An idea whose time has expired (time-share pets, redux)
Anyone who’s kept up with my blog entries probably knows my opinion on part-time pet ownership. So you can easily imagine my skull imploding over breakfast yesterday after spying the headline of a front page article in the Wall Street Journal.
“An Idea Whose Time Has Come: The Time-Share Dog.”
Not that the article concludes in favor of shared dogs, not when you consider how it highlights the spectacular failure that was Flex-Petz (it shut its doors and auctioned off adopted out its dogs in the wake of Massachusetts legislation nixing the act of profiting from pet rentals).
Not that it cites one high-ranking source in favor of time-share pets (Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the AVMA, speaks out against commercial pet rentals, as does HSUS “top dog” Wayne Pacelle).
Ultimately, the only happy players in this shell game called “shuffle-the-pet” are a profiled group of neighbors who purport to take their pet responsibilities seriously (and they might well do, but who knows?)...and those who enjoy the company of pampered hotel pets or take adoptable shelter dogs out for a happy spin.
In general, however, pet flex-time is fraught with instability and stress for the animals involved. When you add in the commercial aspect, as Flex-Petz tried to do, it becomes an unstomachable reminder of how low our culture can go in its misguided quest for the ultimate in pet disposability.
An idea whose time has come? Puh-lease!