Tuesday, June 19

"Dogs Are the New Kids"

So reads a T-shirt sold in San Francisco, where dogs outnumber children. Part of the reason? Prices drive out families. It's hard to afford living in SF and raising a family. Another part? Probably the bizarre selfishness of our culture. But that's a different story altogether, and Kris Franklin has been covering that nicely in her posts on our society's contraceptive culture.

But even after reading her disturbing post about a woman who insisted on calling her dog her "son," I still wasn't prepared for the article that Mark Shea pointed out today. Let me give you a sampling of some of the more disturbing portions of the article, which is titled "S.F.'s Best Friend":

Carter, in a royal blue rugby shirt and tie, was ready for his first birthday party. A 6-foot poster bearing his likeness marked the gathering spot at Allyne Park in San Francisco, where 60 of his closest friends dipped their toes in an inflatable pool and noshed on beach-themed cupcakes designed by a food stylist.

Yes, it was a bit over the top for a Yorkshire terrier, but his parents were so proud.

As Stephen Colbert once said, "I s*** thee not." A SIX FOOT POSTER? A FOOD STYLIST? Good Lord, I wouldn't dream of doing this for my child, let alone an animal!!

Oh, please, this is actually just the beginning of the article. It really does get even better.

At the Best in Show dog boutique on Castro Street, sales of high-end designer dog toys go up every year, said co-owner Richard Shiu, who can sometimes be found sporting a T-shirt that reads, "Dogs Are the New Kids."

"People want function, but they also want design," said Shiu, whose top-selling toy is a rubber squeaky bust of President Bush. (There's also Arnold Schwarzenegger, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and Hillary Rodham Clinton).

Six or seven years ago, Chiu said, pet "guardians" (the officially sanctioned term in San Francisco) had boring choices between rawhides and rope bones. Now, people with disposable income want water bowls in Eames-style bent cherrywood holders and Cubist pet car seats. Or a furry black "Jimmy Chew" pump.

Nationally, pet lovers spent $38.5 billion on their animals in 2006, up from $21 billion a decade earlier.

Miki Manji plunked down a couple of Benjamins at Best in Show for a gray zippered sweatshirt with a red leather Maltese cross on the back for her dapple dachshund, Louie.

"He goes everywhere with me," said Manji. "I'm going through a breakup, so he's really comforting to me right now."

From here, we get into how there are now restaurants that cater to pet owners (yes, I'll continue to use that term - they are owned because they are animals, not people). You can bring your precious to a spa where they'll give it a facial, a pedicure, a big-screen TV, bottled water, etc.

And people feel really badly that they are out working and their poor babies animals are at home alone. So they WANT to take them out to dinner, you see.

"When you come home after work and your dog has been alone all day, you really feel guilty if you go out to dinner, so that's why Zazie is perfect for us," said Janet Moomaw, who shared a table with her German shepherd mix Findlay, her girlfriend and her neighborhood dog walker.

Seriously, this is completely bizarre and out-of-control. Animals are treated this way. Children go hungry or are killed in the womb, but people are out there spending hundreds of dollars on clothing for dogs. They are buying hotel stays for animals. They are going out to dinner and spending a ton of money so their animals don't feel bad for being home alone all day.

Guess what, people? They don't have feelings like us. Animals do not have souls like humans. They cannot reason. They are programmed to behave a certain way by God, and they do not love you like a child.

And they are NOT people.

My goodness! This is just crazy, folks. What I could do with even a fraction of the money those people are spending needlessly on their animals! How many charities could I support that feed the hungry and clothe the naked? How many churches could be built in missionary countries? How many wells could be dug? How many schools could be built? How many women in crisis pregnancies could I support?

But our society thinks it's just terrific to spend that kind of money on animals. So dogs and cats can get blueberry facials and organic food and faux-leather beds and big-screen TV's.


KristineFranklin said...

Good post. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who shares this serious PET PEEVE. It's sick, sick, sick.

Our new parish priest is from Africa. He is absolutely BAFFLED the fact of dogs in American life. When Father comes to our house the poodle is tied to the radiator in the kitchen. Last time Father said, "Thank you for keeping the dog away." Most people let their "fur children" mob the poor man...who can't wait to leave.

He asked me last week, "Why do Americans have dogs in their houses? Why do they love them?" And I said, "Look around at the size of most families in our parish, Father. Not enough kids."

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Welcome, Patricia! Stay a while and enjoy. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think not having kids is selfish. In fact, many people choose not to have kids because they feel that it is selfish to do so.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the anonymous above. People who expect to get something, whether it be emotional reciprocation back in return or being taken care of when you becomee elderly, are being selfish.

Who are your heros?


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