Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rent-a-pet, part time love.

I'm only getting round to reading the Sunday papers now, but a small article in the Times left me scratching my head. I cannot decide if it is a good idea or just plain nuts.
Flex-Petz has the solution for folk who want to spend time with a pooch but just don't want or can't have a pet.
'Some people buy time-shares in condos, others in canines. Yes, pet sharing--once the province solely of divorced couples--is giving free-market forces a scratch behind the ears. The nation's first rent-a-pup store opened its doors six months ago in San Diego when FlexPetz started rescuing dogs from animal shelters and renting them out for as little as a few hours or as long as a week. The company is doing so well it opened a branch in Los Angeles in June, and will be in San Francisco and New York City by September.

But while many shelters think the business plan is a win-win for time-pressed humans and dogs that would otherwise be homeless or euthanized, opponents say pet sharing is morally irresponsible and traumatic for animals that get passed around among temporary owners. "Dogs are a lifetime friend and companion, not a two-hour piece of rental equipment," says Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the U.S., which encourages busy canine lovers to volunteer at shelters or hospitals instead.

FlexPetz founder Marlena Cervantes counters that the firm safeguards its animals through customer screening and mandatory training. "We are giving these pets an opportunity to be taken care of," she says. And with $700 in annual fees, plus $25 per weekday rental and $40 per day on the weekend, these pets don't come cheap. But that hasn't kept animal lovers from ponying up."

Seriously, I just don't know what to make of it. I often take Country Gay's dog with me for a gad about the park, so I understand the company issue, plus he enjoys it too-especially if there is water involved- so it's win win. But to hire a dog for weekends?
That said, I would like to hire a Clydesdale and ride him up down Grafton Street on a Saturday, looking for people with visible thongs and spitters. So far no dice, but I"ll find one eventually. I will wear leather, he will wear a silver breast plate and martingale.



Anonymous MacDara said...

There are clydesdales up in Louth I am not sure they hire them but sure you could re-enact the Brown Bull story..
FatMaammycat marches over Queen Maeve's Gap and steels Horse, and tramples Knackers and thong showing females.

10:31 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

The leather and the Clydesdale - wow, a very sexy image that will surely stop the traffic! The local cats homes where I live have a "fostering" system, where people can volunteer to take care of cats and kittens until a permanent home is found. It's good for people who can't afford a pet, as the home provides all the food and equipment. It works for the homes because they are overflowing with unwanted animals. I guess hiring a dog for a weekend would be a good try out for somebody trying to decide if they could cope - better that than all the post Christmas puppies abandoned.

10:38 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

'better that than all the post Christmas puppies abandoned.'
True dat.
I wouldn't be able to hire a dog for the weekend, I'd grow too fond of it.
McDara! The Brown bull of Cooley, who, when he lay down, small boys played hurling on his back, and the battle with the White that formed the mountains, that one?

10:42 a.m.  
Anonymous MacDara said...

Yes that be the one. Up the mountains where the long woman is buried and they have a Hill your car rolls up.

11:28 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

An Irish Draught horse would be more authentic. And I can't help wondering (forgive the impertinence) if you already have a martingale for the paramour?

12:27 p.m.  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

I read that same article, and I didn't know what to make of it, either.

I came to the conclusion that it's God's way of telling you that you have too much money and you're daft, besides. I wish I had thought of it first, dammit.

Although I don't think it's too traumatic for the dogs. My dogs are indiscriminate whores who have a cheerful, even temperament, and will happily go with whoever will give them attention and feed them. I imagine that they would pick dogs with those traits for the program.

12:37 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

If it saves them from the doggie gas chamber, I'm okay with it.

1:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

But what if people don't get dogs from shelters because they can rent one when they need it?

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Okay, I didn't think of that.
I don't know about rates in other countries, but the ASPCA reports that 2 million dogs and cats are put to sleep each year from U.S. shelters. Many people want "pure breeds" and go to shady kennels rather than taking them from the shelter. Sad.

4:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well, I don't know about that either. I want a French Bulldog at some stage, and I doubt very much one is going to pop up in an Irish shelter any time soon. I'm probably going to have to locate a good registered breeder and import one, which will be expensive.
I can however be very sure that said dog will be loved, well taken care of, made to wear the occasional cape and live with me until he dies. Does that make me a bad person because I choose a pure breed over a pound dog? My doberman was a pure bred dog too, and I loved him a ridiculous amount.
The problem with pounds is not that people buy pure bred dogs. A carefully selected pure bred dog, owned, neutered, chipped and cared for until death is-in my view- not the reason our pounds are choc-a-bloc, they're full because people don't neuter and spay the dogs that are already out there and so they breed the next generation of unwanted animals.
People are always saying 'Oh don't buy from a pet shop, you're supporting puppy mills.' And they may be right, but if pups are not bought from pet shops they are also condemned to death as shops are operating as a business.
I'm against puppy mills I have to say, but a good breeder, trying to improve bloodlines and health with good stock and solid healthy pups is exactly what I will be looking for when it's time for me to get Batman.

4:59 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

Weird stuff!

5:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evening, I have two conflicting interests, first, I have a pure breed newfie , whom is continually sick. It seems to me in the attempts to perfect the breed, they make them weaker, interbred and susceptible to illness. Then if you don't go for the pedigree and take yourself off to the pound you don’t know where the hell the little mucker came from or anything about his temperament. So you may as well get Batman, your damned either way!

5:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

There's good breeders and bad breeders, good breeders watch for genetics, blood lines, parental tempermant, hip scores and inherited problems and try to reduc them and strengthen the breed. Bad breeders just was to produce as many pups as possible.
I always found most mongrels to be very hardy dogs, due to lack of interbreeding, but I digress.
I got knocked over by a Newfoundland once and then slobbered on, he was ten months old and as big as a pony. Gorgeous.

5:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't happen to be in Terrenure village a couple of Saturdays ago did it, so sorry if it was, the little fucker did a runner outside Chartbusters. He was gone for 2 hours, haven't brought him out since, I’m afraid, the propensity for backlash is enormous. Some bitch woman stopped to ask me what was wrong as I was crying (loser, I know) she then decided to lecture me about responsibility and looking after him, I tripped and let go of the lead, the aul bitch kept yakking on about the danger and the damage he could do to a child. All I could think was damage my arse they'd be gone forever, in his belly!!

5:48 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Nope, this was up in the Phoenix parks years ago, coming up towards Pope's cross and WALLOP. He was beautiful though.

7:03 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

If you want to pet share, get a cat. Most cat owners don't realise that they already do. Far too often you find that "Marmalade" from number 32 is also "Ginger" from number 76.

7:19 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

True Kim, even the bigger of the cats likes to help himself to next door's cat's food.

7:38 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

No, of course going to a breeder doesn't make you a bad person, FMC. When you do get your French Bulldog and the cape I need a picture, btw. But when you talk to many people, they consider the shelter system full of the "problem" or bad dogs/cats that smarter people got rid of for whatever reason and then go to kennels for the "pure" dog. I've argued this sooooo many times and just don't get it. It's fine if you are set on a particular breed, but the idea that shelter pets are damaged needs to be revised.

12:31 a.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

Make a commitment or not at all....

says the divorced man....

1:10 a.m.  
Anonymous laughykate said...

I reckon it all comes down to how their part-time caretakers looked after them. I don't think cats would have a problem with it cause essentially cats are bastards and they don't care who looks after them - just as long as they get fed. And if they don't like whoever is looking after them they would have no problem skipping out the door, never to return. My brother's cat had absolutely no problem double dipping for over two years - until he got locked in a garage at the old people's home across the road. It was only then that they discovered he went under the alias Soot (his name is Max) and his part time owner had even taken him to the vet! Dogs, however, I am not so sure about. To place a stereotype, they are much nicer natured (stupid, it could be argued) and if a part time owner was treating them badly, they would never tell. They would just sit and look sad.

6:32 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

When I have Batman, trust me, you'll all be sick and tired of looking at picture of him. Everyone will, I plan to take him everywhere. And if anyone sniffs I'm going to say, 'He's French!' and leave it at that.
I agree cats are fickle too, that fat Puddy, one and a half pounds in a less than two weeks, the happy rip. However the smaller of the cats-who may or may not have been slightly brain damaged by his terrible start to life, is remarkable loyal, and wouldn't let a stranger within ten feet of him. Odd that.

8:47 a.m.  
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