There seems to be a lot of interest about where canines fit into the lives of the rich. In fact, if you google the words rich people's dogs you'll see literally tens of millions of articles.
We've all heard stories about diamond-studded collars and lavish inheritances left to pets (i.e. Leona Helmsley). And I have a vague memory of an event when Elizabeth Taylor chartered a private yacht to keep her Pekingese off shore to avoid the six-month quarantine to get a dog into England.
If you've been reading for a while, you know we have two Great Danes here on the estate, and my rich employers seem to genuinely adore them. But their input into the dogs' care is minimal (make that non-existent) and their welfare is dumped entirely into the hands of house staff.
There was an article in Forbes Magazine a while back by Liz Moyer wherein she quotes Russ Alan Prince (President of Prince and Associates) who's organization authoritatively tracks the habits of the rich.
Says Prince: "For some wealthy people, the only true love they get is from their pets. They're estranged from their children, they are at war with their business partners, but their pets are always there for them."
Sounds kind of sad and pathetic, right? But I guess there's some truth to it. At least their pets are not asking them for business advice or loans, or throwing investment opportunities in front of every step they take. And I know for a fact our Danes are not begging him for charity contributions - just treats now and then.
Here's what my employers do for the Danes, which is mainly all the fun stuff:
- Pet and hug them.
- Sometimes they'll pick up a ball and throw it.
- They also pay for the groomer to come here once a week.
And here's what the house staff does for them, mainly all the hard work:
- Feed them twice a day plus lots of snacks.
- Clean up their accidents in the house, which are all too frequent!
- Give them their monthly heart worm and flea meds.
- Get them to their regular and emergency vet appointments.
- Administer whatever meds and restrictions the vet prescribes.
- Brush and check for fleas and ticks between the groomer's visits.
- Make sure they get enough outings and exercise.
Hum...so who gets the short end of this deal? Sometimes I get the feeling the Danes are just living ornaments around here, along with all the other possessions my employers own. I wonder what a sincere dog lover would think about this. Taking on a pet is such a huge commitment and responsibility, is it not? My employers, however, effectively dodge all the mess and problems of pet ownership, and pass it off to their house staff. Perhaps understandable and very convenient, right?
But then - they also pass off their children to a Nanny. Who am I to judge?
Just some observations tonight. Thanks for stopping in.