I guess a book about dogs is appropriate for my two hundredth book this year. This book looks at how and why we spend so much money on our dogs. There are lots of facts and anecdotes (and even a few stories on cats as well). Parts of this book scared the heck out of me. I do spend money on my dogs and have done a lot of things that are in this book, but nothing as exteme as some of these “pet parents”.
I know a few of you have been through my saga of Australian Shepherd, Blue, and his cancer, geriatic vestibular syndrome and skin conditions. I hate to think of all the time I have spent sleeping on an air matress in the family room when he couldn’t climb the stairs. But it was worth it. He is now almost 14 and his cancer has returned and will not go away.
One Nation tries to explain why we have made pets as our priority in life. This is an excellent read for any dog lover who wants to understand all of the discussions about pet care today.
A witty, insightful, and affectionate examination of how and why we spend billions on our pets, and what this tells us about ourselves
In 2003, Michael Schaffer and his wife drove to a rural shelter and adopted an emaciated, dreadlocked Saint Bernard who they named Murphy. They vowed that they’d never become the kind of people who send dogs named Baxter and Sonoma out to get facials, or shell out for $12,000 hip replacements. But then they started to get weird looks from the in-laws: You hired a trainer? Your vet prescribed antidepressants? So Schaffer started poking around and before long happened on an astonishing statistic: the pet industry, estimated at $43 billion this year, was just $17 billion barely a decade earlier.
One Nation Under Dog is about America’s pet obsession—the explosion, over the past generation, of an industry full of pet masseuses, professional dog-walkers, organic kibble, leash-law militants, luxury pet spas, veterinary grief counselors, upscale dog shampoos, and the like: a booming economy that is evidence of tremendous and rapid change in the status of America’s pets. Schaffer provides a surprising and lively portrait of our country—as how we treat our pets reflects evolving ideas about domesticity, consumerism, politics, and family—through this fabulously reported and sympathetic look at both us and our dogs.
About the Author
Michael Schaffer has written for The Washington Post, Slate, The New Republic, and US News & World Report, among other publications. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Keltie Hawkins, and their well-loved—but not freakishly pampered, they insist—pets, Murphy the Saint Bernard and Amelia the black cat.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1 edition (March 31, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 1 inches