September 29, 2009
White people tend to spend way too much on their pets. White people will tell you they spent $8000 on their dog during the last year of the dog’s life or $5000 on the cat. It’s ridiculous. Let’s start with food, move on to toys and then we can go to the really stupid expense, the vet. White people don’t know where family begins and ends and where pets begin and end. They’re constantly telling the dog, “Go in the next room, Mommy’s waiting.” No boundaries. White people will pay for their dog’s surgery while their sister and brother-in-law go into bankruptcy. Stuff African American people wouldn’t believe.
First of all, there are the number of pets that White people will have. Often each child gets to have his or her own pet. In our family, we have an aviary, ring necked doves, chickens, and then my daughter has a python, boa and two geckos. I have a green iguana. My son has seven cats or is it eight, I forget. We also have two dogs who are basically family dogs. We gave away the ducks Jack and Jill. We let them go down the hill. White people are willing to have a lot of pets just for fun. These pets must be shopped for at the pet supply store. Sometimes we can barely afford groceries, but we are always buying pet supplies. And it’s not cheap either. God forbid we should buy grocery store dog food and cat food. That’s just not good enough for our pets. We actually go to a pet warehouse place called Red Barn that is pretty reasonable, but pet food can get out of control, no doubt.
Just buying the food could be quite enough of an expense, but many White people will also buy their pets toys and little sweaters. Around the holidays, you will see all kinds of presents you can buy your pet to put under the tree to say nothing of cat trees and hideaways and dog beds. I admit that our dog has a bed, but at least the dog sleeps in the bed not in our bed. There are White people who allow their cats and dogs to sleep right on the bed and people who have those pot bellied pigs sleeping in the bed with them.
Pot bellied pigs are like kids and like a lot of spouses that you meet. Very cute when you first bring them home from the hospital or the bar, but then they start expanding, they have needs. They start taking over part of your life. Before you know it, they’re telling you where to sit, they start controlling things. I kid you not, the pot bellied pigs are smart and will develop favorite TV shows and throw a fit if you turn off Jeopardy. Apparently, they get pretty deep with Jerry Springfield as well. They like talk shows where there is violence; they’ll start to grunt and heave in their living room chair. One girl I met, White of course, was sleeping in bed at night with two sows and one boar. Is that a foursome? Or a girl and a piggy threesome? I didn’t want to ask. I know in the Middle Ages people had to sleep in the same one room house as their animals. Obviously some of us just miss those times. Again, I think African Americans are not letting the pigs in the bed. It’s just not happening. I asked some of my Black friends and they laughed outright.
Let’s talk about the vet and buying the pet. White people will just pour out the money on buying pure breed animals when they could get a free pet at the pound (which is what we do) spending hundreds on dogs, thousands on reptiles to say nothing of the amount on birds and rodents. Then the vet bills. The White people will pay out thousands of dollars to save their pets’ lives even when they know their dog or cat has only six months to live, they will just keep writing checks. According to Business Week, Americans spend 41 billion a year on pets, and you can bet a lot of that is White people and 9.8 billion of that is vet services. White Americans more and more think of themselves as parents to their pets. Joy oh joy.
Being parents to children isn’t enough, so we have to attempt to parent animals, birds and reptiles. Americans are lonely in the world, maybe pets help that loneliness for White people, White people aren’t tribal; don’t trust each other or themselves, but we do love our pets. A cat, a dog, a pig, a bird, it feels like love. White people value our privacy, but then we do want somebody to talk to, a cat, a dog, a bird, a pig, maybe?