The Things We Do For Our Pets

“Daddy, can you please put my slippers in my school bag?” asked Jada, my 6-year-old daughter.

As a doting father I quickly moved to the task, only to find a rolled-up dress stuffed between Jada’s folders.

A few probing questions later got me the response:

“It’s OK, Daddy. Just put the slippers in the bag and zip it up.”

Wow. As I slowly zipped up Jada’s bag, I debated about whether I should scold her or embrace her interest in fashion.

Can you guess what I did?

I’ll tell you later.

In the meantime, this incident reminded me of a client I saw some years ago.

Tom brought in his 6-year-old Pomeranian, Mimi, for her annual exam.

As usual, Mimi was in a very fashionable outfit. Her clothes were decked out with frills that resembled a ballerina’s tutu. She also sported a shiny red collar that had a designer name written across it.

“Mimi is always so well-dressed,” I remarked. “Where do you buy her clothes?”

Tom smiled and replied, “Well, we go to a local doggy boutique and shop for her attire. We spend thousands of dollars on her clothes because Mimi likes to look good.”

Wait. What? “You don’t really spend thousands of dollars, do you? I mean, you were joking, right?”

“Seriously, Doc, we do spend thousands of dollars on our little girl. In fact, when we’re on a shopping spree, the boutique will close its doors to other customers and we get individualized attention.”

Tom continued, “There are times that we spend more than $1,000 at one visit.”

I slowly closed my jaw that had lowered an inch or two when Tom mentioned $1,000.

“That’s a lot of clothes for one dog,” I said. “Does she need that many outfits?”

“For the most part, Mimi wears an outfit only once and then we toss it,” Tom replied. “This may sound weird, but she doesn’t like to wear the same clothes over and over again. I guess you can say she is a little spoiled.”

Right on cue, Mimi barked.

“Did I mention that we have a trust fund for Mimi? We were so worried that no one would be able to give her what she needs that we set aside a large sum of money in case we passed away.”

At this point, I was speechless (which says a lot).

The care that people provide for their pets often amazes me. Everyone expresses this dedication in their own way. Maybe it’s a daily walk in the park or a long brushing while watching TV. You don’t need a lot of money to shower your pet with love. This human-animal bond is as special as the bond between parent and child.

Now, as far as my 6-year-old daughter stashing a dress in her school bag is concerned, well … I gave her a hug and told her how fashionable she was. After all, she is Daddy’s little girl.

Then I called my wife and asked her to speak to Jada about the situation.

What did you expect?