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What? Rent-A-Dog? That's right. RENT a real live dog for a day.
There has been is a trend of late in some upscale hotels to ‘lend’ dogs to their che-che clientele that has proven to be so acceptable to the upper crust that that commercial services got the scent of money potential and pounced on the idea. These business rent dogs at four star hotels and other facilites – all to fit the occassion, of course. Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend, get a dog,” but it's doubtful he meant by the hour. What kind of friend does one rent by the hour anyway? Uh, don’t answer that.

One rent-a-dog- service that made news was called Flexpetz, owned by a company called Asensia Inc. out of Montana. For for an initial $99 adminstration fee and a $99 a month membership fee, their clients rented a dog as often as they like ($45 extra for each additional pooch). Oh, there is an additional mandatory orientation fee where the clients are trained how to properly take care of their –uhm, pet–d’jour. That’ll only set you back a mere $150.00. Begining to see the profit potential here?

Turning live pets into a commodity to make a buck evidently made many people, and officials, uneasy.
“Pets are not like cars or furniture. Moving them from person to person, home to home, can induce problems such as anxiety and depression.” A statement by the American HumaneSociety
Flexpetz operated out of New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and London but with growing opposition from cities, states and even the federal government (they were banned in Boston) .Asensia bowed to the political pressure and suspended operations while they examined how the legislation would affect their operations and future growth.

But it’s not just private business running this sort of operation. Even some well intentioned animal shelters rent or lend an animal by the day. The Aspen Animal Shelter in Colorado to noted for it's ‘daily adoption’ of dogs to the elite visitors to the ski resort town. The shelter states that the motive is to encourage permanent adoption than to make a buck. Lets hope.
Many people share dog ownership. This is different and is usually out of necessity, although, depending on how it is arranged, may or may not be healthy for the pet involved. They want the companionship of a pet, but are unable to keep a dog in their home or apartment due to regulations or lack of enough funds to properly take care of a dog. For example, an elder lady keeps a shared dog in her apartment during the day while sonny is out earning a living and then goes home with sonny boy after work. This arrangement provides for the needs of the people involved, yet still gives a sense of stability and belonging to the dog. He's with the same people day and day.
(Pet Sharing)"It's not a profit-making enterprise," says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, "and there are smaller numbers of people involved in the animal's life."
So what about the commercial ventures? How much stability and security can they provide a dog?
In Flexpetz favor, they claimed responsible dog ownership, providing complete care of their ward with many of their dogs being rescues from shelters. Their dogs ate nutritious “holistic dog food” ( wasn’t able to find out what that means) and every dog wore a GPS collar. The dogs are kept by a single 'handler so there some sense of 'belonging' for the dog. And the length of servitude is limited a couple of years, then permenent homes found for them.
Okay - but what about the people who rent dogs? Who are they? The reasons for renting a dog for a day can be as varied as the number of clients. For some, having a dog in their life for a day, may provide needed relaxation, a sense of companionship (however fleeting) or relief from temporary separation ( moving, traveling) or loss of ones own pet. Still others, may rent a dog strictly as a fashion assessory for some occassion, or as it has been suggested, 'a great way to meet chicks' without having the 'burden' of pet ownership.
The practice of ‘rent-a-dog’continues in many forms and in many places. Whether this is a moral and ethical serivice, depends largely on ones point of view. If you know of such a service, consider checking them out. Not to rent a pooch, necessarily, but to make sure their practices are in the very best interest of the pet.
Rent a dog? This is not even good idea 99$ for a day... People can own one for the money they spending on that...
I really can't decided wither this is a good idea or a bad one!
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