Dogs are traditionally referred to as “man’s best friend,” and the concept of “crazy cat lady” came from lonely people finding solace in the company of loyal felines. There is no doubt about it that animals warrant a special place in human hearts, but is there ever a time when pet prioritization crosses the line? Though we will leave the verdict to our readers, below is a list of peculiar facts regarding the extent to which people will go to prove that they really… I mean, REALLY love their pets.
Christmas Cards and Family Pictures: While it is fairly normal to include animals in the family picture, some people send out Christmas cards with their cat’s paw print, or sign the dog’s name at the end. “Merry Christmas! Love Tony, Lilly, Murphymuggins, and Mr. Snodgrass.”
Pet Spa Treatments: From the fruit-facials, to heat wraps, massages, and bright fur-dyes, pet spas are becoming a popular way to up the ante on grooming pampered pets. Cat and dog lovers run the credit cards to treat their pets to the high life with expensive treatments. (The cost of something as simple as a dog’s blueberry facial could feed a family four in Cambodia for a week!)
Pet Hotels and Rec Centers: When busy pet parents have to travel, instead of hiring a generic dog-sitter, many of them pay top dollar to put their animals up for the night in rooms of extremely high quality. Some hotels offer room service, massages, TVs, and lavishly furnished rooms. Upscale recreational centers for pets provide puppy playgrounds, training classes, therapy sessions, and fine-dining gourmet dog food for the canines in the club.
Pet Vacations: There are families who love their dogs so much, that they don’t just bring the dog on the family vacation, but plan the entire holiday around the dog! Like-minded canine-lovers have banded together to create exciting events and holiday destinations just designed for dog devotees.
Pet Plastic Surgery: From canine facelifts, to Botox treatments, “neuticals” and wrinkle reduction, the world of pet plastic surgery has been on the rise. According to a poll taken in 2010, a total of $2.5 million was spent on giving domestic pets nose jobs, and an additional $1.6 million on eye lifts alone. (Imagine how those numbers have increased in the 5 year since the poll was taken!)
Inheritance: Some people love their animals so much that they make them the primary benefactors in their will. Gail Posner left her Chihuahuah dog named Conchita an $8.6 million mansion in Florida. Business woman Leona Helmsley left all her children and grandchildren out of her will when she died, making sure to entitle her dog Trouble to $12 million dollars. (It may be even more shocking to note that caring for the dog in the manner to which he’d become accustomed, did actually require nearly $2 million to keep up his lifestyle!)
An eccentric German countess named Karlotta Liebenstein left her German Shepherd Gunther III, a whopping $80 million. Because she did not stipulate that the inheritance would be dissolved at the dog’s death, his descendants now own several villas, and have amassed a wealth of nearly $372 million. Finally, Oprah Winfrey may be named amongst those who provide financially for their pets post mortem. Winfrey has allotted about $30 million to the care of her many dogs in the event of her death.
Further Extremes: Some people love their pets in such an unusual way, that they decide they want to marry them. Though human-animal marriage is not legally recognized in any country, people around the world have arranged ceremonies to marry their dogs, cats, cows, dolphins, goats, horses and snakes.