Monday, January 4, 2010

Return of the Rant: "Lolita" Pets

We've all heard about them. Most have seen them. Some even want one. A cute little puppy or kitty to dress up and show off with your latest dress. Maybe they even match your print? A bischon with your Innocent World, poodles with your Angelic Pretty, kittens for your Metamorphose. It's adorable! Dress them up too! Put a bow on their heads! And carry them around in your purse! Aren't they the cutest?

No. I'm sorry. Pets are not accessories. They are living, breathing things that should be treated better than dressed up and shoved in a purse to be carried around for hours. They have legs, they need to walk. Unless you have a chihuahua and you're outside in the middle of winter your pet does not need clothes. In fact most clothes for pets, especially in the summer, can cause your animal to overheat. Those cute little booties you put on your pup? They're good for keeping his feet dry while outside in the cold, but when inside they can cause infections between the pads. How's that for cute?

"Teacup" breeds are the worst. Dogs are inbred to become smaller and smaller, more fashionable. Meanwhile, the inbreeding promotes breed-specific health risks. Not to mention more immediate dangers such as taking jumps off something as low as a couch. The small breeds are fragile and breeding them even smaller makes things worse. On the same vein are the "designer dogs" like Goldendoodles and Puggles. They are bred with the intention to make them more hardy or hypo-allergenic. But what designer breeders don't tell you is that the chance for these positive traits to come out is the same for the chance of negative traits of both breeds coming out. You don't know what you're going to get. So, with Puggles for example, you can get the easy overheating, respiratory problems, and nose wrinkle infections from the Pug as well as the destructive properties, weight issues, and heart disease from the Beagle. Sure, it's cute, but you're probably not getting as good of a dog that you think you're buying. Not to mention, a designer dog's price tag can be more than a purebred's. You can be paying upwards for $1k for nothing more than a fancy mutt!

All animals grow up. Puppies become dogs. Kittens become cats. They get old. The bills for the vet visits grow. They no longer look so cute next to your kitten print, and tend to get hair all over it. Not to mention that a lot of animals sold as "teacup" breeds are actually just premature puppies or kittens. They grow up to be full sized and have even more health problems. They don't fit in your purse anymore. And they whine to be picked up still because all you've done is carry them around their whole lives.

I realize I'm being harsh with this rant but 1) it's a rant, 2) it's my blog, and 3) this is an issue I feel strongly about, not just within lolita. I worked in the animal care industry for over five years. I have seen dogs bought as accessories suffer through many problems, health, mental, and otherwise. I have cried when animals I've known for years were put down or given away simply because the owner was bored with them, or they were no longer cute, or were too much of a handful. I know this is a harsh rant but what I'm getting at is please think about the animal that you're buying. Are you getting it for an accessory? For something to coo over for a couple weeks and then get bored of? To dress up and show off? Or are you looking for a new friend for life? To give an unloved animal a new lease at life? To make your world and theirs a little bit brighter? Animals are not your personal playthings. Consider this before you go to buy one. Or even better, consider this and then go to your local shelter or pound and adopt that scruffy looking mutt in the corner. He or she will be your best friend as long as you care for them right.

Pictured: My old man Buddy. Part Husky, part Beagle, part Australian Cattle Dog, all Love.
There's nothing lolita about him, but I couldn't ask for more.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. It's crazy that people get pets as accessories. That's what bjds are for, not live animals!

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  2. I hate that people get pets to be used as accessories. People don't seem to realize how ridiculous and awful it is. Thanks for posting this.

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  3. This. I so agree with this.
    Thank you for saying that.

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  4. @everyone
    You're very welcome! Thank you for the comments

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  5. I agree so strongly!
    To be honest, I dress up my dog, but only when she's going out in winter... And I got her because I grew up with a dog and I think animals make lives so much better...

    One of my best friends is one of these fashionista beings, but she keeps it to herself, so I don't mind. A big problem for me though was having to tell her that getting a dog just to dress it up is just another form of animal cruelty. She kept on talking how she wanted a teacup poodle to carry in a Louis Vuitton bag and get designer clothing for. AHEM. Now she wants a piglet, because Paris Hilton has one. Well, at least she used to, I think she finally realised that DOG = UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, not DOG = ACCESSORY. Same applies for all animals of course.

