A few months ago, I noticed within a 1 km radius from home, there were 4 dog-focused stores in our neighbourhood that ply canine wares and services to dog-lovers. After all, it’s human beings that purchase these goods and services, not dogs.
Rise of Bling for Dog Fashionistas
I’m certain that the propensity of dogs as household pets and family members hasn’t changed since my childhood. What has increased now, is the amount of overt consumer behaviour manifested through canine object d’arts, trinkets, dogwear and even urban infrastructure to accommodate dogs in some cities.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, dog-leash free parks are helpful by allowing everyone to enjoy other parks free of running dogs while dogs can scamper happily in dog-designated parks with their owners smiling benignly from afar.
Paved Roundabout: Luxury Park Traffic Management for Dogs
But it almost seems wierdly luxurious for a municipality to design…a paved roundabout built expressly for dog-pedestrian-cycling traffic management in a dog free leash park corral. Both sides of the bike-pedestrian path, are fenced and separated from the park.
Meanwhile for cyclists in Calgary, the cycling infrastructure for a sprawling and growing city is inadequate on road for safe cycling. Anyway, I digress. As long as dog owners leash their dogs on a shorter leash, when they trot along a bike-pedestrian path, I’m fine.
Dogs in Gortex Vests and Flashing Jewellery
Back to apparel and bling for dog fashionistas and dog spa goodies.
Since I’ve never had a dog, one wonders if dogs need to be kitted out in woolly sweaters or mini-parkas during Vancouver’s balmy winters which are usually around -5 to -10 degrees C. Snow on the mainland, in Vancouver is rare –where everyone lives
with their dogs. Not in the mountains. Do dogs sweat if they wear light water resistant Gortex vests and jackets? Mind you, if it’s reflective neon colours, it’s most helpful for pedestrians, cars and cyclists at night.
Instead of bejewelled dog collars, dogs are better off with funky blinking light jewellery
so that everyone gets to see doggie and the flashing jewels at night. This type of dog-bling would be money better spent while also bedecking the dog almost like a Christmas tree or an emergency vehicle for safety’s sake.
Dog Hotel and Valet Services
With an increasingly mobile society where one moves away from a circle of family and trusted friends, kennels and dog “hotels” are a boon for owners who need to leave town for a few days or weeks but don’t bring along their dog. I’m sure such services existed for a long time,
but for the first time, we caught glimpse of a dog taxi service. Great idea for people with a sick dog where there is no car and may live in areas where dogs are not allowed on buses or transit.
No doubt there are other dog services and accoutrements which I haven’t seen yet. For now, we’ll just observe the world of dogs where some cyclists ride with their puppy in their backpack, rear pannier or in their front handlebar basket.
More Reading and Photos:
Chong, J. Spa Pampering in a Dog’s Life: Bakeries, Bike Trailers and More. In Cycle Write Blog, Feb. 16, 2012.