An Affront to the Dignity of Labradoodles

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Apparently, you can rent a fluffy, happy dog in San Diego–provided you are willing to cough up a $299 startup fee, $49.99 a month, and a PETA-approved promise to treat the animal well while it's in your care.  The service doesn't seem to be available in Boston yet, but forward thinking Massachusetts legislators, led by Rep. Paul Frost, have already drawn up a bill banning the practice:

[Rep. Paul K. Frost] said he is a dog lover and owner of a chocolate Labrador retriever named Reeses and a golden retriever named Snickers.

"I know what kind of bond there is with a dog. You don't rent out members of your family," he said.

But you do buy family members as children and neuter them! (If you're responsible.)

"I normally side with the free market, which dictates what is successful, but this is breaking new ground. Concerns are valid. The legislation deserves a public hearing. Let's give the company a chance to show the benefits of this business, and let's give a voice to those who have concerns."

Oh, now I see. Attempting to ban a business is just giving a company the chance to demonstrate its utility. Plus:

Ray McSoley, owner of Animal Behavior Associates in Westwood, said, "I have no problem with ambassador dogs at hotels, but renting a dog is a four-legged escort service. It devalues all parties."

I'm pretty sure I don't want to follow that train of thought too far, but the rest of the article is here. 

Via Kip Esquire. 

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  1. So long as the renter and rentee are happy with the terms, and the dog is well cared for it is none of the governments business.

  2. no rented dogs around for comment?

  3. renting a dog is a four-legged escort service. It devalues all parties.

    Yeah, devaluing an animal that sniffs other animals butts, rolls in shit, and licks its own genetalia. Given those characteristics, maybe Rep. Frost’s fears are justified. It’s a slippery slope toward a Rent-a-Pol service.

  4. “What woman, sir? All I see is a ho! Bitch, let’s go!” – A Pimp Named Slickback

  5. I hear in Tijuana you can rent a dog by the hour – no questions asked.

  6. What if I want to eat the dog, Tym? Is it the government’s business then?

  7. x,y,
    yes, just to ensure that the dog is low in cholesterol.

  8. Some people take their pets WAY too seriously. I understand that you may come to love your dog and feel that it is part of your family but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a fucking dog.

    All the animal-humpers please proceed to jump all over me for that.

  9. Speaking of escort services, rumor has it that minutes from now that unspeakable cocksucker Elliot Spitzer is about to announce that he has been caught up in a high-priced hooker sting.

    BURN SPITZER BURN!

  10. For a small fee, you can throw the puppy of your choice off the cliff.

  11. I normally side with the free market…

    I have yet to find a politician that ACTUALLY believes in the free market.

    If they’re not trying to over-regulate the businesses, then they’re trying to give them corporate handouts or protection against genuine market forces that would otherwise shut them down.

  12. that unspeakable cocksucker Elliot Spitzer is about to announce that he has been caught up in a high-priced hooker sting

    Are you fucking serious or just yanking my chain?

    This would be like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.

  13. I have an idea that would fit a niche market! How about “Rent a Familiar” – you know, psychic cats, birds, dogs, etc, that enhance your psychic powers. A Wiccan priestess could certify that the animal is, indeed, psychic.

    Stay away from the voodoo/santeria practicioners, however, as they tend to sacrifice the animal. Your replacement costs would skyrocket.

  14. Ray McSoley, owner of Animal Behavior Associates in Westwood, said, “…They take the most adoptable dogs out of a shelter, suck all the positive energy out of them for two years, then put them up for adoption….”

    What kind of animal behavior do they associate with at that guy’s establishment? In what sense can one suck the positive energy out of a pet? When you have a good time with a pet, if anything you put energy into the pet. If you’ve treated the pet well, if anything you add value to the experience for the next renter of that pet.

  15. Mr. Frost said he is a dog lover and owner of a chocolate Labrador retriever named Reeses and a golden retriever named Snickers.

    “I know what kind of bond there is with a dog. You don’t rent out members of your family,” he said.

    You don’t own members of your family, either. Doesn’t Mr. Frost’s ownership of the dogs imply they are property and therefore able to be rented?

