I have a friend, let's call her Diana Dogcrazy, who is mad about dogs... her two beloved cocker spaniels, especially. She's mad about all fine things canine: premium dog food, holistic treats, playdates and daycares, pet-friendly restaurants and hotels, doggie massages and acupuncture, and anything posh for her doggie diva babies. Her house? Not so posh. Her own clothes? Mediocre. Her own beauty regimen? A fraction of the time she preens over pooches. She admitted to me that she spends more money on pet-related items than on herself, and she laughs heartily when I asked her to recall the last time she got her nails done or splurged on a massage.
I know what you are thinking. She doesn't have kids (true) so she is directing those maternal instincts toward her poochies. Healthy? Sure. Well, maybe.
Without sounding like the bleeding liberal I can be, isn't all this pampering over pooches a bit much? Ever read Three Cups of Tea or seen Slumdog Millionaire? Ever wonder if her time/money/effort could be redirected toward a greater good, like volunteering at an animal shelter or being a mom-figure and mentor to young girls? And you'd never know America is really in a recession if you visit your local Petco on a Saturday afternoon.
I represent the Bay Colony Dog Show, an American Kennel Club event running the first weekend of December 2009 at the R.I. Convention Center, and see the whole gamut of doggie paradise... from the charitable 4-H and rescue club folks who volunteer to spend four days educating the public, to the lavish grooming and preening (and competitive chatter) going on "backstage" before the show dogs enter the ring to be judged for "Best In Show" honors. It's quite a scene... one you have to experience for yourself to see doggie divas and doggie accoutrements at their finest.
Oops, look at the time. Time to take my English bulldog out for a drag wearing his custom doggie harnass we bought at the show last year. Chow chow for now!