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Last Days of the American Empire, Part 463: The Pet Eternal Trust

A lawyer in Rockville named Mindy Felinton has launched a service that promises to provide for your pet after you meet your Maker. Felinton's practice centers on veterinary malpractice cases, as well as "estate planning that focuses on Pet Trusts." Now she's come up with a portfolio of services designed to give human beings peace of mind about what will happen to their critters once they cash in their own chips.

I present to you the complete list that Felinton provides of her Pet Eternal Trust services. This is verbatim from her press release, I swear:

Personalized veterinary and specialty veterinary care, such as chemotherapy, cataract surgery, if required; Tailored exercise programs and aqua therapy; Placement in your own home with live-in help; Placement in an individual home that is monitored regularly by Pet Eternal Trust staff. Play dates; Birthday parties; Bark Mitzvahs; Owner grieving therapy; Grooming, manicures and pedicures; Holiday trips.

I'm trying to pick out the best of the lot. Is it the chemotherapy for dogs, the Owner grieving therapy, or the much more easily maligned Bark Mitzvahs? (Rottweilers, Jewish? Who knew?)

No, it's the "placement in your own home with live-in care" that I find most nauseating.

Any society that even contemplates spending its resources on this stuff is pretty far over the edge. We're in the middle of a war that most of the country feels so detached from that we can almost pretend it's not going on. We construct our lives so as not to have to set eyes on those of our fellow human beings who struggle to survive. And in the midst of a clash of civilizations and religions, in a land of unspeakable inequalities in personal resources, in a society where personal relationships seem less grounded and more strained than at any other time in our country's history, some people decide that this is how their accumulated wealth should be spent upon their death.

Alternative headline for today's item: We Are Too Rich, Chapter 79.

By Marc Fisher |  February 2, 2007; 7:31 AM ET
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From the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Inc.:

Total U.S. Pet Industry Expenditures, 2006:

$38.4 Billion (Est.).

"Big name companies including like Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley Davidson and Old Navy are now offering lines of pet products ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire, and name-brand toys to gourmet treats and food."

"High-end items to spoil companion animals are must-haves for pet owners that spare no expense to please their furry, feathered and finned best friends. Items include faux mink coats for cold weather outings, feathered French day beds for afternoon naps, designer bird cages, botanical fragrances and to top it all off, a rhinestone tiara!"

"Faux mink coats, hipster lumberjack vests, designer plaid jackets, matching jeweled and leather collar and leash sets, Halloween costumes, and holiday outfits keep pets in fashion throughout the year. Upscale leather carriers complete with a cell phone and water bottle holder are the perfect accessories to keep the pet owner in style as well."

appma.org/press_industrytrends.asp

Posted by: Mike | February 2, 2007 8:12 AM

Marc, opinions are like a-holes: everyone has one. Unlike yourself, I like animals. What people does with their money is their business. I have found that animals are much more pleasant to be around than many, many humans. When my mothers cat suffer a scratched eye, I was happy that there was an animal opthamologist availabe to help the cat. When my mother died, the cat suffered from anxiety and the vet helped us through that. I'm glad that this lawyer is providing this service because pets are often the last ones that anyone cares about when the owner dies.

Posted by: WB | February 2, 2007 8:14 AM

Don't you see the humor in this, Marc? "Mindy Felin(e)ton"? She can't be real. Or, if she is real, she's simply the first actual Pet Lawyer (i.e., a pet who is a lawyer) in America. It's the inevitable course of this particular civil rights movement, no?

Actually, I'm a person who lives alone with three animals, and I have worries about what will happen to them when I go to the PetSmart in the Sky, especially if I die suddenly. I do have to say, that I want the live in companion, first. I'd like her to be Swedish and about 6 ft tall.

Posted by: Rocco | February 2, 2007 8:17 AM

I have two dogs in chemo right now. They are young and there is no way I would do anything differently. I know lots of people who are doing this.
We have it written in our 'will' that their breeder should be notified - she will take them and place them.

Posted by: anon | February 2, 2007 8:37 AM

Marc, did you lose your sippy cup again? You're a little fussy this morning. No more tantrums. OK?

Posted by: Big Momma | February 2, 2007 8:40 AM

A quick search shows that 70 law schools (including Harvard, Columbia and Duke) teach pet law. The American Bar Association formed its first committee on animal law two years ago.

