Friday, September 14, 2007

Pampered Pet "Enhancements"

I'm flipping through the pages of the Los Angeles Times this morning when I see a cute photograph of a cat on the front page of the Business section. Attracted by the photo and the headline, "Care, pampering going to the dogs - and cats", I kept reading. Big Mistake!

In the opening paragraph (to read the whole article click here) writer Leslie Earnest talks about the late Leona Helmsley leaving $12 million to her Maltese, which was enough to rock me back. However, the second paragraph is what really got me. It reads as follows:

"Americans are pampering their pets more than ever. They treat dogs and cats as if they were human, buying them bathing suits, strollers, anti-depressants and, for the neutering-conflicted, testicular implants". (That emphasis is mine) Arf! Ouch! Arf! Ouch!

Now, I'm a pe
t lover. Well, actually, I'm a dog lover. Cats and I seem to barely tolerate each other. When I cat-sit our neighbor's feline we seem to get along OK. I'm a convenient source of food and a couple legs against which he can rub if so inspired. I, for my part, have figured out where that special scratch spot is that gets that whole purring thing going like an outboard motor, but there's always just a little bit of tension between us as I wait uneasily for that moment when he will tire of my caress and slice my hand like swiss cheese with those nasty, little claws. Nope, I'm a dog guy.

We've had some wonderful dogs in our lives. They become de facto children to us, except without the teenage years, thank goodness. There is little we wouldn't do to enhance their comfort - a reasonable trade-off for th
e companionship and unconditional love they bestow upon us. However, I must admit that the idea of providing one of our mutts with a testicular implant never entered my mind. Yikes! What's next - breast implants? How about a little botox injection for little Muffy to fix those droopy eyes? Good grief! Just when you think you've heard it all!

So, curious guy that I am, I investigated this a little further. Seems there is a product called "Neuticles", which - quoting the web site (here) - "Neuticles are crafted from FDA medically approved (For human implant use) Polypropylene. Neuticles replicate the canine testicle in size, shape and weight. The 'space-age' material is solid in form and is used in other medical applications as well." Yikes! I have this image of old Rover, prancing across the living room with his new polypropylene "equipment" clacking like a pair of pool balls with every step.

This got m
e thinking. The opportunities for "customization" seems almost endless. If you're Michael Vick, for example, maybe you could adorn your especially aggressive pit bull with a pair of these things made of brass. It couldn't sneak up on anybody, but probably wouldn't care. They might get uncomfortable when the weather turned cold, though.

Or, if you want to know where Rover is all the time, maybe you could replace his "original
equipment" with a pair of sleigh bells so it would sound like a Budweiser Clydesdale approaching when he runs to greet you.

Ah, the things we do for our pets here in the Land of More Money Than Brains for
the sake of their self esteem. Good Grief!

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