Tucker had always dreamed of being a lion. He imagined languid days on the Serengeti, punctuated with thrilling hunts, watching the lionesses chase down wild antelope, and then moving in for his share. When he thought about it enough, he could even feel the hot, dry wind blowing through his luxurious mane.
While Tucker may never be a lion (and we don't need to let him know lions are cats, after all), at least part of his dream could be fulfilled. He could dominate his pack of friends with the most glorious mane of them all.
And this is how Tucker got his mane.
Step 1: Get measurements
Since Tucker (a 3-yr-old Golden Retriever) lives in NYC and I live in SF, we had to rely on email and texting for all communication. Fortunately, Tucker's people are very savvy and were able to send me great photos of him getting his measurements taken. You can tell how much he'd been dreaming of that mane by how very patient and well behaved he was during his measurements.
From these, I was able to construct a mock Tucker head out of paper and tape.
Step 2: Making the base
Once I had a suitable Tucker head model based on his measurements, I could go to town figuring out how this thing was going to work.
I draped a soft lycra piece around the head and collar to use as the foundation for the fur. The collar piece closed on the side with strips of velcro.
Then I was able to play around with the fur until I could get it to look like what I wanted.