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April 24th, 2009:

Goin’ to the dawgs

Just the other day, the Resident Love Goddess mentioned that she had just seen one of the most ridiculous sights imaginable – a stroller for dogs!

killywalk_5th_ave-200hAdmittedly, I am not a “dog person”. Not an “animal person” of any ilk unless it’s tasty when barbecued. Never seen the point in pet ownership – seems like a waste of time and money. I grew up on a hobby farm and have been exposed to enough of the creatures to know that I don’t want one. I also know that I don’t want a pig, horse, cow, chicken, duck nor one of those most incidious creatures of all – a goose (but that’s the subject of another scribble).

evil_goose_121065

I did own one of my own (named “Cosmo” before Seinfeld was on the air) while living in Parry Sound but, upon moving to southern Ontario and the dearth of open spaces, I realised that the mutt shouldn’t have an owner like me.  So she went to a home where there were open spaces, squirrels to chase and lots of legs to hump.

But there are dog-people and those of us who occupy the human spectrum of reality and I accept this.  They – for whatever reason – feel the need to pick up faeces, hair and dog barf. And I guess they enjoy the smell of mutt after summer’s rain, having their crotches sniffed and – the most thrilled of all things canine – having their legs used as a humping post.

And, being an open minded individual I say to dog-people: “Live and let live and enjoy whatever pleasure the dopey, mangy critters provide!”

Yet, I can’t help but wonder what if all or even some of the $$$’s invested in the purchase and maintenance of these flea-ridden mutts were invested in something, uh, that matters to humanity… say… mosquito netting for refugees in Africa.

Incidentally, World Malaria Day is April 25.

According to the latest data, 49% of Canadian households reported having pet-related expenditures. That’s roughly 5.7 million households.

The average expenditure per household was $432.  Do the math and that comes to about $2.4 BILLION dollars spent on pet purchases, food, veterinarians and other pet-related supplies.

OK. Now let’s assume that I won’t get my way and have dogs declared a public health hazard and they continue to co-exist with us humans.  They do have to be fed, kept healthy, etc.  Hey! I don’t LIKE them – I would NEVER encourage cruelty… that is just so wrong in so many ways!

Anyhow – assume that a very small percentage of the $2.4 BILLION was spent on incredibly frivolous things like dog strollers, dog boots and dog bike baskets.  Or similar items for cats or gerbils or whatever..

Um. Let’s say 2%.  A little zippidy doo-dah on the slide rule and what do you get?

$48 MILLION!

Hell, you say. $48 million doesn’t go a long way these days, right. OK, check this out:

$48 million would buy
o    480,000 mosquito nets
o    320,000 chickens
o    218,181 hygiene kits
o    96,000 goats
o    48,000 emergency toilets

These are things that save lives in the parts of the world where folks are more worried about whether their kids will see the light of the next sunrise than whether or not Fido is too pooped to walk to the corner store and will need his stroller… and boots… and coat.

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