Dog Day Afternoon

written April 21, 2009


Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend, get a dog,” and that’s what I find myself thinking about this afternoon, but I am less than a novice on the subject. All of my experience come from what other people have had, or with run-ins with homeless canines at Petco. My brain is well aware they can be hyperactive, dirty, and destructive, but my over-exposure to the “Hollywood” dog impels me to the non-fact that dogs are best at saving children named Timmy from wells, solving crimes, and giving an inquisitive look at just the right- and funniest- moment.

My utter lack of doggie experience led me at one time to foolishly question- in front of an owner no less- if dogs were just as equal as people. Yes, “duck,” I now know. I hadn’t gotten around to the idea that relationship with pets can be as well, soulful, as with humans. And unconditional to boot, even if, of the two, Steve would not be the one to destroy the new ottoman with his teeth.

Some like, you, are brand new owners, and I here I am wondering how long it takes for the pooch to develop a bond. Most likely not long, in the usual conditions. Sometimes I would like a dog to run the trails of Edwardsville with- they always seem so excited to see the next tree, butterfly, tree, or butterfly. It’s sort of a reminder to enjoy the simple things, isn’t it? I’m all for adoption for anyone who is loving and responsible, but I don’t think I would have chosen “Bo,” as the First Family did. My imagination sees a medium Jack Russell yipping at my heels as I enter the door, and the excitement of arrival would be very gratifying after a long day. OK, perhaps he’s just waitin’ for Kibbles, but I’ll be optimistic.
Of course, more owners are actually giving their dogs up now, and I wonder at what point that comes. How many other things are sacrificed before the family friend is too much? Perhaps its ultimately a responsible act on the whole, if they can’t provide for it adequately.

My lack of dog knowledge led me to peruse Google and find out about what the modern dog’s life entails. Honestly, in the extreme cases some children don’t have it as good: Doggie play-dates and doggie physics can be readily signed up for. A website, “Doggie Vogue” lists pajamas and (shudder) an “all-American” red-white-and-blue bikini, which will then be put in its own armorer, listed at $300.

Missing your dog?.. Your dog, or just a dog? In case you find yourself sans k-9 while in New York City and away from “Sparky,” you can cheat on him and hire a replacement!:

Jackpot, Pirate, and Tango are among the pooches available to lease by the hour or the day from Flexpetz, a dog rental company with offices in Los Angeles, New York and London.
While some upscale hotels have lent dogs to guests over the years, Flexpetz is making a business out of it. For a $99 administration charge, a $99 monthly membership fee, and a $150 mandatory training and orientation session, a customer can rent as many dog day afternoons as desired, for an additional $45 each.

Who rents a dog? People who travel a lot, people who live in places that don’t allow pets, and people like 26 year-old Sarah Stevenson, who moved to New York from Scotland. “It’s been difficult for me to meet people because everyone in New York just kind of goes about their business,” Stevenson lamented. But when she’s out walking a rented cockapoo named Oliver, “It becomes a nice way to meet people.”

Finally, maybe my standards are too low. I’d just like a dog that is happy to see me, wants to play in the park and can catch a Frisbee in his mouth- I’d even allow a bandanna if he/she could. Is that asking so much?? Of course I’ll have to think of a name… Payton (for Walter), Ringo, Mojo, Alegre? Whatever the name, I’m sure I would learn just as much and become a more patient person. Good luck with your new addition, and, after all, if a dog accepts the craziness that people are, who are we to change them…

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