I was appauled by an article in the Times recently entitled “Dog for Rent.” Just could not believe it. What ever next? A USA company coming to the UK has set up a business which offers the opportunity for its customers to rent a dog. Dogs and also certain breeds of dogs are seen as a must have- all be it a temporary commodity to have, in Britain consumer society. A dog representing an important symbol of status and possibly a statement, or fashion conscious symbol. There has been criticism from animal welfare organisations concerning this business and ultimately the welfare of the dogs.
The owner of the buisness says that clients are very carefully vetted and no dog would end up in a bad home situation. Also, as a supposed comforter to our consciousness and reason, no dog will be homed no more that five times in its lifetime. I have many reasons to completely hate this idea as an business enterprise how ever well meaning its buisness owner is both to the dogs it is renting out, and the clients it is seeking to offer a service too. These are my own objections as a dog owner.
- Dogs are not commodities to be shifted around like non-feeling objects. A ornament of a fad, craze or must have style accessory. Dogs are sensitive emotional creatures who need the stability of a prefered one home placement and need the routine of that environment similar to a child. That does not mean they should be treated like human children or act as a substitute for one. I know of couples who do do this and this indeed can be just as damaging to a dog.
- Dogs need the discipline of one family or person’s rules and activities. Therefore, this is why each breed of dog needs careful consideration to that person or familie’s lifestyle, exercise regime, work-life and recreation. This is why so often people wish to re-home pets because they just do not realise the work and needs of that particular breed.
- I hate the notion that a dog can be seen as something which can be tossed around from one alien house to another, even if it is just a few times in a dog’s lifetime. Dogs can develop bad behavioural problems as a result.
- The idea of a pet being a short-term loan does not send a message of responsible behaviour when considering any long-term health problems, veterinary care and need for medication which may need consistent handling, preferably from one vet. The message here is, if a problem develops with your pet, you can simply pass it over to someone else.
- And what happens when any children become attached to a rented animal or indeed the owners. Are there any clauses in the contract in place to allow permanent ownership, or ultimately it appears the business in still the overall owner?
- This may be well-meaning but I just don’t buy it. As a dog lover I simply hate this idea because of what it represents. If there is not the intention to look after a dog for its life time, then don’t have one. OK, lots of people who own a pet can have circumstances which change and this can alter the ability to care for a dog. That is different. It will be interesting to see how this catches on and what the outcome will be.