"We make money the old-fashioned way. We EARN it."
Are you old enough to remember that semi-snotty Smith Barney commercial? Well, I have the 2009 version of the way to earn cashola:
"We make money the new-fashioned way. We STEAL it."
That's how I feel about my latest trip to our local pet store. Just a little overwhelmed and much poorer for the journey.
Let's just start with the fact that there were about a dozen and a half dogs in the "doggy hotel" area. Obviously, the big-wigs at corporate had put a LOT of thought into the lobby area. It was complete with big, seamless, glass doors, columns worthy of Rome, and hardwood-like floors. The desk had a granite-looking top. I looked for the bell hop and concierge. They were, apparently, on break.
Now when I stopped to admire the dogs in the "play" area*, I encountered a collection of some of the most fabulously expensive mutts in the world. I counted among them a Bichon Frise, Italian Greyhound, Australian Ridgeback, and a Malamute. I think the one that most got my attention, though, was the oldest one in the area.
This poor guy was lying completely on his belly, hindquarters tucked under his abdomen, front legs straight forward, chin on his paws, sad eyes looking exactly nowhere. He had this look of "If I get more bored I might just die on the spot." You know the look; you get it from your kids every time you try to drag them to something cultural, like the symphony or museum of art. The big difference between this dog and kids is that the dog wasn't whining.
He maintained his stiff-as-a-board-dog-stature the entire time a poor cockapoo was being attacked by two dogs clearly out for blood. The cockapoo would run to the corners of the cage and, like two huge, obnoxious magnets, the big dogs would follow. No matter where this fluff of a dog went, biting paparazzi pursued. I almost knocked on the window to signal to these two alpha-wannabes "HEY! There's a Momma out here! If you aren't careful, I'm gonna open up a can o' whoopass on you" but the poo-shovel-and-rake carrying person beat me to the punch**.
I wondered if the spiritless dog's owners knew how insanely disenchanted he was? What were they paying for their little dog to be so blase? Obviously, they had gone through the "pet's parent interview" process and their little depressed dog had been introduced to the group. How could they have possibly missed this little symptom when they did a "temperament assessment"?
Well, if boredom came with a price tag, it would cost $18/day. According to my calculation, if you took Fido every work day all month long, that would cost $360. Can you say "car payment"? Cripes, I send the Babe to Preschool for less than that! Somehow, I'm thinking that there should be a GREAT divide between what it costs to educate my child and take care of my mutts.
Now, I love my dogs. I don't "heart" them and let them french kiss me like some people I know, but I'd sincerely be sad if they decided to run away or got hit by a Mack truck. When it comes down to it, though, if there is a choice between my dogs going to a "doggy day camp" and me getting a massage, I'm stripping down and jumping on the table, face down, in a New York minute.
As I left the store, about $20 lighter for the shopping, I realized "GEEZ. All I bought was a collar and few dog biscuits." So, as much as I'd like to rescue that poor old camper from his days of indifference, I really don't think I can afford another dog at this house.
That is, unless he comes with a "doggy masseuse" who will work on humans at a discounted rate.
*They are referred to as "campers". That sound you are hearing is me gagging.
**I have one dog who deposits poo inside my house and the smell is horrendous. I wonder if this person, who is dealing with much more poo than I, is receiving hazard pay? Or, better yet, will there soon be a class-action lawsuit for "poo lung"?