A long time ago I had a temp job through an employment agency working at a very well-known food company updating their mailing list. This mainly consisted of inputting address changes and new requests into a database to be sent free recipe cards. I’d always been a very responsible goody two-shoes who tried to do everything right on all my jobs, temp or otherwise, but this time I decided to have a bit of fun. In addition to making all the necessary corrections and updates, I also added to the database several names of pets belonging to people I knew. All I did was take the pet’s first name and tack on the last name of the person; hence “Chessie Gibbs”, a cat of my acquaintance, began receiving free recipe cards in the mail. Years later a friend of mine told me her dog was still getting recipe cards. Clearly the company had yet to notice my handiwork.😁
As far back as I remember I knew of the “crazy cat lady.” Her counterpart has become the guy obsessed with his dog. Like cat-lady, dog-man is often – but not always – middle-aged. His dog is an extension of himself, usually host to a slew of projections. He says things like “My dog is my best friend,” “I’ve never known a smarter dog,” and the disturbingly peculiar, “If my dog was a woman, I’d marry her.” The way man and dog interact, including face-kissing, going everywhere together, baby-talk, and other cloying/unsettling behaviors, is not anywhere near as heartwarming, touching, or sweet as dog-man thinks.
So I was watching TV yesterday and happened to catch an ad I haven’t seen before. As soon as I saw a dog and heard the opening words of the voiceover pitch, I almost switched channels but suddenly decided to watch instead. The product was Thundershirt for dogs. They showed a little coat wrap being put on a dog, claiming it immediately calmed the animal, eased anxiety, and made it feel like everything was “okay.” The website says both it’s Insanely calm© and “Perfect for thunder, lightning, fireworks, separation anxiety leash pulling, car & air travel, barking & licking, and more.” (Note: The good copywriters and proofreaders at Thundershirt omitted the appropriate comma between “anxiety” and “leash pulling,” not me, but it is perfectly fine, just FINE that they currently are earning money in this capacity – i.e., writing, editing, and proofing – while I am not.)
The website (where you can also view the commercial) explains that the “science” behind this innovation is the same as the principle of swaddling a baby to keep it calm. The Thundershirt “simulates hugging that provides comfort & relief.”
Well damn! All that from being strapped into a little $49.95 coverlet that looks like it’s made of the thick padding material used to protect furniture in moving vans? Where, oh where, can I get one of these for me?? If being wrapped up is good enough for dogs, cats, and babies, why isn’t it good enough for people? Oh yeah, I suppose a “straight jacket” is a kind of “Thundershirt for people” but I’m guessing retaining some kind of relative – if cumbersome – mobility that the product provides is more conducive to lessening anxiety and creating calmness. At least a person could waddle around in this if they needed to. Plus, there’s buffering from pushing & shoving by rude people in public! Somebody shoves you in line or on the subway and you’ll probably not even notice! Why, walking around wrapped up in your calming blanket coat ought to keep everybody at a safe distance from you anyway!
(After I wrote this up, I checked as I typically do, to see if my idea is original. Sadly, I must report that it is not, but this is one time I don’t care – I like my version better.)
I see a lot of women who give up on men and turn to pets.
I come across more than a few men who are obsessed with their dog and want a woman too.
I have never understood why people make fun of pets – dogs, cats – and mock them for begging or going wild at the prospect of a treat or meal time. Because I don’t see that people are really all that different. And definitely wouldn’t be if somebody else controlled everything about what, when, and how much they ate. I think you’d witness more than a few happy dances.