Today’s LA Times has gone to the dogs – for a story. Dogs are always interesting. In Los Angeles, like in many a big city, dogs are not man’s best friend but man’s surrogate child. Or so the pampered-pet article would have it. Along with the usual, Beverly Hills-style pet pampering – manicures and pedicures, aromatherapy and psychotherapy, shampoo and set, designer duds, and doghouses with guest rooms and heated pools – seems there’s a kennel in LA where a “bed buddy” will sleep with your dog in a four-poster bed for $70 a night. The bed buddy is of the human kind of course.
Television has picked up on the chance to get a heavy share of this dog-owner demographic. There is the National Geographic Channel’s The Dog Whisperer, a stern how-to tutorial; Animal Planet’s Who Gets the Dog? that has people vying for a pooch’s love, a la The Bachelor; and of course our favorite, Showdog Moms & Dads.
A spinoff of the hit “Showbiz Moms & Dads” (which documented the horrors of stage mothers), [“Showdog Moms & Dads”], premiering Wednesday, follows couples who take their purebreds on the dog show circuit — some spending up to $30,000 a year making their dogs (literally) jump through hoops while trying to prove to the world (or, at least, mercurial dog show judges) that their beloved babies are, in fact, “best in show.”
The beleaguered pooches are hauled on airplanes, dressed in ballerina outfits, and put on constant display. “I want him to be the center of attention,” says one owner of his new terrier puppy, purchased because his champion lineage. He then proceeds to name the puppy Liberace, dress him in a cape and take him to have his teeth whitened. (Full story, sub req)