Several practitioners make your example seem, um, tame:

thepetlawyer.com, www.planet-pets.com, petlaw.htm, doglaw.com, animal-lawyer.com, lapetlawyer.com


Posted by: Mike | February 2, 2007 8:43 AM

it is commonly known that Marc Fisher doesnt like animals, so why write about this? Clearly Marc's perspective is going to be biased against anything seen as positive for the creatures he hates.

Posted by: Ritamae | February 2, 2007 8:47 AM

Really, it is none of your business how I spend my money. . . and for the record, I spend it on "people" charities as well as animal.

Your position on this issue clearly is motivated by your complete disdain for anything animal related. You don't like them? You don't want one in your home? You don't want to give to animal charity? You don't understand people who have love and compassion for animals? Fine. Others do. You don't have to understand it. You just have to accept it as fact and accept that it is not going to change. My pets are family members and I want them taken care of as I would any other family member if I were to pass away. You don't get that? I don't much care. Further, that speaks to more about your lack of compassion than to me being over the edge.

The fact is caring for animals and caring for people are not mutually exclusive propositions and I am SO sick of people like you imply that it is!!

Posted by: JS | February 2, 2007 8:50 AM

Marc,

Aren't you the same guy that wondered why people who lost their pets in Katrina were so upset since they could go to the pet stores and replace their pets?

Didn't you take enough flack on that?

Posted by: DZ | February 2, 2007 8:51 AM

I love my furry friends as much as the next guy, but this is over the top. This looks like a welfare program for those out of shape lawyers who have grown too fat slurping up all those fat fees to chase ambulances anymore like a good dog.

Posted by: Ed Harris | February 2, 2007 8:55 AM

Granted, the designer brand wastes of money seem extreme, but upon taking ownership of things you gain the responsibility to take care of them. The same can be said of our animal friends. I admit to having a couple halloween costumes just because they are funny and they make kids smile when they knock on our door and see our little dogs wearing them. This is a free country, yes people do crazy things with their money all the time. I can think of many different things the government could do with the money that are more important. Perhaps you should focus on WHY for instance would a general spend budget money on getting the base re-landscaped while we are at war! Why do we not provide the high tech equipment and armor to troops that would be a fairly affordable expense! There exists a material that is thinner than paper, stronger than steel, and transparent. Why not focus on that kind of news that could save lives?

Posted by: Chris | February 2, 2007 9:01 AM

This is some type of joke, right? You posted this just to see how much outrage followed.
Yawn.

Posted by: J | February 2, 2007 9:07 AM

It's unfortunate that the pet clause (apologies for the dumb pun) is centered solely on human needs- good grief, what cat or dog enjoys having its toenails clipped? And living alone in the owner's home with no owner? I take it the furniture and valuables would remain for the comfort of the "live-in" help...
The truth of the matter is that pets who serve as loyal and theraputic companions to the elderly and infirmed are often left by the wayside following the passing of their owners. Clearly, bereaved families are often unable to negotiate the logistics of placing left-behind animals (who are often elderly themselves and need special care- all factors that affect their chances of adoption from a shelter).
Shovel away the absurdity of dog parties and salon trips (whatever happened to belly rubs and rawhide?) and the lesson to be learned is obvious: if you're ill, healthy, old or young, write a last will and testament. We make sure our money and children are well taken care of- why not our pets?
And on that note- visit the Washington Animal Rescue League's website at www.warl.org. On any given day there's usually a sweet face who has lost an owner, a home, and a future to negligent estate planning.

Posted by: Erin | February 2, 2007 9:08 AM

To all the pet owners...

Marc's a pretty sharp guy. He probably realizes that writing something mean and snarky will get your goat. In other parts of the internet, we'd call this post a "troll."

See it for what it is, then move on. No need to be upset at his opinion. It's a free county, he's entitled to be wrong too. :-)

(For the record, I'm an animal lover. I don't know that I'd go as far as this, but far be it from me to criticize another person's choices -- especially those that don't affect society at large.)

Personally, I'd be curious as to what Marc would prefer people do with their estates: a) try to provide for a beloved pet that faithfully provided comfort and companionship for many years; or b) pass it on to ingrate human relatives that never call, never write, and generally are not involved with you.

