Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another bad case of the rants...

I am really becoming sick and tired of people and their dogs. I readily admit that I am personally not a fan of the canine. But I am actually becoming more and more of a dog-hater. They smell. They poop everywhere. They chew things up. They jump on you. They run around with stupid expressions on their faces. They get into things. They slobber. Sometimes they snarl and bite. They are almost always obnoxious. (Exceptions: Cletus, Sage, Chief)

In truth, however, saying one is a dog-hater is akin to saying one is a child-hater. And let’s be honest…we don’t hate kids but, rather, in those cases we hate the way they’re been parented. After all, it’s not the kid’s fault. And I suppose it’s not the dog’s fault either. So let me rephrase. I merely dislike dogs; I am beginning to hate dog-owners.

But the fact remains: this morning I heard a segment on NPR about doggie daycares. They featured a doggie daycare outside Washington D.C. that charges $30 per day to doggysit. (Note: I currently pay $25 per day for our Sam-sitter.) According to the woman being interviewed, “We just don’t have time to take care of a dog.” You see, she is busy studying for the Bar Exam and her husband is a software salesman who travels a lot. I would like to posit that if these people are so busy, perhaps they ought not to own a dog.

I would like to further suggest that they donate the $7,500 they would spend on their freaking dog-sitter this year to a cause that would do some good like…um…I don’t know…FEED STARVING CHILDREN? Perhaps…HELP PREVENT THE GLOBAL SPREAD OF AIDS?
I don't know...just some suggestions. What do I know?

These dogs have more to eat and more to play with than an astonishing number of our nation’s CHILDREN. Working parents all over the country struggle to find quality PERSON care on a daily basis. They struggle with cost, often leaving young children home alone or with siblings who are also too young to care for them. And yet here is an entire subculture of dog-worshipers who spend more on their dogs in a day than I spend on formula in a week….more than I spend on diapers in a MONTH (thanks to Sam’s Club)… in just one day…to pay for an entirely self-sufficient ANIMAL to PLAY. These animals play with and chew on children’s toys…purchased just for them, while so many HUMAN CHILDREN go without. Their human “parents” watch them via webcam to make sure they’re doing okay. (If they have time to watch them on the webcam, then why, exactly, are the doggies at daycare anyway?) How nice would it be if more daycares that actually cared for human children had such features?

Incidentally…the doggie daycare featured in the segment cares for about 50 dogs per day. Do the math…that’s 30 dogs x $50…
$1,500 per day
$10,500 per week
$546,000 per year
And this is just at one doggie daycare…

What an utterly stupid, shameless and self-indulgent way to spend so much money. I am completely disgusted. Where the hell are our priorities?


claire.and.katie said...

That cracks me up, Sarah! That's so true. In Portland there are a ton of these "doggie day care centers", I never imagined that they were for people who lived in town, I just figured everyone was on vacation. (there is also a bar here, called the Lucky Labrador, that smells like dog (YUCK!) and you can for sure bring your dog to the patio, but maybe even to a closed off area in the bar! and it's right next door to the Howl-Day Inn-- no joking!) (BTW-- Nice blog. I read it all the time now. I hope you didn't mind that we used YOU as blog fodder. I was so happy to read that birth announcement on the Record-Eagle site-- Congratulations to you and Owen and Sam!)

The Betta said...

Hey don't knock dog owners they keep me in the lifestyle I've unfortunetly been living. On the other hand I'm a big big fan of those who arn't able to care for a pet shouldn't get one. 20 year old kids in apartments!! (Dog is a bad idea)

Responsible Dog Owner said...

Sarah - Just a few thoughts I would like to share with you.

YOu are right - it is the people not the dogs that are the propblem. There are two groups of dog owners out there - those who are responsible dog owners and those who are not.

Irresponsible dog owners ruin it for the responsible dog owners AND everyone else. How do they do this? They let their dogs poop in public areas and don't scoop; they don't train their dogs not to jump up on people; and they don't properly socialize them to prevent fear agression towards strangers. Irresponsible owners also get dogs when they don't have the time and or resources to deal with them.

Responsible dog owners know that getting a dog is a commitment to care for, feed, excercise, train and love a dog for its whole life.

Believe it or not, doggy daycare facilities are probably most used by responsible dog owners. OK I admit the SPAS are just ridiculous. But People who use regular doggy daycare realize that because of changes that happen in everyone's life (new job with longer hours, new child, personal heath problems) that they need some help making sure their dog gets the excercise that they need. Bored dogs that don't get excercise often end up in shelters because they start destroying the house or being aggressive.

I totally agree with you that on the whole this country does not spend enough money on child care. Children are the future, but we don't treat them that way in terms of the reources spent on them. I also agree with you that there are lots of good causes out there that need money. BUT perhaps if you look at doggie daycares as ways to keep dogs out of animal shelters you might feel a bit better about the amount of money that is spent this way.

Bottom line, having a dog is a luxury. Just like going out for dinner, seeing a movie, driving a car when you could just as easily take mass transit OR WALK, buying extra shoes (you can probably get buy with 4 or less pairs), buying more clothes that you don't really need, taking vacations, buying wine, beer or cigarets, buying a flat screen TV especially when you have a perfectly functioning TV allready, buying computer games, buying a fancy car. If you catch my drift.

American's are used to enjoying quite a high standard of living. So if you are pissed because people are spending tons of money every year to - drive their SUVs to the corner store; buying fruit grown in South America at high end grocery stores like Whole Foods; text messaging and talking on cell phones just to say hi; downloading music for their I-pods; getting shoes to match every outfit; buying excercies equipment they don't ever use; playing the slots in Las Vegas; the list can go on and on - Then you definitely should also be pissed at dog owners whether they are responsible owners or not.

If you have something that you spend money on that you don't really need, then you should cut the responsible dog owners some slack.

BTW - I have owned a dog for 13 years. When I got her I was in graduate school. I now work a job that requires me to be at the office for 10-12 hours 5 days a week(no joke) I use a dog walker to make sure she gets a break in the middle of the day. If I was irresponsible, I would have just given her to a shelter when my work life ballance got so out of whack, or perhaps I would leave her in the yard to bark at my neighbors all day. But I care about my dog and my neighbors so I get help from a dog walker. Would I get a puppy today knowing I would be gone so much during the day? No I wouldn't. But I am thankful that my dog walker allows me to keep the comitment I made 13 years ago.

Thanks for reading