Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do You Believe In Coincidences?

Hey, wanna feel conflicted?

In response to my ticking puppy clock, several of you have commented and e-mailed that I can take your pooches for an afternoon. The question is, are you going to let me pay $50 a month for the privilege? Because...

Coming mid 2008, it's FLEXPETZ!

It's caused me more inner conflict than Google. It's all kinds of awful, but I could benefit in a very self-serving way, namely by having a puppy whenever I want.

So the question is, does instant gratification drive me more than the empathy that makes me break down in wracking sobs every time I see that Humane Society commercial with Sarah McLaughlin?

Let's find out!

I'm sure there are several lawsuits pending, but it seems like FLEXPETZ isn't animal cruelty, just really, really inhumane treatment. I'm sure pretty sure maybe sure hoping they're not kicking puppies or anything.

But is it really fair to a dog to prevent him from having a forever home and one human to love and snuggle and play alpha dog? No. On the other hand, it is fair that the Object won't let me have a puppy? No, it is not.

But then there's the part where the CEO has a sordid past.

Then there's the glaring lack of discourse on some pretty basic subjects - where the dogs live and how they're kept; where they get the dogs from; what happens to the dogs when they're not being shilled out for the day -- just to name a few. And what if anything happens to the dogs? It takes a dedicated and loving owner (and a giant wad of cash) to take care of an unhealthy dog - what happens when the dog doesn't have an owner? How many FLEXPETZ dogs are going to end up in Sarah McLaughlin commercials of their own?

Despite the site's silence on the basics, they take great care to address GPS tracking of the dogs. "All FLEXPETZ dogs are fitted with a GPS tracking collar that allows for immediate location detection in the event that a FLEXPETZ dog and a member become separated. The device also incorporates an environmental temperature sensor that alerts FLEXPETZ instantly if the dog's surroundings fall outside of a predetermined safety range."

Is there no screening process? Just who is getting these dogs? Do they give them to any Paris Hilton who walks in off the street and says I have money, gimme a chihuahua; maybe I won't kill it this time! Inadequate! Dogs are pack animals; unless they're getting eaten by bears, they're pretty good at following orders when they're well-trained. They come; they sit. Game over. (Sort of.) At the point where GPS needs to become involved, isn't that a little blinking light of its own, guiding you out of some awfully murky waters?

To be fair, "FLEXPETZ dogs are fed holistic KUMPI Dog Food, which we at FLEXPETZ consider to be the best on the market." Well, that's a relief. But not really. Because what do FLEXPETZ members feed the dogs? Chocolate bon-bons would be my guess. I would probably give the dog endless treats to make him love me -- hey, I'm not the one who has to suffer the consequences.

Finally, there's the part where the people who would actually go through this kind of service are looking more for accessories than dogs. The dogs all look designer-y and the website's portraits of people with the dogs seem to suggest Fido would love nothing more than to spend an afternoon with you sitting at GlamorShots. Pooch as accessory? I thought we were past that fad. Maybe when Project Runway 3 was on, but this is season 5, people. Have we seen no progress as a civil society? And does it irritate anyone else that they spell PETZ with a Z and only refer to themselves in capital letters?

So now that we've ascertained that it is completely and fully shady and/or sordid, unethical, inhumane, bad fashion and bad style, is it wrong that the puppy-snatcher in me still kind of wants a membership?

Oddly enough, the site is having trouble with pre-registration for the DC area.


Blogger 3pennyjane said...

Shmoopy NPO alert: Another rider tipped me off about PAWS, a group that not only provides therapy animals, it takes care of the critters who belong to hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated individuals, bringing the pets to visit their owners, running pet-related errands, and keeping the animals healthy. Win win win (aaaand sniffle).

10:20 AM  

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