Posted by: Frank | February 2, 2007 9:09 AM

You can love your animals and give them a good life without designer clothes, bedding, food, or mock religious ceremonies (how repugnant is that).

Posted by: gaithersburg | February 2, 2007 9:13 AM

I think I like animals much more than Marc, but I share his chagrin/incredulity at this excess. There is something we can do to help recover a little pet sanity: the next time you see that someone dressed their pet in a little sweater or raincoat (especially when it is 50 degrees out), stop that person and say "Sir (or Madam), don't you realize that nature has endowed your animal with a fur coat, so all that sweater does is rob your dog of its dignity."

Posted by: Paul | February 2, 2007 9:15 AM

If people don't provide for their pets after they (the humans) are gone, many end up in shelters...at the cost of the tax payer (at least in this town). One would think that Marc would appreciate that people are making arrangements for their pets so he doesn't have to bear the burden as a taxpayer for caring for the animal (at least for a while) and then the expense of putting it down if it's not adopted.

Posted by: Non-pet owner | February 2, 2007 9:20 AM

It's funny that Marc makes references to a war and states that "country feels so detached from that we can almost pretend it's not going on." Yet he has no clue about the value of a 'unit pet' or mascot in that aforementioned war. A war he has no apparent 'in-country' knowledge about yet infers that others 'don't care'. In fact this newspaper ran an article a while back about a returning veteran who went through quite a bit of effort to reunite with a dog his unit had adopted. Marc - talk to any of the handlers in any of the services - see how deep their attachment is to their 'partners'. You speak of how one is to spend their personal wealth - on pets. You make mention of a war. Yet you don't have a clue about the value of an animal companion to those in this war.

Posted by: L7 | February 2, 2007 9:45 AM

It seems to me that no matter how much you like pets, all of the indulgences mentioned are beyond reasonable. The elevation of pets to nearly human status (almost always by childless people) creates spoiled pets often disliked by many people who are close to the pet owner. If you die, and you yourself have not made enough good friends such that one of them would place your pets for you or look after them, you might want to consider who your friends are.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 9:46 AM

This is a question of personal / social values, and in the context of other value systems, ensuring some level of care for pets doesn't seem excessive. OK, long-term grooming trusts might be over the top, but animals shouldn't be treated like disposable conveniences.

Kindness to animal companions, even taken to near-obsessive levels, creates less harm than many other value systems at work today. What values have filled our roads with gas-guzzlers, protected pedophile clerics, or branded war critics as traitors? In the face of these, why pick on folks who want to ensure comfort for their pets?

Posted by: JoefromMaine | February 2, 2007 9:47 AM

I care about my pets. Setting up some sort of fund for the next owners to use for medical care and other pet costs seems reasonable to me. I just hope I'll be able to specify who gets the animals, and a trust fund might sweeten the deal for someone who would otherwise take them but couldn't afford it. I wouldn't want to trust the typical animal shelter, especially with animals that were already old or had pre-existing conditions. Euthanasia to make room for more adoptable animals is an unfortunatly common occurance. Why not do this if I can afford it? It's my money, and I'd rather have it go there than to certain leeching relatives who'd just misspend it anyway. That said, some of the services mentioned are silly. I'd rather leave it up to the next owners to decide what is appropriate care and treatment.

The problem is that you just don't get the bond some people have with their pets.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | February 2, 2007 9:57 AM

After my mortgage is paid off and my other bills my collies get the rest of my estate.
They will be taken care of for their rest of their lives. They will not be sent to rescue. My will takes care of them so that they will be able to continue to herd sheep. Anything left when my collies go will be donated to Collie Rescue.

What we should give our estates to some human charity or college. Not. Help some leftist liberal cause dont think so. Screw the poor! Let them work for it like I did.

And the best part Marc is my collies have SSN#'s and are my dependents so they get survivor and dependent bennies when I am gone. Yep Marc you are working so my collies get Social Security! And the best part is it is all legal because of loopholes!

Hey Marc did some dog bite you when you were a snively annoying little boy? No I have got it your parents loved their dog more than you! I would to if I was your parents!

Posted by: vaherder | February 2, 2007 10:00 AM

I am a firm believer in being a responsible owner, and part of that responsibility includes providing for the disposition of animals upon the owner's death.

