Tuesday, July 19, 2005

It's Our Anniversary

Not me and my fiance. Me and my dog, Holly. Two years ago I became a member of the quirky, and just plain weird, Club of Dog Owners.

Holly, who is a fun and cute West Highland terrier, is actually my mother's dog. My mom can no longer look after Holly, so, rather than give her away, I took her in. My fiance very kindly agreed to this arrangement, even though his idea of a proper dog is one that can leap into the air to catch Frisbees. If you throw a Frisbee at Holly, it'll just bounce off her nose while she gives you a puzzled look.

Anyway, it's been interesting to join this club, which is filled with an awful lot of people who seem to have too much time on their hands and an unhealthy obsession with their dogs. For example, check out this fun article by Emily Joffe in Slate on a weird new pet trend: canine freestyle, or dancing with your dog. Yes, people and their dogs, dancing together. According to the Canine Federation website:

Canine Freestyle is a choreographed performance with music, illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team. Watch for the dog to be moving to the beat of the music and look for the bond between the dog and handler.

Or take a recent Boston Globe society page story about a local foodie hot spot that now holds dog and owner cocktail events. They offer such dog treats as a dogmopolitan (lamb broth with beet juice) for $1.50. And people are actually going to these events. Me, I ain't paying $1.50 for a dog treat when Holly spends most of our walks truffling for dirt and wood chips and other mysterious detritus.

And yesterday, during the afternoon dog walk, I chatted with a woman is a dog massager. Yes, she goes to people's homes to massage their dogs, apparently to cleanse the dogs' lymphatic system and keep their joints limber.

I don't know, maybe city-dwelling dog owners are weirder than suburban or rural ones. It's a much bigger decision to have a dog in the city. It's not like you look outside and say, hey, we've got a big yard, let's buy a dog to put in it. No, for us city dwellers, owning a dog takes a bit more effort. Three times a day, my dog and I troop down the four flights of stairs in our building so that Holly can take care of her doggie business. And you can't just skip one of these walks when you're not in the mood. So, if you're going to make that kind of commitment to an animal, you have to be pretty darn committed. Or possibly, you just should be committed.

I thought you said she was cute?

Eeeew. That picture should carry a warning.
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