Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Have you seen the car commercial based on "Duh"? Innovative use of a word that usually takes a negative connotation. Still, it is a car commercial.

On, Duh is defined as an interjection used to display annoyance at banality, stupidity and the obvious. Like duh, who was surprised at Brittany, Paris or Lindsey's behaviors?

Or duh, people treat their pets like they are their children. Yet, today I saw a new high or maybe it is low that demonstrates the divide that leads me to believe Americans have lost touch with reality.

For a mere $50, dog owners can buy a 1.7 ounce bottle of doggy perfume so that their ummm DOG won't smell like a well, DOG! Sexy Beast offers a whole host of pricey and unnecessary indulgences that are meant to turn animals into family members, more human family members, it seems. And, best of all it is non-allergenic.

Another writer put it in perspective with her comment, "meanwhile babies are dying for lack of clean water...."

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and blogger, writes about the giant leaps in pet care that veterinary medicine has taken. She wrote,
This year, Americans will spend about $9.8 billion on health care for their pets, up from $7.2 billion five years ago. According to the New York Times, New York’s leading pet hospitals offer CT scans, MRI’s, dialysis units, and even a rehab clinic featuring an underwater treadmill, perhaps for the amphibians in one’s household.
She proposes that if a family can not afford health care for their children, perhaps they could afford to take them to the local veterinarian who is now equipped to provide care that otherwise a family cannot afford. Children die for lack of basic health care -- as simple a 'duh' process as taking a child to the dentist to treat an abscessed tooth.

And who doesn't get outraged when the nightly news tells of dog fights, cock fights, starving animals chained in cages and abandoned or abused? I grew up with the Bambi and Lassie syndrome. I was petrified that something would happen to the animals. It didn't matter that humans died, were hurt, lost, mutilated. Don't hurt the animal. Do we feel as much outrage when abused children make the nightly news lineup? Have you noticed that less stories about kids see air time than those of animals?

Ehrenreich goes on to say,
The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill that would expand state health insurance cover for children (S-CHIP) to include 3.2 million kids who are not now covered (but leaving about 6 million still uncovered.) Bush has promised to veto this bill, on the grounds that government should not be involved in health coverage. If does veto the bill, the fallback demand should be: Open up pet health insurance to all American children now!

Kids have fallen out of favor. True they can be annoying, vexing, frustrating, and costly. They aren't as well house-trained nor as easily taught tricks as most dogs. And when they run to greet us at the door it is more about 'what did you bring me' than being happy to see us.

Perhaps kids would benefit from a good PR firm like the car commercial Duh guys.

But in the meantime, I wonder how many children would benefit if that $50 for dog perfume was used instead to help pay for children's health care.


Ruth D~ said...

So true! Such frivolous things people do, and have the right to do.

It's the choices that each of us make personally in the way we live our lives that makes a difference-- for better or worse.

Marijke Durning said...

Yup, kids can be annoying. But I'm one of their biggest defenders because we were there once and, if you look at the root cause, it's often not their fault. Kids need to be taught and many parents aren't doing that teaching.

My three are turning out to be wonderful young adults but we had our share of moments I'd rather not repeat. However, that is part of what makes them who they are.

As for my dog, well, let him smell like a dog. Except for the silent bombs that seem to shock not only him. :-) (did *I* do *that*???)