  16. Whether it’s the free market that determines it or this politician, exactly what is the utility of renting an ordinary dog? I can’t think of a single reason to pay someone else so I can walk their dog.

  17. Dateline NY, 2012

    Key contributor to President Obama’s Re-Election Committee to announce that he’s “involved” in “rental” ring specializing in Irish Setters

  18. What if I want to eat the dog, Tym? Is it the government’s business then?

    Provided it is humanely killed, no.

  19. Dog, it’s whats for dinner.

    Dog, the other white meat.

  20. When you get a pet, a little piece of your brain dies.

  21. What’s next?

    Pigs?

  22. When you have a good time with a pet, if anything you put energy into the pet. If you’ve treated the pet well, if anything you add value to the experience for the next renter of that pet.

    No, it doesn’t work like that. You’re confusing real live animals with tamagochi or batteries (“put energy into the pet”, WTF?).

    Real animals can recognize other creatures (human and animals) and bond with them. Both cats and dogs are social animals in the wild, and constantly leaving and rejoining social networks would be stressful to the animal.

    Happy to reconsider the validity of your post if you can point to any sort of study supporting your position.

  23. Some people take their pets WAY too seriously. I understand that you may come to love your dog and feel that it is part of your family but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a fucking dog.

    All the animal-humpers please proceed to jump all over me for that.

    You can call me an animal humper if you want Ep, but if it came down to you or my dog, you wouldnt stand a chance. Its just fucking Episiarch. See that works with anything.

  24. You don’t own members of your family, either. Doesn’t Mr. Frost’s ownership of the dogs imply they are property and therefore able to be rented?

    Well, children are indeed effectively “owned” by their parents until they reach majority. The state does place limits on their treatment.

    Some parents do indeed “rent” their children out as actors, etc.

    Sorry, libertarians (and particularly Libertarians(tm)), but animal rights are here to stay. Not the ridiculous PeTA-fantasy versions that you like to ridicule, but a small limited set of rights that recognize the unique place of companion animals in our society.

  25. Yeah, devaluing an animal that sniffs other animals butts, rolls in shit, and licks its own genetalia.

    So, you’re saying you wouldn’t lick your own genitalia (sp!) even if you could?

    And there are good evolutionary reasons for the other behaviors. Applying human moral judgement here is definitely pre-scientific thinking.

  26. We had a great black lab for years. The kids loved her. She was maybe the smartest dog I ever met. She lived inside and outside. We fed her well, got her shots and checkups and took real good care of her. We loved her.
    One morning, I went out into the yard and there she lay, dead. I loaded her up, took her to the vet and asked about disposal. He said they had a couple big freezers they kept the dogs and cats in till they were full and then they would take em to the landfill for “interment.” I asked how much. He said no charge. Kids came home and I explained that she died and the vet was going to give her a burial as we couldn’t bury her in town. They cried and said ok.
    We loved that dog but she was after all just a dog.
    I don’t reckon I ever would have rented her out. well, maybe for a lotsa money.

  27. Sorry, libertarians (and particularly Libertarians(tm)), but animal rights are here to stay

    Well before you lump all us libertarians together. Specificaly its the subset of libertarians who see the world in terms of “COUCH” and “PERSON”, and nothing in between. That is property (“COUCH”) and property owner (“PERSON”). It doesnt go any farther than that, since a pet is most definetely not a PERSON then they much be a COUCH, its all very logical and well thought out.

  28. Yeah, devaluing an animal that sniffs other animals butts, rolls in shit, and licks its own genetalia.

    I think you’re looking for the Eliot Spitzer thread.

  29. Ha ha, it’s always hilarious to watch the complete freak out by the animal humpers.

    If you value a dog over a human life you have serious problems.

  30. I suppose it isn’t a stretch to compare it to stables that charge you to ride their horses.

  31. Seriously, if you care about animal welfare, is this really the top concern on your list? No, this is just another politician trying to “do something”. Heaven forbid you pull taxpayer money from golf courses to fund animal cruelty investigations.

