Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doggy daycare

I know I am risking the wrath of the Oprah-led legion who believe that dogs should be treated as children but I have to address the issue of doggy day care. There was an article in our local paper this morning about a company that is opening its SECOND location because there are so many pups that need coordinated playtime, snack, and rest periods at the cost of $25/day.

What others choose to do with their money is their own business but, People, this is a slippery slope. I remember when it started. Back in the Good Old Days people had pets and left them at home and went off to work or whatever. Then there were televisions and a few forward-thinking individuals said “I like TV! It makes me feel like I’m not alone in the house. Maybe my DOG would like the TV on while I’m gone so he doesn’t feel alone.” There are two problems with this: Isn’t the dog supposedly there to keep you from feeling alone in the house, and can you prove that a dog knows when it is or is not alone?

I didn’t think so.

When answering machines became commonplace this group started calling their dogs sporadically during the day so the dog “can hear my voice.” I used to work with a woman who called her dog punctually at noon every day to “remind” him to eat. Then there was the guy who would call his own house, wait for the machine to beep, then yell “Get off the couch!” Then he would chuckle. We all thought he was a little creepy. Either way, does your dog really need a call in the middle of them day reminding him of your presence?

Next thing you know you got trouble. That starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for …. Well I don’t know what it stands for but I do know that dogs were suddenly seen everywhere dressing up for Halloween, sporting designer collars and sweaters, being monitored by webcams and – inevitably – being sent to daycare.

I know exactly what lead to it: guilt. People get the dogs then have to work more hours to pay for all the doggy accessories and feel guilty for leaving the dog to work more so they work even harder so they can pay someone ELSE to entertain the dog while they are away.

I have a better idea. Pay me just $20/day and I will call and remind you that “It’s ok to leave your dog home alone.”

As many times as it takes.

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