This book was seriously written for me. Quite literally, I think Michael Schaffer snuck cameras into my house and observed the ongoing conversations between my husband and I as to how much dog pampering we're partaking in and how 30 years ago dogs didn't get to eat all natural pet food or get to stay in dog hotels when companions went on vacation!
Those are exactly the topics covered (along with sooo much more) in Michael Schaffer's One Nation Under Dog: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food. A proud companion of a Saint Bernard rescue named Murphy, Schaffer took on the task of finding out exactly what is going on in the crazy world of dogs and dog products and why we are so obsessed with now having the best and brightest for our pooch friends.
Each chapter takes on a different subject including pet networking sites, pet hotels, dog walkers, specialty food, and even the idea of what happens when our doggies die. All of the information is presented in an incredibly interesting and humorous way and is probably one of the only non-fiction books that I've really read cover to cover. I was constantly telling my hubby to mute the TV so I could read him fun facts I was learning and how very close to home a lot of the info was hitting (embarrassingly so at points).
I learned about the invention of the Kong, some info on puppy mills vs. responsible breeders (which are out there people, just do your research), and cremation ashes that are made into $25,000.00 diamonds. And yes, I'm totally serious.
And as I was reading I started to realize just how pampered my own pooches are. Before the book, I would have said, no way...not us! But, both Shae and Zoey do have "clothes"...items Aaron's mom has sent for holidays. They wear them every once in awhile for pictures, no regular-basis clothing, but still, they have the clothes. And they do eat all-natural organic dog food that totally costs an arm and a leg to buy...and they only eat all-natural treats, no people food allowed. We've had their photos taken by a professional, but it was completely by accident and ALL Aaron's fault, but again...we have them. A Dogster page was made for each of them. They regularly go to the dog park/play group. And they both get their teeth brushed, have organic shampoo, lots of toys, their own beds (though though often sleep with us) have had training, get regular washings and brushings, etc. Yep, spoiled.
This is definitely a book for dog lovers or someone that has stated how ridiculous it is to put clothes on dogs, get their portraits taken, or give them a profile on Dogster. Publisher's Weekly describes it as the "Fast Food Nation for dog lovers." It's a lot of fun and hugely informative...definitely one of my better adult reads of the year!
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.
One Nation Under Dog