Those Expensive Pets

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Last year pet owners spent more than 50 billion dollars on their animals.

Imagine that.......50 billion dollars.

That is a steadily increasing amount, partly because there are more products for owners to spend money on.

My dog Chip never had luxuries. The only time he went to a veterinarian was when he had ear canker and for his yearly rabies shot. Other than that, he was home treated. He didn't have all those fancy dog products that are advertised today. He lived a good life and died at age 16, almost 17.

Yes, he was spoiled, treated like a family member..

Right now on television there's an advertisement for a Thundershirt for anxiety dogs. The Thundershirt is used to comfort dogs during thunderstorms, separation, and travel, the ad states.. The gentle hugging pressure on the dog's body calms the pet much like wrapping a baby snuggly in "swaddling", to calm the irritable or upset baby. To calm Chip, I just held him on my lap and gave him a reassuring pat now and then.

For dogs, the Thundershirt costs about $40. For a pink or blue polo there's an extra fee of $5.

At Petsmart (why, oh why, did I sell my stock) you can buy a Feathertop orthopedic mattress for dogs at a cost of $249.

Petstores and other stores sell a variety of items for dogs..There are hooded rain coats, life jackets, rhinestone collars, leashes, kennels, cushions, grooming supplies, pet costumes for Halloween and Christmas, boots, toys, flea and tick collars for dogs and cats, and sundry other items.

The list goes on and on, which reminds me of the time my daughter gave my son's dog, Boss Man, a sweater for winter. He would have none of it. After my son wrestled the sweater onto the dog, he jumped straight up into the air, then rolled on his back, arched his neck and tried his best to dismantle the sweater with his teeth. He refused to wear such a contraption.

My daughter's two Schnauzers have winter sweaters and a basketful of toys and chew bones. They eat special dog food that comes individually packaged because that's what the veterinarian suggested and what they prefer...

They spend a lot of money for vet bills each year also. And also for over the counter medications to treat allergies. There are also special shampoos and lotions, and special shots, too..

Then there's Chloe, the cat. She requires a litter box, litter, special fur lined bed which she doesn't like, and cat food. Last night she refused to come indoors, instead spread herself on a pile of dirt in the backyard. She's her own boss and will let her owner know when she's good and ready to come indoors for the night. At that time, she meows loudly to be fed.

There was a period of time when I slept in the same room with Chloe.

There wasn't a problem until one night she plowed right in the middle of my stomach, from a dead run across the room. Usually she curled up and slept in a nearby chair.

Then each morning about 4:30 or 5 a.m. I'd feel a light gentle touch on my face.

I would awaken to see Chloe peering into my face. She would be standing on my bedside table.

She would meow ever so softly and continue to touch my face with her paw until I got up and let her outdoors. She didn't have a lot to do with me unless she wanted her stomach rubbed. Then she would roll over on her back, exposing her stomach for a rub down.

Right now she's going through a phobia phase. She does not want her feet to touch the floor. She wants to be picked up and carried outdoors. Then when it's time to come inside, she wants to be picked up and carried indoors to be deposited on a table where her food and water bowl is kept. I don't believe there are any cat psychologists in this area, but I'm told they have them in Hollywood. And there's also acupuncture for pets.

Of course, I realize that I have focused on dogs and cats but there are other pets too, such as caged birds and caged animals like ferrets. Actually, I believe that birds, like parakeets, are likely the least expensive and demanding pets. A parakeet requires a small cage and a few toys like a ladder for amusement. The seed bill is next to nothing, too. I've owned several parakeets over the years, and a parrot, so I do have some knowledge about that. But, one thing, a parrot is LOUD so expect some noise if you keep one in your home.

Nevertheless, I must say that pets bring a lot of pleasure to their owners.

Unless it was like the Afghan hound that ate up the couch in Gosnell, while its owner was at work.

But that was justified; the dog was lonesome.

Maybe it needed a Thundershirt.