Not many dogs would pester their owners for a pair of Neuticles. These are prosthetic testicles which owners can have implanted in their pets' scrotum after they've been castrated so as to appear "anatomically intact". Louis Schwartz is chief of staff at the Overland Veterinary Clinic in Los Angeles which performs the procedure. He says it's particularly popular with pet owners of a certain gender. "What I find is the vast majority are men. I can only think of one woman who has come to me to have the procedure on her pet. She was an animal control officer whose husband, because of his religious beliefs, did not want the dog to be neutered," he said."One weekend while he was away she came to me with the dog and years later, this man has no idea". Having the Neuticles "placed" costs $400 and is an extreme example of the wide range of medical and cosmetic procedures now available at vet clinics which in the US account for $20bn of consumer spending. The manufacturers of Neuticles believe that:"Dogs neutered with Neuticles do not realise they have been neutered and do not suffer post neutering trauma." What utter rubbish. In my opinion the world has gone completely nuts (sic).
Lipton is a 6 year old Flat-coated retriever. His full name is Chapelvalley Lipton Boy. In 2006 he became both Belgian Beauty Champion and Belgian Working Champion ( both his parents were too ). He is a tireless working dog and an outstanding swimmer. He displays natural abilities for the retrieval of birds and is of excellent assistance during shooting and hunting. His owner runs the hunting division at our dogclub. Lipton is actively employed 40 days per year. Last week, he very enthusiastically jumped off a 3 meter bank into 10 cm of water and badly sprained his wrist. The cast will have to stay on for 2 weeks and he will have to rest. He lives with a family who has two children and a chocolate Labrador. He is a super pet.
You might be interested to read this article from today's Independent: "There is, it seems, some scientific basis to the old idea that dog and man are kindred spirits. Researchers from the University of Vienna have discovered that, like us primates, canines feel jealousy. When a dog was denied a tasty treat after performing some service and that treat was conferred on another canine that had done none of the work, the first dog was rather miffed. And well might it be. There is surely enough injustice in this world, without introducing more in the name of scientific research. But were not these researchers missing something? If they wanted a deeper study into the emotion of jealousy they should have carried out tests not only on the dogs, but their owners too. One suspects that the humans would have been far more jealous of the dogs and their simple lives than the canines were of each other. Think about it: no recession, negative equity, credit card bills; just running, chasing squirrels and some barking. It's a dog's life? If only."
In England when you go on holiday you might put your dog into boarding kennels. Here in Belgium into a “pension pour chiens”. In America into a country club. Top Dog Country Club is such a place and here is what they say on their website about their facility: “Top Dog Country Club located in New Germany, Minneapolis, has the quality and service level of a Marriott hotel with the fun and activities of a Club Med vacation for dogs. It is a very special place on 42 wooded acres with 18,000 sq ft of Astroturf play area in 3 outdoor play yards and an indoor playroom. The property also includes a wooded trail and a 34 foot, full-size, heated swimming pool. The 5000 sq. ft. club house has separate wings for small, medium, and large dogs. Full-view glass doors lead to 3 separate outdoor play yards. Floors are heated, air is fully conditioned and purified. In the middle of the club house is Kiwi's playroom (for indoor play), and a full kitchen where the aroma of apple cinnamon biscuits fills the air. All rooms are private suites . . . no kennels! Suites have faux-stone heated floors, textured walls, windows, plants, & orthopaedic beds with tapestry covers on custom-made wrought-iron frames. Suites have incandescent lighting on dimmers and music is piped throughout the facility to provide a home-like atmosphere. There is special accommodation for older dogs and puppies. Lots of individual attention and play is part of the boarding fee. Dogs have human and/or dog interaction from 6 am, morning potty time, until 9:30 pm bedtime. We know how important socialization is, so supervised group playtime is our standard. Well- socialized dogs average 4-6 hours of play each day in one of 3 large outdoor yards, in the swimming pool, an indoor playroom, or on the wooded trail. All playtime is supervised by well-trained, adult staff Each afternoon your dog participates in "yappy hour," with treats baked fresh in our kitchen, and then settles in for an afternoon nap, serenaded by a little Frank Sinatra. Our day ends with bedtime storytelling and hugs - even a little body massage! We believe that constant human interaction is the key to a fun and happy experience for your dog. Dog photography is available as are grooming services and spa services which include bathing, brushing, and massage. There is a pick-up and delivery service. And Top Dog can plan and host a birthday party for your pup! »
I fear poor Belle would be totally overwhelmed and intimidated. I have no idea what a stay in this place costs. Any idea?
Thank you to Cornish Dreamer: "Your compassion for animals always shows on the blog entries that you write and I find that to be a compelling reason to continue reading your blog." and to Violets Vintage: "You are an artist because you transform misguided dogs into perfect pets!" and to Winchester Whisperer: "You are the voice of reason."