Are your Fur Babies taking over + what is Neuticles

I just had to post this. After last week’s dogshow this story popped in from the New York Times and another story about a site called ” Rover an Airbnb for Dogs. It should probably not come as much of a surprise… if you spend more than 10 minutes on Facebook you meet more of your friends fur babies than any other relative. But Neuticles takes it to a whole new level.

by Peter Halderman for New York Times

Miles, our pug puppy, was 5 months old and mounting everything he could wrap his front paws around. “We’re having him fixed soon,” my partner and I repeated like a mantra to friends as they politely extricated their legs. This is how we found out about Neuticles.

Neuticles, one plugged-in acquaintance revealed, are prosthetic testicles for neutered pets. Kim Kardashian West’s boxer was Neuticled, as were Larry Flynt’s Doberman pinschers. Altogether over 500,000 animals have been surgically implanted with the silicone testes, according to Gregg A. Miller, who invented them in 1995.

“Some people throw the dog in the car and have him turned into a eunuch because they don’t care,” Mr. Miller said recently. “But there’s a certain segment of pet owners that do care, and that’s where Neuticles come in. And it’s not only canines and felines. We’ve done an elephant, we’ve done prairie dogs. I Neuticled a monkey in Pocahontas, Ark., and a colony of rats for the University of Louisiana.”

But the majority of his clients, Mr. Miller said, are “everyday pet owners who opt for Neuticles so their pet will maintain its dignity and self-esteem.”

I was not entirely unfamiliar with such indulgences. When our late pug Weenie had to have a diabetes-ravaged eyeball removed, we replaced it with a fake eye that cost roughly 15 times what we had paid for Weenie himself. No one mistook it for the real thing, but it did lend him a raffish Sammy Davis Jr.-like charm.

I had a hunch, however, that Neuticles were less vital to the self-esteem of pets than to that of their owners. We ended up having Miles snipped the old-fashioned way, without any apparent deflation of his ego. But Neuticles opened my eyes to a world of pet pampering I’d barely glimpsed before.
“America’s house pets have worked their way into a new place in the hearts, homes, and wallets of their owners,” Michael Schaffer wrote in “One Nation Under Dog: Americans’ Love Affair With Our Dogs.” Not for nothing are they now nicknamed “fur babies”: Stop by Urth Caffe in West Hollywood, Calif., or Barking Dog Restaurant in New York on any given afternoon and you’ll find the place crawling with strollers that hold not mewling infants but yapping Havanese and drooling doodles.

Some think this is because of the steady uptick in childless households. Others point to the atomizing effects of the internet on inter-human relations. Personally, I wouldn’t underestimate the impact of all those movies with talking dogs.

Last year Americans spent $69.5 billion on their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association. Kibble and vet bills are only the beginning.

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