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Whirlpools for Elderly Dogs? Put the Dogs Down!
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Post Whirlpools for Elderly Dogs? Put the Dogs Down! 

It's the seemingly innocent stories that make me the sickest.

There's a story out about a new bath for dogs. That's because people don't quite want to bathe with their mutts. Well, thanks for small victories. (I know a geezer who let his dog lick his dentures, after which he put them back in mouth. I think he lived to his 90s. Yuck!!)

A hose was always good enough for my dog.

But models of the self-cleaning (yay!) whirlpool sell for $1,200 to $2,900. Good grief. Tens of thousands of human beings are being shot or starved in Dafur, children are being sold for sex in Thailand, and farmers are going bankrupt in the drought-plagued Midwest. And some Americans are willing to spend three grand for a stinking spaniel spa!

A Florida woman told how "Our 11-year-old Labrador retriever, Katie, was experiencing tremendous difficulty in her hindquarters when getting up. With the Jentle Pet, we noticed almost immediately that she was benefiting from increased joint flexibility, struggled less to get up, and began trotting on walks again."

Come on lady. That's an elderly dog. Put her down and do something real with your money. For suffering humans.

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Ever heard of something called pet health insurance. I read about it from a local paper for the first time today. Some insurance companies are offering pet policies and quite a few employers are offering them as a part of employee's benefits. One citied policy covers a max of $14,000 annual benefits. One pet owner is quoted as paying $20 for his dog.

What really surprised me was that the dog owner interviewed by the paper said he paid $2500 out of his own pocket for his dog's cataract surgery because it wasn't covered. That is a LOT of money. I bet the money Americans spend on pets each year is enough to feed half of Africa.

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Post Run the numbers 

Well, Google offers a range of $5.4 billion to $58 billion for the amount Americans spend annually on pets. Take out the high and the low, and most figures are in the $25-$35 billion range. So, to be arbitrary, and for ease of computations, let's pick $30 billion.

Though AIDS is ravaging the population of Africa, birth rates are high, and the U.N. (good at counting people, but not helping them) gives a total count of 750 million. Half of Africa is 375 million.

$30 billion divided by 375 million = $80 per each of those Africans. That's $1.54 a week. That doesn't seem much, but in most countries in Africa, that would be significant.

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Post Get over it 

People love their pets. This particular thing is perhaps a bit over the top, but many people love their dogs like children; the pets really are a part of the family. In that light, it's understandable that owners would want to spend money on pet insurance and whatnot. Selfish? Sure. Are there better things we could be doing with our money? Absolutely. But don't tell me that you send every dollar that you don't absolutely need to Africa. We spend money on all kinds of arbitrary things. Gym memberships. iPods. A new laptop every two years. Hummers! Clothing (the average American probably owns enough articles of clothing to dress an entire African village). Wine. Cigarettes. Why pick on people who spend money on pets in particular? It's less selfish than some things, and everyone is entitled to be a little bit selfish sometimes. It's human nature.

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