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  6. @anon
    the teacup piglets are the worst! All pigs are tiny when they're born so they're advertised as "teacup" and when they grow up you have a 100+ lbs pig on your hands. I actually wanted one because I looooove pigs. So I did my research and was instantly turned off by the idea.

    It's so horrible watching animals be treated that way. I hope your friend catches on.

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  7. I want a timber wolf. But I know you can't tame them (part of the reason I'm all like "Ooooooh!!!"), and you need over a certain number of acres to be permitted to own one.

    So it's my dream to own land to house my wolf, and feed it lovely meat and watch it wander around every day.

    Tiny animals are unnatural. They'd never survive in the wild. Poor things.

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  8. I have a Dutch shepheard, nothing lolita about him either but who cares. He is a wonderfull dog. I don't get people who think pets are like a stuffed animal! Or a fashion asseciory! >.<

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  9. i mostly agree with you...if someone has a well loved pet and wants to do a photo next to them because it looks cute, that's one thing, but the idea of buying a pet to go with your outfit... i have trouble believing people are that dumb. a pet is a bigger responsibility than a purse or other fashion accessory! thanks especially for talking about dog breeders... something really needs to be done about those who breed for appearances at the expense of healthy animals!

    i'm only going to note a few things... i live in the extreme north. it gets incredibly cold here during the winter. to the point where sometimes we will have entire months where it doesn't get above zero degrees. and dogs need to be walked. they need to go outside to pee. if a dog is smaller or hates the cold (i had an older rottweiler with arthritis) i don't think it's the worst thing in the world to put a sweater on them to help keep them warm. if they don't mind!

    it especially makes me annoyed when people do this with cats. when i was little i used to try to put bows and fancy collars on my cats, and they hated them and would pull them right off! i've met cats who even hate their normal collars and can't get used to them. there might be some cats out there that like the attention, but most of the ones i've met are happiest in just their fur.

    animals are incredibly beautiful and cute at any age in my opinion. a happy, healthy pet will "go" with your outfit a lot better than an unhappy primped one.

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  10. Thanks for this post. I very strongly agree. I know so many people who get rid of their cats simply because they aren't cutesy little kittens anymore and it makes me angry.

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  11. Seeing this blog, and all the comments makes me glad to know that I'm not the only one disgusted by this. I grew up in Southern California, where every other woman has some sort of small dog in their purse. I've never understood it.
    As for me, I've got a ferret. Not really lolita overall, but he does love sitting in my mary janes and steals hair bows regularly.

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  12. Thank you for posting this! I like seeing all you, and the other people commenting are saying. It makes me feel good about the world. Animals are just as alive as any person, and deserve respect, care, and love. Dressing them up, and treating them like cute accessories is just wrong. I've got a big yellow lab/golden retriever named Martin who I absolutely adore, and got from a rescue place. And everyone says this, but he's just the most lovable thing in the world! It's sad to think that anyone could've stopped caring for such a nice and innocent animal.

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  13. This rant hit a note with me.
    I do volunteer work in shelters for those poor sweet animals and it plain out pisses me off when people just use animals like that, Dammit, They have hearts, They have lungs and they breath! They are living creatures! They don't deserve to be treated like that.

    I couldn't help but shed a few tears, Thank you for posting this.

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  14. i have a car sick 80 pound german shepherd. he cant even travel with me... but i love him. we are his third owners, he got thrown away twice by some morons.
    best dog ever.... except my previous one.. who was also a shelter dog and saved my life when a mugger tried to drag me into a car. all 35 pounds of him lit into the guy.

    they get sick, they eat too much, they shed. they need to be fed, and walked, and boarded if you have to travel.
    sooner or later one of them will eat your best shoes, or pee on something he shouldn't, or destroy your couch (my previous dog ate three couches).. and thats what you just have to deal with in exchange for love, friendship.. of a sort.. and a big furry house warmer

    if you want an accessory that matches your clothes, i suggest one of the hyper realistic looking stuffed toys. much cheaper, and they dont care wqhen you get tired of them

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