It's just common sense. We go into great detail over who gets the antique linen, but fail to mention what our family and friends are supposed to do with 22 parakeets. The animals end up at shelters, which just places the burden of disposal upon the state. Or family members end up arguing over who has to take care of Fido. I've seen what happens in these cases - and it's not pretty.

But the doo doo this lawyer has come up with is ridiculous. The growing tendency to anthromoporphize animals is profoundly disturbing; and it does animals a great disservice. It's ok for a dog to be a dog. He's not a "fur-child".

We should all ensure that we leave instructions, and even provide some money for care. Or instruct that they be euthanized. And by all means seek legal advice in the preparation of a good estate plan.

But this type of stuff just goes too far. Testamentary trusts for minor children don't even go to this extreme; neither do trusts for disabled humans.

Look at this from the animal's perspective and for God's sake; quit anthromoporphizing and buying into all the petababble out there. Animal's needs and wants are simple and easily met.

Humans need to quit projecting their own feelings of inadaquacy, desire, fantasy parenting, etc. onto their pets.

You may derive some sort of bizarre satisfaction from this nutty behavior- but your pets don't.

Posted by: jrsnotary | February 2, 2007 10:00 AM

Marc, can't you share a little love with your animal friends? And frankly, it's not the animals fault if people do dumb stuff like this. Be a responsible pet owner, if your pet has a terminal disease and there is no realistic cure, put it to sleep and out of pain. Always remember Marc, PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals.

Posted by: John Lease | February 2, 2007 10:55 AM


Ok, Marc, it is true, some people spend too much money on their pets. Many people also spend ridiculous amounts of money on themselves and their children/family even in light of all the injustices in our country and in the world. Honestly this criticism coming from you isn't surprising since *any* amount of money a person spent on their pet would "nauseate" you because you don't like animals/pets. There is a lot of conspicous consumption in the US...why not pick on something that doesn't involve kindness to another living being; there are a lot of things to choose from.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | February 2, 2007 11:04 AM

Marc had a good column yesterday re the school board, so odds were that we'd get the usual from him; when has he written two good pieces in a row? Ever?

As someone earlier said, what people do with their money is their business. It is Marc's business if he pays for private school for his kids instead of sending them public school and giving the money to the homeless. It is Marc's business if he buys life insurance for his family's benefit, instead of donating the money to the UNCF. And if people decide they prefer support a living breathing being who hapens not to be a homo sapien, that too is their business. Question -- comments that include . . . personal attacks . . . will be removed from the site. Marc is ALWAYS attacking others personally (like the owner of Rays The Steaks, now this lawyer and pet owners), how come his columns don't get removed?

Posted by: RL | February 2, 2007 11:14 AM

Marc,

It's personal business for a reason. I am sure that there are "purchases" in your life that some of us would scoff at, but really. Why don't you let people spend their money, the way they want without the comments. I would rather see someone giving their dogs a birthday party, than see the government buy another gun.

Posted by: mandy | February 2, 2007 11:25 AM

Marc
I have contended for some time that our culture/society began its downhill descent several years ago with the invention of Diet Dog Food. What did it say about us when we had to invent such a product?
Lack of physical activity , poor food choices,etc was so rampant that our pets got fat along with us. It is not surprising that eternal trusts would ultimately result. Folks, they are ANIMALS, not people. I'm not suggesting cruelty , abandonment or neglect, but planning your estate to provide permanently
for a dog or cat when there are millions of human beings who could be provided for seems --ah, what's the word? Misguided? Wasteful? Self-centered? Stupid?

Posted by: jmsbh | February 2, 2007 11:28 AM

Everybody out there needs to be nice while here in Marc's kitty litter box (LOL).

Marc no longer has active brain cells, so stop trying to have a battle-of-the-minds with an unarmed person.

Hey, maybe I can get a lobotomy so I can do a blog on the Washington Post web site too.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 11:40 AM

In India, wives used to have to immolate themselves on pyres when their husbands died. Maybe your wife should do the same, and not waste your spousal death benefits.

