JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.

Today’s JUST SAY NO! is going to make some people ANGRY. Well then, GOOD. If what I have to say in the following paragraphs strikes a painful chord, then this is long overdue.

It has come to my attention that some of you are suffering from a delusional sickness called doggiemommyitis. Sufferers of this burgeoning disease find themselves incapable of grasping the important distinction between PET and HUMAN CHILD. For the sake of these pitiful souls, let me clarify. Human children look like miniature versions of us. They have (usually) one small person’s head, one trunk, two arms, two legs, ten each of fingers & toes, and they walk (once they learn to do so) upright. PETS on the other hand, do not look like us. They have fur, or feathers, or scales. They typically walk on four legs, or fly on two wings, or swim w/ fins. Some may slither, as in the case of snakes. Indeed, some may even talk – like my crazy ass bird who says “wuuuuuzzzzzzzuppppppp,” but that’s pretty much the extent of it. They DO NOT wear clothing and would NEVER EVER EVERRRRRRRRR want to. EVER.

Animals – as much as we all love them (except for those weirdos who don’t) – are animals. Not humans. AND MOST DEFINITELY NOT human children. On a recent trip to Petsmart, I was shocked and horrified to see this:

For those of you who have never seen one of these, it is a stroller. Yes, of course! Except this one isn’t for a child. No. It is called the Pet Gearâ„¢ Blue Happy Trails Pet Stroller. It costs $100 and is one of the “lower-end” pet stroller models. The Jeep Rubicon Jogging Stroller (for Pets) is a whopping $219.99. In the olden days, people used to take walks or run with their dogs. Now they push them like human infants. In a country where childhood obesity is reaching epic proportions, people are now PUSHING THEIR PETS AROUND LIKE KIDS.

A while back I had the misfortune of seeing something like this at a public park:

Only it was a grown MAN wearing his dog, and he looked even slightly more ridiculous. if that is possible. No offense to anyone who totes their dog around on their chest like a small human, but… well. actually I guess I do mean offense. B/c you need HELP. Pets were never intended to be carried around in Baby Bjorns, oversized pocketbooks & arm luggage covered in rhinestones. That’s why they have LEGS. You know, the four appendages dangling off their body that you’ve squeezed into a leotard and tutu? Yep. right there.

Behold this poor creature:

This dog is wearing a wig for pete’s sake. A WIG. If you are subjecting your pet to this, then you need to call your doctor IMMEDIATELY b/c your dosage is WAAAAAAAYYYY TOO HIGH. I know it is cute to see what Lil Poopsie looks like in a doll’s dress, once – maybe twice, but there are things that should never be done to a dog. EVER. Do you think they are doing this over in Africa where people are dying of starvation? Dressing up their pets? NO WAY. They would be eating them if they were lucky enough to have them. This is AMERICA PEOPLE. Where we have enough money to condone this sort of thing as acceptable behavior. Sort of like Botox injections. or Twitter.

Last year when we went on vacation, we boarded our dog. He stayed at a reaaaallllly nice place. At least it must be for what we paid. I was hoping he was getting above-average quality kibble, extra fun play time, that kind of thing. But when we went to pick him up, I was surprised by something they handed over to me, along w/ his leash and the bill. It was a stack of papers. Each one had a sweet doggie graphic and a space for writing. And each sheet was filled out – as if by MAX (our dog) – describing what he’d enjoyed most each day. Playing w/ the ball. Taking his nature walk. Playing tug. Cute, right? Well. Sort of, I suppose. Except that Max can’t write. And never will. And so, understandably, this got my attention. I thought about it a lot. You know I did.

When we pulled away from the boarding kennel I noticed their “Doggie Day Care Center.” And then I really truly understood. The windows of the Doggie Day Care were papered w/ fingerpaintings. Done by dogs. Little paw prints in all the colors of the rainbow. Outside the place stood a tot-sized easel listing the schedule of daily activities. And beside the building was a fenced-in play yard complete w/ Little Tykes playhouse and children’s playground equipment – stuff my daughters would go wild for – but it was FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH DOGS. And I thought to myself WOW. Doggie Day Care. PURE GENIUS. Can this population be exploited more thoroughly?? I THINK NOT.

And so, I beg you all – but especially YOU,

to JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.