Title: Tale Waggers - Doggie Deprivations Photo: Tristan as a pup


Having dogs is like having a personal "reverse shopper" - a furry little lottery ticket presenting you with income you never knew you had.

You will save bundles of cash you would otherwise have squandered.



We didn't take a vacation for 10 years because we had three dogs to board and between the cost and the guilt, there was no hope for a happy respite. We spent everything we saved by not going on vacation for a decade on vet bills.

Welcome to doggie deprivations...

You need new carpeting. Tufts of lint are passing for the plush pile you long to wiggle your toes in. Stains have formed a discernable pattern. Still, new carpeting gets old fast in a dog-infested household. Invest the savings in a mutual fund.

The age-old dilemma - will those light colored pants make your rump appear too large? Well you can bet dog footprints will make your behind more noticeable regardless of your exercise regimen. Dark clothing will show the doggie "slime trails". What's left? You live in denim - that durable dog resistant fabric - and save a bundle for your children's college fund.

It's lovely. An all-white set of hand-crocheted lace bedding. Pillow shams, comforter, even bed skirt. Your dog will be hanging by the toenail from one piece or another before the wrinkles have hung out. Better keep that old snagged blanket. You can't remember what it looked like new. There will be no painful memories. Might as well spend the money on that dental surgery you've been putting off.

You stop wearing jewelry during puppy's first year. Tiny teeth work deviously to free stones from their settings, rip earrings from their source and tangle in necklaces. You set aside your finery until pup is older. Friends begin commenting on your simple, yet elegant taste. "Less is more", you reply. Eventually you believe your lie. You start to receive denim (your "signature fabric") for Valentine's Day. The family checking account swells.

You want it. Expensive knitwear - woven by the latest of ten generations of weavers on the Scottish Highlands, using only the wool from virgin lambs. Worth the price - these items become heirlooms. Not if you have dogs they don't. That sweatshirt from K-Mart sounds comfy right now. Set that cash aside for your old age.

Your shoe fetish gets the boot when dogs come to town. You can't walk (or run after) dogs in stylish shoes. You can't get dog slobber off suede. Buy washable sneakers and take your dogs on a trip with the money you save.

Your neighbors spend a fortune on a lawn service which transforms their grass into a carpet of lush green and their flowerbeds into a lavish display of form and color. The last time you mowed the lawn, you broke your ankle in a dog-hole you stepped into after you skidded on a dog pile hidden in the tall grass. You cannot expose others to this danger. The money you save will pay your doctor bills…

When your accountant asks how you live so well on the pittance you earn, just smile like the Mona Lisa and reflect on the endless dividends of canine investments.


Copyright 1998 Elizabeth Cusulas
Tale Waggers - Stories for Dog People
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction without written permission is expressly forbidden