We humans are so weird. On the one hand we kill, as policy, millions of dogs and cats every year. On the other, we spend millions to invent things that will supposedly make the lives, of the dogs and cats we own, easier.
Jay Leno did a talk show on TV and once a week he would round up the strangest gadgets he could find. That’s what I did this weekend and I was really surprised at what the market has to offer for pets. What kind of people invented these and what kind of people buy this stuff?
*A dog umbrella: basically an inverted transparent umbrella with a twisted stick to hold over your dog while he walks. Transparent, because he can then see the world. You, on the other hand have to just watch him to see that he does not get wet.
* Pet video camera attached to a dog’s collar which shows you the world from the dog’s perspective. That’s probably more of a spycam than anything useful for the animal.
* In order to keep dogs calm , a portable palm sized compact player ( IPawd?) which plays music clinically demonstrated to relieve canine anxiety issues.
* Playing ‘Fetch’ with your dog can be very tiring for you. Throwing balls can tire your arm muscles. Get a battery powered automatic ball launcher which will shoot a miniature tennis ball 10-30 feet away. When the dog brings the ball back, put it again into the machine and it will send the ball again.
* Dogs urinating on the lawn can turn patches of grass yellow. Buy igneous rocks and put into the dog’s water dish. They remove the nitrates from the water that the dog drinks so that his urine doesn’t burn up the grass.
* Do you want to know who your dog really is ? Buy a DNA Test, swab his cheeks and send the samples to a lab. The lab will tell you the main breeds that went into him, breed specific traits, health problems you might face. Each kit gets you a photo of your dog and his unique DNA composition.
* Worried that you dog is feeling too hot in his kennel. Get a small portable doghouse air conditioner which cools in summer and heats in winter. (Why not just let him into the house?)
* Want to amuse your cat? Get a solar powered cat tantalizer which is basically a plastic ball with feathers on it. Stick it on a window with suction cups, and the sunlight will activate the toy and make it sway so that your cat plays with it. You can also get a battery powered nylon mouse which moves randomly, slowing down, speeding up and reversing. If your cat is not amused enough, get a battery powered gadget that projects laser patterns randomly around the room to fascinate the animal. It’ll do this for 15 minutes and then turn off automatically.
* How about a battery operated illuminated neon coloured pet collar for your pet to wear at night so that you can find him easily. The only problem is that the battery has to be recharged every two hours.
* How about a special doormat that soaks up water or dirt that the dog brings in.
* Don’t like your dog being wet after his bath. Instead of a normal towel get a special towel made of polyester-chenille which has pockets sewn into the corners for better control in drying. Put your hands in them and then dry the dog. He will enjoy the massage as well. Another way is for your dog to clean himself. Buy a superabsorbent towel. Persuade your pup to sit down on the towel and zip it up so it’s around his neck. Let him roll around and get himself clean. It comes in five different sizes. Or, a shower curtain with built-in gloves - so you can bathe your dog without getting wet every time she shakes!
* Your dog doesn’t like the smell of polluted air any more than you do .Get him a battery powered air purifying collar. This mini air purifier can be attached to the collar in order to neutralize smells and bacteria.
* Do you want your dog to tell you when it wants to go out to the bathroom? Get a snout operated bell and teach him how to use it by putting a biscuit in the slot next to it.
* How about a remote controlled collar. If your dog is behaving badly, a press on the remote releases a burst of compressed air from the collar at the dog’s nose.
* Want to remove the hair left by your dog or cat on the sofa, blankets or carpets or the bed? Get a packet of sticky sheets, stick one on the furry spot, rub it down to get all the fur and then pull it away.
* Put a waterproof cell phone with a GPS tracker onto your pet’s collar. If he runs away you can try and talk him back or track him down.
* What to know what your dog or cat is saying? Get a Cat or Dog electronic translator which are programmed to understand any of the six emotions they may feel when they bark or meow. These emotions have been codified into the Animal Emotion Analysis System.
There are many more that I will save for another time. But I actually know a woman who buys shoes and socks for her dogs; one who takes her dog to get a manicure from her beauty parlour; and one who gets a special mattress, costing thousands, for her dog – its supposed to fit the contours of his body. So maybe there are many more crazy people out there – both those who kill animals and those who buy utter rubbish for their pets.
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
*Proper wildlife rehabilitation is an extremely biologically and ecologically responsible attitude toward all living things.*