Tuesday, November 24, 2009
PETS R' US
About 18 years ago, my childless yuppie daughter came to Thanksgiving with a "fur child", a Shih Tzu named Mezmer-as in mesmerize. Because Kris owned her own business, my brother, Dan, asked her who cares for your puppy while you work?
Her answer was Puppy Day Care.
Everyone split a gut laughing over Puppy Day Care, yet none of us even think its strange, now. Obedience school for pets is almost mandatory. There are recipes for home made dog biscuits in magazines; columns by experts on dog and cat care; huge pet emporiums so you can buy your pet toys and costumes and jewelry, and all manner of cosmetics, comfy beds, grooming tools, toenail polish, wigs, swings, and medications. There is a book out discussing how to talk to your dog or cat or horse or bird. Animal psychologists decipher pet neurosis while the pet teaches his or her master new tricks. You know about pet parades, picture contests, modeling contracts, pet talent shows, pet heroism awards. I'm probably missing some thing here.
I recently got an email with master and pet as look alike' s. I now know how to pick a designer pet and to avoid high maintenance dogs like bulldogs who get stinky tails and rashes in the folds of their skin. Or drooling Basset hounds that stain the couch. And highly sensitive miniature dogs that piss all over everything, or bark incessantly when they get excited. I know which breeds are trainable and those that are difficult. Turtles that snap, lizards that puke, birds that regurgitate, ferrets that claw, snakes that love plumbing... There is no end to pet stories to keep your friends entertained.
Today, I saw a first, though. Classes for pet first aid. And, I'm thinking its a great idea. You can learn to diagnose animal symptoms. That way you can confidently decide whether to take your pet to the vet or if the dry heaves or quivering is just the wrong brand of food.
(Psst! I'm gonna pass along a secret. Pets are part human.) Missy's picture comes from Pets On Line.