Oldest Companion, Meet Oldest Profession, Dept.
Company Sinks Teeth Into Dog Time Shares
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - From the state that popularized purse puppies, drive-thru dog washes and gourmet dog food delivery comes the latest in canine convenience _ a company that contracts out dogs by the day to urbanites without the time or space to care for a pet full-time.
Marlena Cervantes, founder of FlexPetz, bristles when people refer to her five-month-old business as a rent-a-pet service. She prefers the term "shared pet ownership," explaining the concept is more akin to a vacation time share or a gym membership than a trip to the video store.
This is not a crap idea at all.
Oh, wait, I forgot to mention...it's Backwards Tuesday here at chez sobsister! So, let me list the ways in which this whole concept does, in fact, suck the hairy donkey dick.
1) Dogs love stability and routine. They thrive on it. The opposite of stability and routine might involve being shunted from house to house, subject to the whims, caprices, and cruelties of renters...whoops!, "shareholders" who I'm sure are painstakingly cleared for temporary pet custody. Something like they might experience as...I don't know...a FlexPet?
2) Ms. Cervantes' bristling sensitivity to a characterization of her service as a "rent-a-pet" seems a mite disingenuous, given that she's piggybacking its name off the FlexCar automobile rental business. When one contracts for a micro-rental from FlexCar, one does not enter into a "shared car ownership". One rents a car for an hour or two. Her pathetic attempts to lend this repellent enterprise tone by kicking its nomenclature upscale are, mmmm, a bit transparent, shall we say?, and reek more than a little of the arriviste on both ends of the transaction.
3) One might say, "Well, it's cheaper than owning a dog full-time." One might say that. Until one sees that to enjoy the temporary company of a dog, one pays a hundred bucks a year, fifty bucks a month, and forty bucks a day. So, your annual nut, assuming you see a dog once a week, is $2,780 American. But, hey, you live in San Francisco, you're used to being fucked up the ass! By merchants, I mean.
So, I got to thinking about why this idea filled me with such unease and revulsion. And then it struck me. These dogs are not pets. They are not companion animals. They are not non-human dependents.
They are doggie whores.
They are doggie whores being pimped out by this Cervantes woman to people who don't seem to have any problem severing any normal, human desire for attachment to an animal, to people who just want one night's roll in the grass with a disoriented dog who'll pretend to love them, to people who are used to treating things, animals, children as accessories to wear to the park to attract other similarly-loveless individuals.
The service, its intellectual underpinnings, its clientele are all fa schifo to the extreme. But it all does serve a greater purpose: if, in the course of your date/mate-seeking travels, you should ever meet anyone who claims to be a "shareholder" in one of these canine brothels, drop your latte, do a one-eighty, and head for the hills.
Would you want to get close to someone who wears a T-shirt that says "I pay for feigned affection"?
Didn't think so.
Thank your sobsister later.