  32. “Some people take their pets WAY too seriously. I understand that you may come to love your dog and feel that it is part of your family but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a fucking dog.”

    As the father of a 5 month old baby I couldn’t agree more. I can’t tell you how many pet owners feel compelled to tell me about their dog and how they probably love their dog more than I love my daughter.

  33. mantooth,
    just smile and be proud that they have a dog and not a child.

  34. People like dogs ’cause they have eyebrows.
    Cats don’t have eyebrows, making them appear aloof.
    The animal “rights” movement is all about humans’ incessant, irrational need
    to anthropomorphize lower life forms.

  35. Ha ha, it’s always hilarious to watch the complete freak out by the animal humpers.

    If you value a dog over a human life you have serious problems.

    Well, I don’t love my cats more than my mother, but I love them more than a human stranger. Different people value different things. What a crazy idea.

  36. “I suppose it isn’t a stretch to compare it to stables that charge you to ride their horses.”

    Brotherben, as RC pointed out to another poster, this is NOT the Eliot Spritzer thread.

  37. Ha ha, it’s always hilarious to watch the complete freak out by the animal humpers.

    If you value a dog over a human life you have serious problems.

    Depends on the dog and the human, now doesn’t it? I figure my dog is more valuable to me than a lot of people are. Yeah, I’ll put him in the back of the line when it comes to emergency triage, but he still gets defended like the people in the house.

  38. Hey Episiarch – describe your fictional namesake, would you?

    re: Eliot Spitzer – too awesome for words. That he was caught committing a consensual crime via a federal wiretap only makes the poetry in the justice that much more beautiful. Good riddance, you worthless shitbag…

  39. Also, as a side note, I don’t think renting dogs is a great idea. Dogs get attached to what they perceive to be their pack. Separating a dog from the pack leads to some issues on the part of the dog. Repeatedly doing it, as in a rental situation, is almost sure to lead to a neurotic dog. The problem with that is the behavior that’s going to result leads to the dog being less desirable as a rental, so the dog’ll get bounced even quicker, making the problems more acute.

    But hey, if you think it’s a business model, have at.

  40. Seriously, other than the term “rent”, what is the difference here other than having to own a much more expensive animal?

    People buy dogs, sell dogs, give dogs away, use dogs as hunting devices, farm labor, etc…what is wrong with renting them. I think its the idea that it is short term (no intention to keep an animal for the term of its life), but atleast with this arrangement, the dog will in theory live a full life (not put to sleep by a vet after it is given to the pound). The dog may suffer stress adapting to new people, but atleast there is reason to keep it alive and probably reason to breed adaptability into the animal for the sake of the business.

    Animal lovers here are responding to the word “rent”, but need to consider the practical upsides to this arrangement. I might like the companionship of a dog and give it a wonderful home for the time I am here in this city, but if I move to a manhatten high rise that doesn’t allow pets, atleast I know my companion has a definite future attending to someone else…and if I really really like the dog, I might be able to arrange something, but atleast he’s not going to a shelter.

    Mr. Frost is a reactionary douchebag who is reacting to the word used, not the practical intentions of the business.

  41. T,

    Certain breeds are very adaptable, much like cats, they can pretty much fend for themselves and adjust easily to different circumstances.

  42. Hey Episiarch – describe your fictional namesake, would you?

    Are you making a “shaggy quadruped” joke or are you too lazy to click on my name?

  43. Episiarch always turns into a troll on animal threads; it’s just his nature.

    That said, yes, of course humans are more important than pets, but as Tonio stated, pets develop bonds with their owners. “Renting” them out is just plain wrong. I own two cats that were farmed out to a dozen different foster homes before I took them in. They are barely sociable as a result.

  44. Rhywun,

    Are you sure they weren’t just “cats”?

  45. Or maybe they are just assholes. Some cats are that way .

  46. reason to breed adaptability into the animal for the sake of the business

    And what choice does the dog have? Also, people who aren’t willing to put in the effort that it takes to actually raise a pet probably shouldn’t be “renting” them.