Posted by: Grrrr | February 2, 2007 11:43 AM

"If people don't provide for their pets after they (the humans) are gone, many end up in shelters...at the cost of the tax payer (at least in this town). "

And many end up being put to sleep because they're "too old" to be adopted. I volunteer at a shelter, and about a quarter of our giveups are due to someone dying and no one would take the animal. If someone wants to provide for their pets after their death, let them. It's their money.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 11:48 AM

Um, Grrrr, I hope you've accidently posted on the wrong chat.

Posted by: WB | February 2, 2007 11:51 AM

vaherder - Thanks, for letting us know. I don't know if they can track you down based on your handle, occupation, and state, but a fraud complaint has been submitted to the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General. I'm sure they'd like to talk to you about your "loopholes". On the chance you're not full of hot air that's outrageous that you would expect the American public to pay taxes on behalf of your dogs.

Posted by: American Taxpayer | February 2, 2007 11:53 AM

Hey vaherder, are you still letting your teenagers drink wine?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 12:02 PM

Marc, did you have a bad putty tat experience when you were a child? Did mommy have a cat that didn't like you so it pooped a little kitty turd on your bed? And did that cat then turn around a give you a gleeful little kitty smile? Maybe a soft purr of accomplishment? Tee-Hee!

Posted by: Morris | February 2, 2007 12:07 PM

This putz is married? Does he have a mail order wife?

Please don't tell me he has kids.........

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2007 12:21 PM

I think the perceived need for pet care after death of the owner is more of an indication of isolation, rather than excess wealth. People have always attempted to write into their wills some clause for the care or placement of beloved pet companions. Obviously, many people nowadays do not feel they can trust their friends or children to pay for the expense of upkeep, including needed medical care, for their pets after they are gone. The excesses ("Bark Mitzvah"?) are not the norm. Adopting a young pet can extend an elderly person's life by ten years or more, but the animal may survive for another ten (or more) after the caretaker's death. Providing for the continued care or adoption of the pet after the owner's death is both reasonable and humane. The alternative would be to (1) refuse pet ownership to elderly or sick individuals or (2) kill the pet at the owner's death.


Posted by: sevenswans | February 2, 2007 12:22 PM

Why is a human life worth more than an animal life?

Posted by: cass | February 2, 2007 12:23 PM

"a land of unspeakable inequalities in personal resources"

Marc, if it's about the rhinestone tiara, we'll buy one for you. There's no need for you to take your frustrations out on innocent animals.

Posted by: Santa | February 2, 2007 12:35 PM

Marc, I want to apologize for the people here who are insulting you. You've clearly still got your head screwed on straight, while those insulting you have gone the way of so many people: materialistic, shallow, and self-centered.

I think the most interesting point from your column should be that these people who waste so much money on their pets are the same people who love to cry their crocodile tears about their taxes being too high. Puh-lease.

Posted by: Ryan | February 2, 2007 12:51 PM

Let me ask you a question jmsbh...if, "planning your estate to provide permanently for a dog or cat when there are millions of human beings who could be provided for," is, " Misguided? Wasteful? Self-centered? Stupid?" then at least we should acknowledge that there are a lot of other, more common, behaviors that fall into this category. Such as;

1) Buying expensive cars
2) Buying TV's, stereos, computers.
3) Eating at expensive restaurants

The list could go on of things that *most* Americans, and certainly anyone in the "Middle Class," spend their money on but don't need despite there being "millions of human beings who could be provided for."

Do you think that a homeless person or someone living in abject poverty would make any moral distinction between buying your dog a sweater vs. buying yourself a nicer car? All they would see is consumption of luxury items in the face of their poverty.

So if you've saved up any money at all for vacations, a bigger house, etc...you have committed the same "sin," the Pet Trust people have; committing your money to luxuries while others go without anything.

My point is; we are ALL "misguided, wasteful, self-centered, and stupid," in our own way. Preparing your pet for a safe, humane, comfortable, life after you die may be a "misguided, wasteful, self-centered, and stupid," way to spend your money...but of all the misguided and wasteful ways people spend their money, it's not top on my list.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | February 2, 2007 12:55 PM

animals love soccer

Posted by: dc | February 2, 2007 12:57 PM

Of course, Marc COULD investigate animal cruelty situations, like the case in VA involving PETA killing pets, or the myriad abuse cases, or the valiant work animal rescue organizations do with pets that are abandoned by heartless people who dump pets when they become inconvenient. But that would be real journalism, and Marc's quota is one per month, sorry. Besides, Marc would probably sympathize with the abusers. . .thank God for WaPo.com. With the money I save on the hard copy, I can adopt another abandoned doggy, all the while safe in the knowledge that I am enriching Mr. Fisher only in the most tangential manner possible! Whee!!

