We've all heard the horror stories about growing old and only being able to afford dog food. The good news?
Dog food seems to be really improving.
Duck into any of the chi-chi pet stores around here (you know you're in the right place if the berets have chin straps) and you will find the kind of food formerly associated with only the fanciest, er, feasts.
At Biscuits & Bath on Second Ave., for instance, you can pick up a can of duck with barley. Not chuck. Duck. And if Fido ha, like anyone names their dog Fido anymore. Let's say, "Spence" if Spence gets bored, you can always tempt him with the other options: chicken with apples, lamb with brown rice, New Zealand venison with sweet potatoes.
Get me a bowl!
In fact, get me some fur and a collar. Enough with the working gal routine. It's impossible to get ahead. Anyone who really wants to live the life of a New York yuppie has got to grow a tail.
Take housing, for instance. Tail-free, it'll run you $1 million for a modest Manhattan pad. But if you're, say, a gerbil, you can get a "small animal high rise" a whole building to yourself! for something like $30.
Unfortunately, the one I saw at Petco advertised, "Aquarium not included," so it may be harder to flip. Then again, if you're a rodent, what do you know from flipping? Flipping property, I mean.
Pretty much, you'd be happy to spend your day enjoying all the toys and treats invented expressly for you. Toys like the Critter Chopper a working motorcycle for hamsters. Treats like "Yogies Real Yogurt Treats for Rats and Hamsters" - available, of course, in cheese flavor. If you're a rabbit, you can always nibble on your Bunny Ka-Bob a metal stick on which master can lovingly skewer your veggies. (Until she gets bored and starts letting your cage smell.) Or you could play with your "Bunny Shake 'n' Chew" a rattle for bunnies.
Do bunnies really like rattles? They're not talking.
Anyway, while it's good to be a New York rodent indoors or out it's even better to be a cat. Not just because of the obvious food chain implications, but also because cats have even more toys, food options and best-selling mysteries written about them. Also, Wal-Mart is selling catnip bubbles. Really! It's very good to be a cat.
But dogs are clearly the top of the heap.
Tuckered out after your duck dinner, doggie? Petco has a entire aisle labeled, "Orthopedic beds." Naked children may be sleeping on the streets of Calcutta. But Fid ... er ... Spence can curl up in spine-massaging comfort.
Come the next morning, he can trot over to day care. Not just any day care. The right kind of day care, carefully structured into playtime (aka "socialization"), rest time and relief walks. At Biscuits & Bath, prices start at $10 an hour. A toothbrushing costs $15, though savvy masters may simply shop elsewhere for doggie "breath tabs."
The fact that a dog with minty fresh breath who brunched with friends, ate duck for dinner and curled up to sleep on a Posturpedic is not living the life that G-d intended doesn't matter.
He's living a very New York life. The kind only a doggie can afford.
It's enough to give one paws.