From the Washington Post (via Steve Gilliard):
Puppy Love, at a Price: Affluent Owners Find More Ways to Pamper Their Pets
Excerpt: "Last year, pet owners across the country spent...$34.4 billion caring for their pets, more than double the $17 billion a year spent a decade earlier, according to American Pet Product Manufacturing Association Inc., a Greenwich, Conn.-based trade association. Much of that cash went for routine veterinary visits and over-the-counter food, but more owners are paying for toys, gourmet biscuits and a nice haircut, as well. Cats outnumber dogs, but more of the money is going to the dogs."
I love dogs. Dogs are wonderful creatures: intelligent, empathetic, capable of genuine friendship up to a point. (Some dogs, anyway; not those nasty tiny little yappy ones.) I take a backseat to no one in my regard for dogs.
But good God Almighty in Heaven above, a nation that spends $34.4 billion a year on dogs and other pets is one seriously whacked-out, morally demented land. Spa packages? Birthday parties? Dog dance lessons? No wonder we live in an age of "frozen scandal," where no official crime, no matter how monstrous – torture, repression, deceit, aggressive war and mass murder – ever sparks a wave of outrage and protest from the American people. Too many people are turned completely inward, too busy projecting their own immense self-regard onto the blank screen of their pets. "Oh, Mooky-Pooky just love me so, look at him wag him little Mooky-Pook tail when he see him Mooky mommy and daddy come through the door!" No wonder our leaders treat us with such absolute contempt and believe they can play for fools whenever they want, about anything they do.