A perfect pair of pet socks. KARIN SPICER

Teddy and Pip, the sock aficionados

Teddy, our 5-year-old Lab, and Pip, our 6-month-old kitten, are sock aficionados. Leave a pair unattended and the dynamic duo are either chewing on or dragging them around the house.

The sock fans aren’t picky, either. Clean or dirty. Intact or holey. It doesn’t matter.

Pip jumps into the clothes basket, pulls out a dirty sock and parades it around the house like it’s a rare artifact he’s just dug up.

Teddy’s powerful jaws and sharp teeth can take a pair of new socks and turn them into tattered shreds in seconds.

Socks have been used from the earliest times to protect and warm feet. In our home, socks protect our feet from Pip’s nibbles. While it’s nice to warm up our toes under Teddy’s tummy, socks are much more practical.

Just like Teddy and Pip, our 41st president, George H.W. Bush, loved socks. According to USA Today, Bush wore them proudly. “I’m a self-proclaimed sock man,” Bush once said.

Pip definitely is a sock kitten. He could pull out of the clothes basket a variety of clothing, but it’s always a sock. According to upgradeyourcat.com, cats like the familiarity of our smell. Pip likes to stretch out on my husband Ed’s smelly running socks – which I would prefer to touch only with a 10-foot pole – and take a nap.

I’m sure if Teddy were given a choice he’d pick a sock over other articles of clothing, too.

Once I dropped a new package of two pairs of black socks from a store bag and didn’t realize it until about five minutes later. When I went searching for the pack but couldn’t find it, I assumed I left the package at the store. Ed grabbed his car keys and was about to head back to the store when we saw Teddy in the living room.

Happy as could be, the pooch was gnawing on “his” new sock surrounded by bits of packaging paper. Thankfully, he managed to mangle only one sock. We gave its mate to Teddy and Ed put the untouched pair in his sock drawer.

Ed doesn’t have the same passion for the hosiery as his two furry sons. Socks are just another article of clothing. As long as they match, are fairly free from snags and holes, stay up and don’t clash with his pants, he wears them. When the occasion gives Ed the option of selecting footwear, he’ll pick flip-flops every time.

In a pinch, Ed has also been known to take a pair of his socks and tie them together to make a tug-of-war toy for Teddy. Teddy loves it. The pooch takes the new toy and runs through the house with his head held high, waving the socks like an athlete who just won the big game.

Ed does have one unique pair of socks that combines comfort and practicality with style. Our daughter, Jordan, had them made just for him. The design is unique to our family.

Ed hasn’t worn them yet. He says he’s saving them for a special occasion. I have a sneaking suspicion the occasion may not come. Could it be the pattern?

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