Lusty Ladies and Naughty Dogs

In the arms of a fashion icon like Paris Hilton or Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, there’s no doubt that a well-dressed lapdog can be a charming fashion accessory. Yet older ladies who are inseparable from their little dogs, such as 84-year-old gossip columnist Cindy Adams, or socialite Leona Helmsley, who left $12 million to her lapdog in her will, generally seem absurd. Older women with lapdogs, according to popular opinion, are privileged, fussy, and indolent (as opposed to cat ladies, who are stereotypically disordered and unkempt).