I found this little gem of a story — about a dog enjoying life in the home of a millionaire — in the Summit Daily.
It was written by Micaela Gilchrist, from notes she took last year while attending a “Parade of Homes.”
The annual event in Summit County, Colorado, like those held elsewhere, gives not so wealthy people a chance to visit inside the homes of highly wealthy people, covet their stuff, and, in some cases, make a few whispered jabs at the homeowners, or at themselves for not having achieved greater financial success.
Gilchrist, an author, describes a couple observing what they thought was a bedroom in one house, only to learn what they’d walked into was a closet, one of 11 in the home. The husband turns to the wife and says, “My life is a pile of crap.”
This is a dog story, though (and a crap-free one, you’ll be pleased to know), and we’ll be getting to the dog. But first here’s Gilchrist explaining why she makes a point of going to the annual tour of ritzy homes:
“I don’t attend the Summit County Parade of Homes every year just to view innovation in design and architecture — although there are marvels to behold. Nope. I go to enjoy the spectacle of people ogling other people’s stuff and to eavesdrop on the things they say to one another on the tour.”
It was inside the crown jewel of last year’s tour — a home that had reportedly undergone $9 million in renovations and which, she says, “glimmered with astonishing opulence” — that she noted how taken everyone touring the home was with the owner’s dog:
“The Labrador retriever waggled through the mobs, greeting each person with a nudge and slobber. What a great mascot for this home! The lab’s nose was coned in soil from digging in the garden and his mud-caked nails clicked on the marble floors. He was exactly the sort of dog we had at home, a good ol’ boy who didn’t mind getting dirty once in a while. Suddenly, we liked the owner of this palatial spread a little bit more. Maybe, the rich weren’t so different, after all.”
She describes a couple in their 90s — among the visitors — who sat down and opened a Tupperware container of cheese sandwiches. The wife gave her husband half, then fed the dog her half, despite her husband’s warnings.
“You shouldn’t feed him cheese,” he said. “Some dogs get the winds when they eat cheese.”
“The dog yawned and dragged his masculine undercarriage over the silk fabric of the designer sofa. Turning a few circles, he snagged the delicate weave with his long nails and then collapsed. He rested his head on a tasseled pillow. Snoring like a buffalo, he then began to drool. And because the old man had been correct about Labs and cheese, the sleeping dog loosed a concerto of extravagant flatulence, while the public held their noses and ran laughing from the room.”
About then a young man in torn jeans and dirty boots came running in through the French doors.
“Murphy! There you are Murphy. What the hell are you doing up here?”
The young man grabbed Murphy by the collar and pulled him off the couch, explaining that Murphy — despite the way he was making himself at home — wasn’t an official resident, after all:
“Nah, I muck out the stables across the way. One minute the dog is there behind me. Next minute, Murphy’s slipping off to hang out with the millionaires … We’re both living out of my Honda Civic right now until we can afford to rent a place. C’mon, Murphy.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, article, author, colorado, custom, designer, dogs, homes, luxury, micaela gilchrist, millionaires, murphy, parade of homes, people, pets, rich, rich dogs, summit county, summit daily, wealth, wealthy dogs
In the virtual world, you can, with a few well-placed clicks, pick your house, your car, your clothes, your physique, hair style and persona.
You can go out for a night on the town, in the setting of your choice, looking for love, or a fight, or any of thousands of other adventures — all of which are under your control.
Or you can spend a quiet evening at virtual home with your virtual pet — like a Panda-chow, or a tiger-husky, whose behavior, traits, appearance and even species combination are all changeable at your whim.
The video above is a preview for Sims 3 Pets, hitting the market today.
At the risk of sounding like an old man (one can’t criticize video games or apps without sounding like an old man), at the risk of being told by countless commenters that it’s only a game (yes, I realize that), I find it bothersome (and I don’t just mean that annoying narration).
In a way, I find what Sims 3 Pets does with dogs and cats nearly as troubling as that dogfighting app that led to so much controversy.
It’s a reflection of the same wrongheaded (in my view) mindset that we can do whatever we want to with dogs as long as it (A) entertains us, (B) makes money, (C) makes our lives easier, or (D) is done in the name of science.
It’s that mindset that leads to dogs as fashion accessories, dogs being abandoned when fads change, cruel laboratory experiments, greyhound racing, dogfighting, puppy mills, over breeding and, yes, cloning.
It’s thinking that dogs and all animals exist to serve our whims — however fleeting, selfish or bizarre those whims may be.
“Lighten up dude, it’s just a video game,” you might say. “It’s just a fantasy.”
And you’d have a point.
But (A) experimenting with and exploiting dogs doesn’t just happen in video games; and (B) Sims is not really the target of my tirade, for the game is just the latest rendition of a recurring theme in our society.
Of course, if it weren’t for man’s self-serving tinkering, we wouldn’t have dogs at all. It was man that shaped the wolf into all the diverse shapes and sizes we have now — and I’m not for doing away with any of them.
But somewhere — at least in real life, if not in video games — all the tinkering needs to stop.
We don’t need tiger-retrievers, or panda-chows — whether it’s the result of creative hair-styling and dye jobs, or inter-species experiments, or cell manipulation.
