4/1/2014 Chicago, IL

I think we’ve all observed or felt the cultural shift – the humanization of pets and increased spending at the expense of other household priorities. But a new trend is emerging, and it is taking families in a different, if not a disturbing direction.

One family, who requested to remain anonymous, said their lives have changed for the better. When they sent their children to summer camp, they noticed that their own quality of life had improved considerably. They were spending time alone with their 2 Weimaraners and felt relaxed and energized. So they decided to make a permanent change. Now the 2 kids are at boarding school and, though the children may not be happy, mom and dad are. weimar

But another family did the same for a different reason. Their Beagle, Bailey, was suffering from severe allergies with itchy skin and bouts of sneezing. They noted the symptoms subsided when their own children visited their grandparents for weekend trips, and they sprung into action. Now, under the guise of sending their children to a better school district, the Smith kids live with their grandparents and Bailey is a happy, healthy Beagle.


grandparentsCarol Smith defended her decision, “The household is a much better place. It’s cleaner and quiet, the toilet seat is down (and dry), I’m not picking up underwear and I don’t have to listen to incessant whining for upgraded iPhones and X-Box, ugh.” She added, “Some people fault us for being self-centered but the fact is, the kids really are at a better school and their grandparents are probably giving them more attention than we ever did. So it IS a win-win, right?”

Similarly, stable relationships are ending over dog-related disputes. Mindy Goldstein always pampered her Yorkie, Bebe. But when it became obvious the dog was receiving more of her attention than her fiance’ of 8 years, Jacob, he gave her an ultimatum – pick one. We actually discovered Jacob on J-Date, the website for Jewish singles, so you know how this story ultimately played out. But Jacob says he is neither bitter nor angry. “I pretty much saw it coming,” he said. “I mean, she talked to that spoiled dog more than she talked to me, she took her everywhere in that ridiculous tote bag, took her to restaurants, clothes shopping, and she cooked for her every day. If she ever made me tuna salad like my mother used to it was like a mini-celebration. I left her last year after Passover.”

Some of the “political class” in the country have gone on record saying this is more evidence of what they call cultural decay – a deterioration of morality in America. But to serious dog lovers it just feels right.