Do I have a spoiled pooch?

Originally published in the Rolesville Buzz
September 2013

Have you heard the saying, “a pet just a pet”? “Pet” is defined as an animal thatis kept for amusement or companionship. Well, I pampered my companion, so why not pamper my pooch?

I pamper my golden retriever Taylor. On our daily journey to the shop – yes, I said “our” – I stop by every morning to buy an iced mocha for myself and two strips of bacon for Taylor. At night I let him sleep in the bed with me, and by all means he leads me when we go for walks. Those big brown eyes look up to me as if saying “Mommy, I love you … now let’s go have some fun.”

I even give my fur-baby blueberry facials, sweet brown scrubs and paw massages. Where do I draw the line? Well, the way that I look at it, if it makes him happy and I am happy, then why not have some fun doing it.

Let’s face it, though, he spoils me as much as I spoil him. Taylor helps me to relieve my daily stress when I take him for walks, throw the ball or even just sit with him on a rainy day and brush him. He enjoys the attention, and I get to think about nothing but making him happy. It brings me a great sense of accomplishment when I see how the simple things make him smile. Besides, spending time with your pets can give you a chance to get your mind off the negative and give you the self-confidence to get through the day.

For those days when you want to head out for a little pampering, you can also take your pet for his or her own spa day at a salon dedicated just to pampering your canine companion. I’ve seen dogs (of course), cats, rabbits and the latest, and most recently, Flower and Rose, two cute little Guinea pigs in our shop for a day of pampering.

Pampering isn’t just giving the extreme things like expensive clothing, facials and massages; it’s keeping them free of fleas, ticks and other irritants. After all, it is the healthy thing to do, but it can also be fun for the whole family. A nice family outing that includes spoiling Fido is fun and in the end you have a nice critter-free coat that smells simply kissable.

I also think that dogs want to be pampered in other ways, like going on a long walks. They want to be allowed to chase the squirrels. They want to go where they can play with other dogs, so they can sniff and dig around. That’s what they like.

They don’t want to be isolated and alone. Company is vital; the sight of me putting on my shoes sends Taylor to the top of the steps or in front of the garage door to block my way out. He looks at me with the “Am I coming too?” look. I take him with me to as many places as I possibly can. All of my friends welcome him in; he is of course part of the family. He even has his own play dates with Max.

The really pampered pooch isn’t one who wears snowboots to the park (Taylor wasn’t fond of his so he gave them to Divot). Nor is it the one who sleeps on a “Cleopatra” chaise longue (handcrafted in Milan). The real pampered pooch is the one who spends lots of time with its owner, hanging out, and being part of his or her very own “familypack.”

Again, I ask, do I have a spoiled pooch? You bet your sweet paws I do.