Posted by: RL | February 2, 2007 1:24 PM

From: the law offices of Messrs. Sniff, Scratch, and Fetch, et. al.- To: Marc Fisher, Washington Post. Sir, our client, Mr. Mick D. Aussiemix, has informed us that as of this morning he has removed your name from his will, and that furthermore, the hitherto agreed upon terms of service under which he has up until now functioned regarding the retrieval of the newspaper, and the concomitant restraint involved in not urinating on said newspaper, are henceforth null and void. You might wish to advise your circulation department to invest in heavier plastic bags. Thank you. Have a nice day. Sincerely, B. D. Fetch, LLD

Posted by: SS and F | February 2, 2007 1:27 PM

Excellent comments from Bethesda, MD. Why is it that people who don't care for animals are always inclined to point out, "They're *animals*, not people!"? That's precisely why we like our pets!

I must thank Mark, though, for reminding me again of something I've neglected to do, that is, prepare for my animals in the event of my death. I will agree that the lawyer cited sounds excessive, and I'm not inclined to give my money to someone who makes her living suing people like me, but there are others out there.

I would consider it a kindness to my friends and relatives, the humans I leave behind, that the animals be provided for, so they don't feel obligated to do so. Just think, they will be spared the guilt of making difficult decisions about pets that they know mean a lot to me.

Mark, given your distaste for animals, I assume you do not have elderly parents with pets, that you will be left to "dispose of" once they pass on. If you can imagine yourself in that situation, though, would you be able to just consign what had been a loving companion to an uncertain end?

Ehhh, don't answer that.


Very brief story, from the vet hospital: One patient was a Lab, living with the daughter of a man who had passed away unexpectedly. More than a year after his death, the daughter told me, the dog would still go sit in her father's closet and howl. I'm normally stoic, but that story still brings tears to my eyes.

Anyone who thinks companion animals are insensate and unaware is himself uneducated.

Posted by: DVM in MD | February 2, 2007 1:30 PM

And by the way, the post from vaherder about Social Security for his/her collies...totally ridiculous, don't get worked up over that one. We will skip over the part where they have SS numbers (the only way this is possible is if he/she got multiple numbers herself years ago when identity rules were lighter than they are now, or if she actually created fake id's for them and said they were children or other people). Nevertheless, even if they have numbers they will not be collecting survivor SS benefits when she dies. The only people who can collect a survivor benefit are surviving spouses (incl divorced spouses) or surviving children. Believe me you have to show waaaaaaay too much proof when you file for benefits for dogs to get paid. It's MUD.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | February 2, 2007 1:33 PM

I have 3 cats and an an animal rights activist. (And before you ask, I also do things for people.) I do not consider my cats to be "fur kids" - that term makes me cringe. Some of what people purchase for their pets is ludicrous but it probably doesn't hurt anyone. The Bark Mitzvahs are just a social event, not meant as blasphemy. Relax. That said, dogs are covered with fur and so do not need wardrobes. A bandanna or two fine. Maybe boots for rock salt in the winter. But no "preppy layered look shirts" or "patent leather mary janes" - both for sale in a catalog sent to me recently. As for chemotherapy, if you live with pets you are responsible for their care within your means - so for me, chemotherapy is not frivolous. It's possible to dote on your animals and care for people too. I do.

Posted by: Marie | February 2, 2007 1:35 PM

My first pet I owned was a dachsund named Sasha. It was run over by a car following another dog. At the age of eleven I was sad for a while.
It is too bad that we cannot consider children, the unborn and our spouses in the same manor as our dogs and cats.

Posted by: Peter Roach | February 2, 2007 1:57 PM

Even though I don't have a dog, one of my favorite shows is the Dog Whisperer. Given his audience, it is striking how utterly unsentimental he is about dogs. He understands that your dog doesn't give you affection; your dog will do everything it can to dominate you unless you assert yourself, and your dog will give you obedience in return for protection and food.

