jackets.

But it's Lacie - now in her second year as the pink poodle - that might draw the most year-round attention from children and senior citizens.

Her caretakers, Paul and Alice Williams, keep the canine in pink nearly every day of the year.

And that's a lot of hair dye.

Paul Williams says it takes several hours and between six and 10 bottles of dye to get Lacie's hair the deep color.

"Say, 'I'm worse than any old lady going to the hairdresser,' '' Paul Williams says to Lacie as he leans down to rub her near her rhinestone-encrusted black collar.

Lacie started doing the Cherry Blossom Festival circuit about two years ago. Before that, the Williams' late poodle Casper held the role, and before that another family's dog named Teddi was known to prance around with pink fur.

Her "responsibilities" take her to ribbon cuttings, Central City Park events - sometimes even fashion shows.

But as possibly Macon's most well-known dog, she makes appearances throughout the year, visiting nursing homes, vacation Bible schools and elementary schools.

When your hair is pink, you're in demand. And you have to keep up appearances.

"She's usually dressed to the nines, because she does get attention wherever we go," Paul Williams says. "If she's not pink, people are disappointed."

Sometimes those appearances can be quite impromptu, such as when motorists lean out their windows and urge the pink Cadillac chauffeuring the pink Lacie to pull over.

"People have actually chased us down," Paul Williams says. "She's quite a crowd pleaser."


geum-mi said...

Hello, hello, and hello! It's Geum-Mi :)
I got an email from Nicole and Mike that you are blogging Cherry Blossom Festival again.
Actually a couple of days ago I thought about the Cherry Blossom in Macon cause I knew the festival was just about this time. It has passed a year. Althought I can't go to beautiful Macon, I am happy that I can see Macon again on your blog. Pink everywhere! Especially I would like to eat the pink cherry icecream and pink pancakes! Yum!!!:) hehehehe
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Definitely the dog's owner should be charged for dying her inocent pet, she can go and play with her sister or brother or maybe her mom, but leave the poor dog alone and let it be a normal dog, that's being very abusive on her part.

Anonymous said...

What is used to dye the hair?? I hope not hair dye. Since it says bottles of dye- I am assuming that infact they mean hair dye.
Which then is not very safe for dogs.
I have heard people using beet juice and other natural things.. but hair dye is not said and inhumane to the animal and then the owners should be held reponsibile.
I bet if they were dying the dog a less popular color- like a gross yellow, green or brown people would be much more upset abotu them.

Anonymous said...

The sort of hair dye they are talking about is oil based, so it's actually good for the coat.

Normal hair color dyes sort of burn the color into your hair chemically. The unusual colors - blues, pinks, purples, etc use more of a staining process, which is why it has to be reapplied and why it fades with time, unlike the other kind.

Anonymous said...

This is Lacie's owner... The newspaper article stated in error... 6-10 bottles to dye her... That should have been 6-10 bottles a year... because we use only one bottle diluted with a half gallon of cream rinse to make Lacie pink. Her coat is in better shape after her beauty treatment. Lacie is not the "official" mascot... Petal's is this year's new mascot

Anonymous said...

Someone should investigate these poeple and find out what kind of dye they are using on the poodle.

Also, the writer is responsible for writing the article in a way that implies that the poor dog is being covered in (peroxide) dye.
None of this would be an issue if we were told that a non toxic vegetable based (food) dye were used. still might be a dignity issue for the dog.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with dying a dog any color as long as it is toxic free. If we can dye our hair, what's wrong with dying our dogs? I dye my dog pink. So what? It doesn't hurt her. It not hurting the pet therefore its not animal crulity. Check your facts and research it first before you start making assumptions. I use DYE, not natural crap. it will eventually wash out just like our own hair.

Evie_B said...

I had a black and white beagle I used to stain (the white part) green for Saint Pat's day. Since a beagle's coat in a bit on the oily side (in comparison to a poodle) it wore of fast and besides - beagles "blow" their winter coat shortly after mid March in Massachusetts anyway. (season and weather related) I now have a cream colored standard poodle - and while I've Photoshoped any number of outrageous colors onto his pictures for the heck of it, he stays the color he is.

As long as it's a non-toxic process, and the dog is no more distressed by it than a regular grooming process, it's all harmless fun!