Some people think that pets, particularly dogs, are treated better than humans by many people.Â Others love their pets so much that they do not distinguish among the pets and children.Â It all depends on the situation.Â I know the feelings from both sides — was raised in an environment where dogs were just dogs, and now have a dog who is part of a family.Â I found a very interestingÂ article in NYT on the treatment that pets receive now-a-days at some pet resorts.Â Here are the concluding parts of the long article:
Beyond being companions, dogs serve different purposes for different owners, Mr. Cohen said. In some cases, a dog can be a surrogate child. In others, the dog is a source of entertainment. And it is important for owners to be aware of the function the dog is being asked to fulfill.
When it comes to luxury kennels, he said, â€œdog owners need to understand that itâ€™s not necessary.â€? But he also said that there was little harm in most of the special services and amenities.
â€œI dress up my own dogs for Halloween,â€? Mr. Cohen said. â€œBut Iâ€™m aware that Iâ€™m doing it to entertain myself, not because the dogs need to dress up.â€?
Carol Boerio-Croft, who has two locations in the Pittsburgh area for her Cozy Inn Pet Resort and Orchid Spa, has built her kennel business on what she calls canine feng shui. â€œCozy Innâ€™s mission is to create and provide a loving, sensitive, healthy, safe naturally controlled environment for our guests; take care of them completely: mentally, emotionally, medically, spiritually and physically,â€? she says on her Web site. â€œAnd to always treat them with love and respect.â€?
With that in mind, she offers an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, a choice of full-body, Swedish or sports massages, and hot-oil treatments. â€œOur clientele are not dog people,â€? Ms. Boerio-Croft said in a telephone interview. â€œI always correct that because normally dog people go to kennels. But our clientele is above average and elite. And we are an environment where the pets are very anthropomorphically treated like little people.â€?
KENNEL operators are not the only ones profiting from dog ownersâ€™ separation anxiety. Blake Walliser of Denver runs Online Doggy, a business that uses Web cameras to let dog owners peek in on their pets whenever they wish, from wherever they are; Mr. Walliser said his pet business grew out of a failed plan to offer the same service to day care centers for children.
Online Doggy has four full-time employees and provides Web camera services for 200 pet care providers, he said.
As trends go, the luxury kennel seems here to stay. Joe Timko of Canyon View Ranch in Topanga, Calif., near Malibu, said, â€œFrom the day we opened the doors, we filled up.â€? And Canyon View Ranch is already fully booked for Christmas 2008.
â€œIsnâ€™t that something?â€? he said.