Greetings, fellow pet-lovers. Before we get into serious debate about what pets do and do not understand or how to pick the best pet insurance or when to let go and make the tough decisions, I figured a bit of lighthearted confession was in order.
Nothing is too good for our pet. No piece of furniture (ok, well maybe the antique desk in my parents’ home), no choice morsel of food (all it takes is one imploring look for me to set a piece aside on my plate), no mode of transportation (the car’s seen better days but that’s what vacuums are for).
What have my husband and I done that could be considered over-the-top behavior? Let’s see…We’ve spent more on his grooming than on our own, cooked special meals for him, bought him a lightweight raincoat and snazzy waterproof winter coat that makes him look like an investment banker trotting off to work…never dressed him up for Halloween (yet) but nonetheless draped a festive collar with bells around his neck for the holidays…We’ve scaled back our dining out, traveling, and leaving home for any non-critical reason for long periods of time. I had a chance to go to my beloved Italy, to stay in what I understand is a phenomenal villa (gratis), and economic woes, expensive plane tickets, and finances notwithstanding, I Chose To Stay Home. I’ll give you one good guess why. If you’ll forgive what may be considered “too much information,” I’ll let you know that he not only sleeps on the bed but also has been known to make himself comfortable with his head resting on the pillow. He figured this out for himself. Perhaps most outrageous of all was the decision to use salt vs. chlorine in the pool, but I take no responsibility for that and instead cite the proud, doting grand-dog parents who were happy to forego their swimming goggles.
I used to work with someone who reassured me that my blogging and tweeting and YouTube-ing on behalf of the dog was well within reason. “I mean after all, I got my dog a dog” (for company), she said. “What’s crazier than that?”
Perhaps the lengths some New Yorkers go to for their four-legged friends? First there was talk of hiring joggers to run vs. walk your dog. Now, there are reports of dog training sessions offered to help your dog pass the Co-op board interview. In The New York Times’ City Room, J. David Goodman jokes that this is a sign of the apocalypse. (Still, allow me a shout-out to fellow Portie parent and pet expert Elena Gretch of It’s a Dog’s Life who’s been offering these sessions for two years now!)
And let’s not forget Leona Helmsley. Just how many dollars did she leave for her dog, Trouble?
It’s not just dogs. All over the world, people are going to great lengths to indulge their adored pets. It’s actually big business.
What have you done for your pet that’s “over-the-top?” And do you share tales of this behavior with your non-pet rearing friends or keep it to yourself?
I, for one, will not judge you.