Friday, July 29, 2011

Spoiled rotten? Depends on your point of view...

This morning I got to sleep in. Because the Beast is spending the weekend with my brother and his herd while we take off for a long weekend in cottage country. It seems so quiet in here when he's not around. And that dog bed is a total eye sore when there isn't a big goofy looking puppy lying in in.

About that dog bed... We agreed before the Beast came into our lives that all furniture would be off limits to him. So we thought it would be nice to get him a bed to lie on while we are lounging comfortably on the couch. Obviously, we went to Costco, where we found a dog bed for something silly like 20 bucks. This is probably why it is an eye sore. But it is filled with nice-smelling cedar chips to mask eau-de-wet-chien, and the slip cover comes off easily so that we can keep it clean. And the Beast doesn't seem to mind that we got it form the King of Wholesale. Truth be told, his favourite past time with the bed is to wrestle with it, and he only lies on it when we instruct him to do so while we eat or prepare his food (future post alert). He would much rather lie on the cold, hard floor.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Montreal with friends, doing some furniture shopping along St. Laurent. We stumbled upon a store with very nice looking dog beds. So we took a look...

The Beast-size beds ranged in price from $150-$300!!! Really? Sure, they are nice-looking, but would the Beast even notice that? Aren't dogs colour blind anyway?

So this got me thinking about why people spend so much on dogs anyway. From accessories to toys to clothes to beds, dog stuff is expensive when you venture outside of Costco!

Full disclosure - with the exception of his food, hubby and I do not spend a fortune on our Beast. Sure, we could afford to, but we don't feel that we should or that we need to. He is, after all, a dog. He doesn't know the difference between his Costco-special bed and the $300 mattress that we saw in Montreal. Again, I default to lessons from Alpha Dad. I can't remember any of my dogs having toys of their own. They played with what Mother Nature gave them. My Shepherd/lab's favourite game was to steal a log off the wood pile (log, not stick) and play tug and fetch with it for hours on end. She didn't want or need anything else.

So when it came time to stock the Beast's little toy chest, we didn't go all out. We bought him toys that are functional - like a tug rope for tug-o-war and fetch; a frisbee to hone his agility skills; and a food puzzle so that he has to use his brain to get to his kibble. His crate is lined with quilts that were sewed for me by my great grandmother when I was a little girl. He eats and drinks from pretty boring stainless-steel bowls. And overall (with the exception of the dominance issues that we need to work on as per the previous post), he seems quite content in his life. I'm sure his little mind is thinking: "Put food in bowl" and "pull on this rope" - and not "Gee, couldn't you spruce it up in here a little bit you guys? Maybe get me a whole box full of plushies and change the colours in this crate. And come to think of it, I think I need to start eating off of your fine china, otherwise I'll go chew your shoes."

Which brings us full circle to the eye sore of a bed. Perhaps people spend this much money on their dogs because of their keen fashion sense. As a girl who has been known to shop at Holt Renfrew's, who owns way too many pairs of shoes, and whose make-up bag is overflowing with eye shadow, I totally get it. But the other part of me is willing to give the Beast a functional corner of his own in our put-together house. Perhaps I will just hide the dog bed in a closet when he is away.

Enjoy the long weekend!