The Pampered American Pooch…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster

Forbes’ Magazine came out with it’s “Most Spoiled Dogs” list.

The top 5 states in America were, in alphabetical order, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Forbes’ national survey used metrics such as money spent on care, frequency of home-cooked meals, vacation-inclusion, clothing and accessories, and even birthday parties for puppies.

New York actually topped the list with 59% of the dogs in the Empire State wearing outfits and accessories while 1 in 4 New York dogs enjoyed going on walks while riding in strollers.

More than half the the New Yorkers admitted to spending more on their dogs’ healtrh and grooming than on themselves.

(Might explain the coronavirus problems New York had early on!)

The Forbes’ study said 40% of the dogs in New Jersey got birthday parties.

Some observations.

The birthday parties for dogs in New Jersey seems to fly in the face of what I learned while watching “The Sopranos”.

Seems somewhat out of “character” for all those tough bullies.

Now the one-in-four dogs being pushed on walks while riding in strollers really bothers me.

I observed a husband and wife recently walking downtown and he was pushing a stroller with a white fluffy something riding in front.

I thought this guy needed to have his man-card revoked.

However, if he was married to the female beside him, I might be able to give him a pass.

I’m a bit more comfortable with people spending hard-earned money on dog health and grooming.

But when nearly half of New Yorkers surveyed said they shelled out more for the pooches than themselves on health care, I gotta wonder.

Now my bride and I have been dog owners but most of the time, health care involved an annual “poop sample” and some booster shots.

I once had to get a urine sample from our mini-Dachshund, Sofi.

That required me to follow her around in the yard until she squatted and I quickly slipped an inverted Frisbee beneath her backside.

I always remember the look she gave me.

Sorta like, “Good grief, buddy! Can’t I even tinkle in relative privacy?”

But this was the same dog that I used to shovel out or snow-blow a portion of the backyard in the winter for her bathroom duties.

That I could deal with because I could emphasize with not wanting to plop my tender region in the snow.

A cold toilet seat is bad enough for me.

Except for our first dog, “Buttons”, a furry Pekinese/Pug mix, all of our dogs were short-haired.

Grooming expenses were minimal.

Sorta like me growing up with a flat-top.

Wash it, towel dry and slap on some butch wax and I was good to go.

Didn’t even need the butch wax for the dogs.

Still, we often let the vet trim the nails when we took the dogs in for medical check-ups.

The Forbes survey also said a lot of dog owners prepare a lot of home-cooked meals for their pooches.

I never really understood than because I’ve happened to observe the things dogs lick and lap up.

I don’t believe most canines are connoisseurs when it comes to dinner time.

Not to say they don’t like a piece of your steak on occasion.

As a kid growing up in Ohio, we had a Boxer named Pat who existed on wet Purina dog chow.

She would devour it and if you happened to be sitting when she came in the room, your pant leg would often be “soiled” by the residue of “wet dog chow” on her chin and in her jowls.

Several of my school buddies had their gag reflexes tested by our sloppy mutt.

By the way, her elaborate meal was served up in an old cast iron pot with the handle missing.

Lots of families in this Forbes’ survey include their dogs on vacations.

Typically for Foster dogs, it was a week at the vets, especially with the Boxers.

We did some travelling with Sofi because she didn’t take up too much room in the vehicle or where we bedded down for the night.

Now, my wife and I had a Boxer named “Bootz” because of her for white feet.

I used to call her “Deer Dog” because when she occupied her bed, she extended her legs as far as she could.

Human bed space at times was minimal with Bootz.

She was also the dog that forced us to put “child-proof” latches on all the kitchen cabinets.

She was especially fond of the “Lazy Susan” cabinet and once ate about half a can of Crisco.

Bootz also devoured an entire package of Oreos.

So much for the concept of chocolate being bad for dogs.

The only side effect I noted was easily-spotted black piles in the yard for several days.

The Boxer I had growing up also ate crayons and that made for colorful lawn displays.

Pat also drooled puddles when my Dad ate one of his cans of sardines smothered in mustard sauce.


But the best was Bootz eating tinsel off the Christmas tree and my daughter picking it up in the yard the next spring, asking, “Daddy, how did this get here?”

A true teachable moment.

Wash your hands, honey!

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