Life holds many mysteries. How I react to a PR firm's e-mail about a doggie highchair isn't one of them. I howl. I froth at the mouth. I shake my head like a coyote with a slab of raw meat in its jaws.
Life holds many mysteries. How I react to a PR firm's e-mail about a doggie highchair isn't one of them.
I howl. I froth at the mouth. I shake my head like a coyote with a slab of raw meat in its jaws.
Maybe that's exactly what these folks want. Maybe they have a camera hidden at my desk in hopes of sparking something viral on YouTube. Or selling my story to a supermarket tabloid. ("Suburban newspaper columnist turns into a rabid werewolf!")
Look, I do my best to ignore the usual bait, the pitches for pink sneakers for dogs, the fancy outdoor beach house for cats.
But a highchair? Seriously?
"This hilarious highchair is a must-have for any dog who wishes to dine in style with the family and forgo the usual scraps on the floor," the e-mail raves about the piece of equipment that clips onto the side of the table and costs $36.95, although doesn't say anything about how sturdy the table needs to be if the apple of your eye is a St. Bernard.
Look, we have pictorial evidence dogs have long known how to sit at the table -- without any special booster seats. The first paintings of dogs playing poker date back at least 60 or 70 years.
And I'm sure if you ask most dogs, they'd say it's high time they got equal rights at dinner. By the way, most preteens would say they'd like their own credit cards, and few 10-year-olds see any good reason why they can't drive a motorcycle.
Still, people have a fundamental right to throw their money away as they see fit. If they can't think of anything better to do with disposable income than buy things animals don't need, that's their prerogative.
So where's my problem with a highchair for dogs?
Maybe it's its color: "sage."
It seems people with too much money and a severe common-sense deficit believe designer shades matter to creatures whose brains are hard-wired to find horse poop and roll in it.
A lifevest for pups is "fern green," and the Ultra Light Pet Stroller comes in "ice blue," according to the promotional e-mail for a parade of products that include a $179.95 "couture" bed, and a "tent pet house" -- I guess for dogs and cats that want to go camping but don't want the bonding experience of sleeping too close to humans.
I may not buy the theory that dogs are colorblind, but I firmly believe differentiating between peach and coral isn't among a canine's inbred talents.
Not that dogs don't appreciate the finer things in life.
As I've said before, every dog I've known was better than a professional decorator at quickly assessing which rug is a true Oriental and where the cheap knock-off lies. It's a matter of pride to never, ever have an accident on something that's easily replaced.
They're pretty discerning with shoes, too. When was the last time you heard someone complain about a puppy with a yen for Payless pumps?
Perhaps the clueless humans have misread the signals here.
Like a dog who thinks snoring equals a cue to play, they have mistaken animal quirks for human craziness and are hell-bent on adding layer upon layer of insanity.
But since dogs can't speak up for themselves, sometimes a human needs to do so.
Highchairs for dogs are ridiculous.
"Neuticles," implants for neutered pooches, are even more ridiculous -- bordering on frightening.
Labeling pet food "active maturity formula" is ridiculous, too.
Dogs and cats might not enjoy the realization that somehow the squirrels and birds are getting faster these days, but they take no offense at being called "old girl," or being offered a can of something "for seniors."
Doggles, goggles/sunglasses for pooches, are not ridiculous for military dogs serving in Iraq or other areas prone to sandstorms. I suppose they're not ridiculous for the rare animal that has some genuine, veterinarian-diagnosed eye problem.
They are, however, completely ridiculous as a fashion statement.
How would you like it if your dog imposed his vision of cute on you? Would you be happy to carry a filthy, drool-soaked tennis ball in your mouth for a few hours? Would you flop on top of a dead fish just to make him proud?
What would you think if your cat told you to sit on the floor and bat around a mouse fighting for life? Or lick your hands for the better part of an afternoon?
Life holds many mysteries.
The bond between humans and their pets is definitely among them.
The bigger mystery is why anyone would want to make a perfectly good creature more like us.
MetroWest Daily News writer Julia Spitz can be reached at 508-626-3968 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Check metrowestdailynews.com for the Spitz Bits blog.