Posted by: Nekkid animal | February 2, 2007 1:58 PM

What I see as a sure sign that we're too rich is the exhorbitant sums which some people spend on books, newspapers, magazines, and other printed material which end up in land fills or recycling plants.

Marc, you got us. Most of us know you're only joking -- like your great soccer column last summer. But for some of the really slow readers, could you get a different picture on the days when you're joking? Say, with your tongue in your cheek or a jester's hat on your head, or one of those red, bulbous clown noses?

Posted by: KK | February 2, 2007 2:08 PM

Bethesda

Sorry bubba you are wrong just like you are about a lot things. Now go watch you your DVDs of Al Gore. And remember PETA is a terrorist organization!

And Nekkid animal the Dog Whisper is full of it. None of his dogs or dogs he help could ever work for him or ever trust him.
Most his clients should never own dogs because the they dont have a clue. You have to be the leader and in charge but having a totally submissive dog is a fallacy. A good herding dog has to be able to think for itself and work. A dog that is submissive to the extent Cesar's are will not.

And yeah a good herding dog will give you affection.

Posted by: vaherder | February 2, 2007 3:47 PM

Youre an ass

Posted by: Joey | February 2, 2007 6:00 PM

KK, maybe Marc could show your picture so we would know that the blog topic is a bunch of sh*t.

Posted by: How about it? | February 2, 2007 7:37 PM

vaherder, thank god your dogs can think for themselves because your thought process is really, really limited. You couldn't think your way out of a 50 foot by 50 foot open field.

Posted by: City Slicker | February 2, 2007 7:44 PM

I adopted two kittens when they were 12 weeks old, they are about a year old now. The agreement that I signed with the shelter was that I would take care of them for life. I'm not quite 40, and probably won't check out (die) anytime soon, but if I did, I'd consider it no less than my moral obligation to ensure they are taken care of for life, even if I'm not around. That is especially true if they end up several years old and not readily adoptable. Yes, I have several friends who would take them, but a little bit of $$$ to seal the deal couldn't hurt!

Posted by: careyarmst | February 3, 2007 2:07 AM

Do an artilce on why too few humans are spade or neutered....

Posted by: UR AN ASS | February 3, 2007 12:20 PM

Mr. Fisher states, "in a society where personal relationships seem less grounded and more strained than at any other time in our country's history".......

Therein is the answer for Mr. Fisher. My dog 's relationship to me is not strained, it is grounded in pure devotion and duty. She is a licensed service dog who has saved my life many a time in the years she cared for me. She is now seriously ill, perhaps terminal, with a sudden illness. I will spend every penny I have to prolong her life so long as the quality remains.

I have been married before and been in many relationships with men who have no heart or soul, just as Marc Fisher does not. I will take my dog any day over any of them.

The loyalty, devotion, care, concern and support that I have received from her has been one of my life's greatest blessings.

Someone like Mr. Fisher, who judges worth by what the cost is to them, will never be able to understand what a pet brings to a home.

I feel both sorry and pity for him. His words are not only unkind and unfeeling but also unthinking.

Posted by: Nancy | February 3, 2007 2:38 PM

Marc is a snibbling little twit who has no need for an animal. Does he need a monkey? No, because he has no hair for the monkey to pick nits. Does he need a cat? No, because he probably still has his childhood teddy bear named "Mr. Cuddles". Does he need a dog? No, he would need no protection because no one would bother to rob his puny little butt and if they did, he would just jump in the sewer with the rest of the rats and hide out for a while.

Posted by: Kujo | February 3, 2007 9:53 PM

If case you have not noticed, pets are personal property. Yes, they are also living beings and should be treated accordingly. To believe that pets appreciate fancy dress is to give them too much credit. That does not mean that pets should be treated cruelly.
As for the comparative worth of spending money on your pet's lifestyle rather than on the human poor, this is a tired observation. One could make the same observation about people own fancy cars which are far beyond their basic transportation needs. If you are not offended by "Pimp my Ride" why would you be offended by dogs in fancy dress?

Posted by: Brad | February 4, 2007 1:47 PM

Is there a chance that the Pet Eternal Trust site is actually a spoof?

Posted by: Tonio | February 5, 2007 4:47 PM

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