Could it be that – when it comes to providing unnecessary and disturbingly human goods and services to dogs – South America is becoming as bonkers as North America?
One look inside Motel Pet (with its ceiling mirrors, romantic lighting and plush red decor, Motel Sex would have been a better name) indicates the answer is yes.
The motel — aimed at offering dogs a cozy and romantic place to breed – was opened earlier this year by Animalle Mundo Pet, a pet superstore in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
It’s modeled after the kind of themed love motels that aren’t uncommon in Brazil — like Swing, Absinthe and Alibi — that offer lovers a place to do just that discreetly and, if desired, by the hour.
And it’s just the latest evidence that, at least in the more urban areas, Brazilians are taking doting on their dogs to new extremes.
A New York Times article about the motel points out that Brazil’s pet population has jumped to 36 million, and that in some large cities plastic surgeons are offering Botox injections for dogs. It traces the rapid growth in doggie services to the emergence of a middle-class Brazil.
At Animalle Mundo Pet, the doggie love nests — at $50 a night — are the latest addition to a spectrum of services once reserved for humans. The store sells a beef-flavored dog beer, and offers a spa with a Japanese ofuro soaking tub, as well as several lines of designer canine apparel.
After spending $500 on clothes for her Yorkshire terrier, customer Andreia Kfoury checked out the motel area and said it would be perfect for Harley’s romantic pursuits.
“I’m definitely bringing Harley back here when it’s time for him to breed,” she said. “He is very macho, and would be a hit in this place.”
Our guess is that Harley, even though he’s a Yorkie, would be just as happy to get it on in a vacant lot, but, as those who offer humanesque services to dogs are well aware, dog owners are the ones who hold the money, and fall for the marketing ploys.
For those rendezvous that don’t produce results, Animalle Mundo Pet also offers to arrange artificial insemination. They don’t offer cloning, but give them another 10 years.
According to the Times article, per capita income has risen in Brazil to about $10,700 a year. At the same time, family size has gotten smaller, with the average number of children dropping from 2.5 in the 1990s to 1.9. Life expectancy has climbed from 67 to 73. With more time, more money and fewer children, many Brazilians have turned to dogs, and the country is now No. 1 in per capita ownership of small dogs (those 20 pounds or less).
(Photo: Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Animalle Mundo Pet, animals, behavior, belo horizonte, bitches, brazil, breeding, dogs, heat, humanizing, humans, love motels, motel pet, ownership, pet, pets, romance, romantic, sex, small dogs, south america, studs, superstore
It’s “National Dress Up Your Pet Day.”
And — with apologies to any advertisers or potential advertisers we might offend, to the founder of the day, and to dog dresser-uppers everywhere — we hate it.
We abide it, when it’s just done once in a while; when it’s done for purposes of warmth with dogs of the tiny, short coated, shivering variety; and, to some extent, on Halloween.
But overall, we’re every bit as tired of it as most of the dogs who get dressed up probably are.
For all those who will respond saying how much their dogs love being dressed up, I’d submit that it’s the attention, not the attire, that they are appreciating. (Though I will admit Ace does seem to love it when I change his bandana — generally when it gets crusty and/or stinky, or about every three months.)
While we’re at it, we’re tired, too, of all these “national days” being proclaimed — at least those that aren’t for a good cause, but are instead marketing gimmicks.
It’s got to stop somewhere. What’s next? National Clone Your Dog Day?
And one more note of concern: If we keep humanizing dogs, through dressing them up and such, might the day come that they get so like us that they start proclaiming “national days?”
National Rawhide Chew Day, National Pet Your Dog All Day Long Day, National Don’t Forget the Belly Day, National Double Up The Dinner Serving Day, National Dig A Hole Day, National Fetch And Then Fetch Some More And Perhaps A Little More Fetch Day.
It could get totally out of control.
I’m pretty sure President Obama didn’t declare Jan. 14 “National Dress Up Your Pet Day,” I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an act of Congress. Instead, it seems National Dress Up Your Pet Day was founded in 2009 by Colleen Paige, a “celebrity pet lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist,” who has proclaimed several dog-related national days (though I don’t begin to understand what gives her the authority to proclaim days).
It is sponsored by the Animal Miracle Network “as a fun way to celebrate our beloved pets and to support the pet fashion community.”
“It’s important to remember though,” notes Paige, “that it’s not … a day to disrespect our pets with uncomfortable, vulgar and/or seasonally inappropriate costumes for the sake of a laugh or photo shoot.”
“Have fun with your pets by dressing them in cute outfits and safe costumes – but keep your pet’s comfort level in mind when involving him/her in this fun novelty day. Make sure that your pet can see and hear properly and that they aren’t wearing something that might overheat them or incorporate any parts that they may chew off and swallow.”