We don’t need robot dogs, or gladiator dogs, or fluorescent dogs, or dogs so inbred that they are unhealthy caricatures of themselves, or dogs created in a laboratory from the harvested cells of a deceased pet.
We don’t need to reinvent the dog, redesign the dog, ressurect the dog or even fine tune the dog. It’s fine as it is, and much of man’s meddling — whether it’s to make dogs more predictable, produce look-alike, act-alike cookie cutter versions of them, or invent new versions that are low-drool or non-allergenic — is an insult to that.
It’s even more of an arrogant pursuit when you stop and consider that the species that probably needs the most work is us. Maybe it’s our inability to control what happens among our fellow humans that makes us so prone to inflicting control over dogs, nature, or whatever else we can.
Here is something I said before, somewhere: If there is even a remote chance of controlling something, humans wanted to control it, preferably remotely.
In Sims 3 Pets, players can create and control over a hundred different kinds of cats and dogs, and can breed and share them with friends providing endless possibilities to create “new and exciting” breeds.
One can customize the pet’s coat, shape, pattern, color; the size of its ears, tail, snout, eyes, and more. You can also choose their behavior pattern, traits and control their bodily functions.
Dogs can even get jobs and make money.
And most creepy of all, pets can be shaped via virtual interspecies breeding, resulting in skunk-cats and panda-chows.
(If you think mixing species, fluorescent dogs and cloning are too far fetched to ever happen, I’d refer you to my book, DOG, INC.: the Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend. They all already have.
It would be too much to ask, given that pesky First Amendment and all, that gamemakers refrain from virtual interspecies breeding.
But wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow limit all forms of novelty dogs — and other bad human concepts like war — to the confines of computerized games?
Unfortunately, that seems out of our control.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeding, breeds, cloned, cloning, control, creating, design, designer, dog, dog inc., dogfighting, dogs, domain, experiments, fluorescent, game, greyhound racing, interspecies, laboratory, manipulation, mindset, nature, novelty, over breeding, panda-chow, pets, robot, SIMS, SIMS Pets, SIMS Pets 3, simulation, tiger-husky, tinkering, video game, virtual, whims
On April 30, the Postal Service will issue a 44–cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp series.
With the 10 stamp designs — five cats and five dogs — the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.
The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.
The stamps were designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.
In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and her dog food company, Halo: Purely for Pets, will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.
To pre-order the stamps, go here.
Here’s a closer look at the dogs chosen for the stamps:
Teddy, a wired-haired Jack Russell terrier: The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter.
Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat.
Trevor, a yellow Lab: Trevor and his litter mates were found abandoned at 8-10 weeks of age at a new home construction site.
They were rescued by Labrador Retriever Rescue of CT, Inc. Trevor was adopted by a couple who are a perfect match for his outgoing personality.
Buddy, a golden retriever: Buddy is a pure-bred golden who was purchased from a pet store. At only eight months old, he had such bad hips that his family gave him to a shelter.
Now, Buddy is flourishing with his family who have improved his health through regular exercise and a good diet.
Bindu Su, an Australian shepherd: Bindi Su’s mother was handed over to a rescue group when her owners found out she was expecting.
Bindu Su was adopted at eight weeks old.
Now she competes in agility events and visits a local nursing home weekly.
Jake, a Boston Terrier: Purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving when he was eight weeks old, Jake’s original family quickly realized that they couldn’t take care of him.
The pet shop had a no-return policy, so Jake was turned over to a shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, australian shepherd, awareness, bindu su, boston terrier, buddy, cats, connecticut, derry noyes, designer, designs, dogs, donating, ellen degeneres, golden retriever, halo, jack russell terrier, jake, meals, million, new milford, news, order, pets, photography, photos, post office, postal service, rescue, rescued, sally andersen-bruce, shelter, shelters, stamps, teddy, ten, trevor, yellow lab
Nice digs, huh? It’s the new “mini mansion” Paris Hilton had designed and built for her dogs. It’s a smaller version of Paris’ Beverly Hills home, right down to the miniature furniture similar to her own. The lavish doghouse also has air conditioning, “Chewy Vuitton” beds, closets, two floors, a spiral staircase and chandelier, according to the Daily Mail.
Paris has been posting photos of the puppy palace on Twitter, probably because flauntingmywealth.com doesn’t exist yet. Give it time.
The luxurious house was built for Hilton’s 13 dogs, who include Marilyn Monroe, Dolce , Harajuku Bitch and Tinkerbell.
Writing on her Twitter page, the 28-year-old said: “I have to admit, I may have spoiled them a little too much. But how can I not? Just look at those sweet lil’ faces.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Add new tag, beverly hills, celebrities, designer, doghouse, dogs, dolce, flauntingmywealth.com, harajuku bitch, mansion, marilyn monroe, paris hilton, tinkerbell, twitter
Kenley Collins, the third place designer from the show’s fifth season, was arrested Tuesday in a Brooklyn home. Police say she attacked her sleeping ex-fiance with a laptop computer, apples and a hurled cat.
According to legal papers Kenley told her ex, “You’re lucky … it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Kenley was charged with 2nd degree assault, 3rd degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree, according to TMZ.