Friday, December 08, 2006

sleeve dogs and attention hogs

my good bloggin' pal buster brought my attention to this story in the new york times. buster is a smart guy so i'm sure he reads the times all the time. in fact, i've even heard unsubstantiated rumors that the times wanted buster to fill in for paul krugman during his vacation but buster turned them down because he thought that the times' decision to put all their best content behind the "times select" wall, requiring readers to register and pay for it, was a bad business decision and a bit elitist. also, the audience of dogblogs is much smarter and more sophisticated than the average reader of the grey lady, right?

anyway, the story itself, 'woman's best friend, or accessory' made me cringe. the story is about the increasing popularity of boutique dogs among women. here's a tidbit:

Paige is what is known as a sleeve dog, an emblem of status since antiquity. Once toted by fashionable women inside the folds of their gowns, diminutive pets have been the favorites of nobles from Marie Antoinette to Elizabeth II. The pseudo-royals of Hollywood also favor them, actresses and gossip-column fixtures like Tori Spelling and Mickey Rourke.

Now, thanks in part to their red carpet visibility, compact breeds are more popular than ever. “We’re seeing a nationwide trend toward smaller dogs,” said Niki Marshall Friedman, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club.

Flaunted as fashion statements, pint-sized canines are, to some minds, the fur-bearing equivalent of a pair of Louboutin pumps or other accessory. “I think of them as a handbag with a heartbeat,” said Robin Bowden, a vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, a real estate company in Manhattan. Ms. Bowden’s office on West 17th Street is a kind of home-away-from-home to a clutch of lavishly outfitted lap dogs belonging to various employees. “They have little beds and they scamper up and down,” she said. “I’ve seen brokers showing expensive SoHo lofts, turning up with these tiny puppy dogs in their designer bags.”

i suppose this is maybe slightly better than babies-as-accessories (though at least you know they will grow up to be sullen teenagers and reap their revenge on their parents). and in the world of bad things that happen to dogs, i suppose being dressed to match your owner and having your nails done is not the worst thing that could happen. but, still, we are living beings with needs and a will of our own. and no matter how much chanel no. 1 you spray us with, or whether you carry us in a balenciaga bag, or dress us in dkny, we're still the same animal that loves to roll in dead fish, eat cat poop, chew on bones, and sniff each others' butts. in other words, we're not you, we're better. and we sure as hell are not "handbags with heartbeats." knowing a lot of nice people who do rescue i know that these kinds of silly attitudes is what often lands a dog in the clink--when the "handbag" isn't housetrained or bites the nanny or poops in your louboutin pumps (whatever those are--are they like my mawma's adidas pumps?). being owned by a dog is never a purely selfless act because, frankly, we do bring a lot of joy to you and i'm sure every owner projects a bit of herself onto the dog (not me--these words are all my own!) but good grief, show some respect for us as living things and not objects. i'm my own dog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to subscribe to the times online til they started charging for it. Ironic twist here, I now get their feed for free. Who is the lower intelligence here?

Bussie Kissies

12:32 PM  
Blogger salchicha & lilly said...

way to go wally! We think you should have a dog because you love it and want one, not to be a "status" person. we hope all the little "accessories" pee on their owners!

1:24 AM  
Blogger Tin Tin Blogdog said...

"A handbag with a heartbeat...?

What the...??

If that's the metaphor, I must be a dog-dang oversized tote bag with a heartbeat.

I'd never cut it with the brokers of NY showing off their Soho lofts *rolls eyes*.

They may have Louboutin pumps but they ain't got no soul...

Chow for now,

Tin Tin xo

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good observation, Wally. I'm a poodle, yet would never want to be a sleeve dog. I'm my own man and walk on my own two feet (unless there's too much snow on the sidewalk and my mom has to lift me over it). All doggies should be their own fashion statement, not someone else's!

11:06 AM  

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