Dogs are too smart to fall for “National Dress Up Your Pet Day,” but at least some of us humans seem to buy into it.
Here’s a snippet from a recent article that appeared on Petstyle.com:
“With the big day just around the corner, now is the time to coordinate some fabulous outfits so your pet can celebrate in style! This is your chance to make Fido fit for the runway. But remember, there is more involved than just pulling your pet’s favorite frock out of her wardrobe. As a pet owner, there are a few things to consider as you prepare for the main event …
“Think about your pet’s personality. Your regal Doberman will not appreciate being dressed in a pink sweater with maribou trim. He is more likely to appreciate a fashionable camo fleece or a suitable biker hat … Then again, your Bichon Frise might love the pink sweater. Or put some prep in your pet with this yuppie puppy attire …
“If rain is expected in your location, opt for a totally ‘in’ rain coat and possibly even a matching set of boots. After all, being hip doesn’t mean being impractical. And you don’t want your pet to catch a cold as he shows off his fabulous fashion sense.”
Geesh. We’ve made this point before, unpopular as it may be with a large segment of dog people. If a dog requires protection from the elements, fine. If once a year, on Halloween, you want to decorate your dog, safely and comfortably, fine.
But if dressing your dog, merely for decoration’s sake, is a daily, or even weekly diversion, if you’re constantly putting him or her in outfits, if you have more than, say, two dozen of them, perhaps you might want to consider a doll instead.
Even on National Dress Up Your Dog Day, which, come to think of it, might be a good time to change Ace’s bandana.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animal miracle network, animals, anthropomorphic, bandana, behavior, clothing, colleen paige, costumes, days, decorating, decoration, dog, dogs, dress, dress up, fashion, gimmicks, halloween, human, humanizing, marketing, national days, national dress up your pet day, outfits, owners, pet fashion, pets, proclaimed, proclamation
Yesterday, I came across the website Momlogic, by virtue of an article appearing therein that triggered my special Internet alarm that goes off when somebody, somewhere is verbally bashing dogs.
The article was headlined Your Dog Grosses Me Out.
In it, Jennifer Ginsberg — a Los Angeles mother, writer, addiction specialist and producer of the website angstmom – recounts a dinner party experience in which she encountered not one, but two dogs, who were not only inside the house, but behaved, well, like dogs.
“If you choose to cohabit with dogs, then how about putting them outside for meals and parties? I know that you consider them to be a part of the family, but they are animals, not people, and it is not acceptable for them to infringe on the comfort of your guests.”
She continues: “It is freaking annoying when I sit down on your fur-covered sofa with a plate of food and your dog stands one inch from me, panting his nasty doggy breath and whimpering as he begs for my crudites. My 2-year-old daughter didn’t enjoy when Shlomo sucked on her toes while she was eating birthday cake, either!
“Humanizing animals is a glaring example of our society’s broken moral compass. It’s easier for some people to feel frothy emotion about the imagined plight of an animal over actual human suffering. It’s also simpler to have a relationship with a pet than a person — there aren’t any real emotional requirements, and you get to feel loved unconditionally for no good reason.
“If these self-proclaimed dog lovers really cared about animals, perhaps they would strive to meet their genuine needs, rather than attempt to turn their dogs into submissive love slaves. These poor dogs are tools for people to get their narcissistic needs met, while they deserve to be respected for the animals they are. The truth is, dogs don’t belong in houses — their natural habitat is outdoors — and they certainly don’t belong at a party with young children running around.”
I’m guessing Ginsburg won’t have to worry about being invited back to a party at that dog-contaminated house again. What’s puzzling, though, is why she went to the party in the first place, given her feelings (or lack thereof) about dogs, and given she admits to knowing there’d be at least one there: “I knew that I would have to deal with Shlomo, their big, stinky dog.”
From time to time, I see a similar sort of behavior at the park: The person with an unsocialized and leashed dog, though plenty of alternate routes are available, opts to walk him right through the middle of 20 unleashed ones, then complains when their dog is approached by one of them. Some people just seem to thrive on confrontation.
While it’s true that wolves, from which dogs evolved, may not “belong in houses,” neither do apes, from which we evolved into the ruling, supremely intelligent, somewhat bossy species we have become.
Given her field of expertise, you’d think Ginsburg would at least be a little more understanding about the plight of the dog-addicted.
Meanwhile, I have only this advice for the next time she’s invited to a party where there might be a danger of her comfort being infringed upon by her gracious host’s lowly dogs:
Stay at home, mom.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angstmom, animals, apes, behavior, complaint, confrontation, dog, dog-bashing, dogs, evolution, friends, habitat, homes, humanizing, humans, indoors, inside, jennifer ginsberg, logic, mom, momlogic.com, mothers, natural, party, relationships, species, status, stay at home, wolves, your dog grosses me out