  47. Episiarch always turns into a troll on animal threads; it’s just his nature.

    Hey! I’m so giddy from Spitzer’s downfall that I don’t know what I’m doing. WHHEEEEE

  48. Certain breeds are very adaptable, much like cats, they can pretty much fend for themselves and adjust easily to different circumstances.

    Sorry, LIT, I’ve been doing rescue work for too long to buy that. Some individual dogs seem to do okay, and some breeds are better than others, but the effect is common to all dogs. It’s a question of degree, that’s all. The dog is going to freak out a little after pack separation. We’ve hardwired the little fuzzy bastards to be that way because it was useful to us.

  49. Are you sure they weren’t just “cats”?

    Properly socialized cats bond with humans. Unsocialized cats are good for chasing out pests and not much else.

  50. Are you making a “shaggy quadruped” joke or are you too lazy to click on my name?

    Both, actually…

  51. OMG this thing with Spitzer is true! Look at that pic on CNN! Holy crap.

  52. Some guy called Santorum is on the phone about the “four-legged escort service…”

  53. Rhywun,

    If that’s what ends up happening anyway, whats the difference, other than the dog has a place to go if he’s “rented” vs. the dog who is “owned”. You might consider this bad behavior to promote, but in general, aside from some seperation anxiety from a few pets that have really short term owners (how many people will plop down $300 for less than 6 months renting anyway), this will atleast reduce the effect of irresponsible people if they have this option, probably leading to an overall net gain in general animal health. The problem is that we’ve hardwired ourselves into thinking that either A) animals are things like TV’s, cars, other sources of utility/entertainment or that B) animals are people and have the same rights as a child. Animals are neither, they deserve more consideration than a lamp, but less so than a child. Renting may strike people as repulsive, but its just admitting a certain element of practicality that most people would otherwise not like to admit.

  54. how many people will plop down $300 for less than 6 months renting anyway

    The time doesn’t matter, and in fact the damage could be greater after longer periods of bonding. Animals are less resilient than kids in these situations, because they won’t know what the fuck is going on at any age. But again I have difficulty believing that anyone who only wants a temporary dog is interested in bonding at all anyway.

  55. Sorry, Tonio, but you actually ARE a cartoon character of an animal rights freak if you think you can make the jump from “Animals shouldn’t be tortured for fun” to “It’s cruel to your dog to let someone else watch him for an afternoon,” without any of us noticing.

    What kind of absolutely absurd right is that?

    This is like giving the dog a “right” to not have a dog sitter. Hey, the dog will become neurotic if someone else watches it, right?

    If you can allow other people to watch your dog or play with your dog for free, by what cockamamie nonsensical pinko ratiocination does it become a violation of the animal’s “rights” if I get $49.99 from someone to play with my dog instead?

    I guess it’s symptomatic of the way progressives in this country suck moose cock, but once again a set of circumstances that would be perfectly acceptable if done for free someone becomes a lamentable and actionable evil if someone pays $49.99 for it. On what basis? None at all, just progressive cocksuckery that distrusts and hates all human [and animal] interactions with a dollar component.

    And what kind of demand can there possibly be for a rental dog? How many people will I possibly be “lending” my dog to? Say I rent my dog to 20 people in a year. I doubt any dog would be rented that many times, but let’s say it was. That’s 20 different people the dog will possibly interact with and play with.

    In other words, that’s less “strange” people than your average 1st grade student is expected to interact with during the school year.

    So you want to tell me it’s cruelty and a violation of “animal rights” for a dog to play with 20 people in a year, but it’s not cruel and not a violation of rights to send a child to school to play with or interact with 20 other students, teachers, nurses, etc. in a year?

    Come on, give me a break.

    People are beating stray cats to death on sight in China because of government scare propaganda about disease, and you want to tell me a dog is being mistreated if it has to get played with by too many people in Boston? Come on.

  56. The problem is that we’ve hardwired ourselves into thinking that either A) animals are things like TV’s, cars, other sources of utility/entertainment or that B) animals are people and have the same rights as a child. Animals are neither, they deserve more consideration than a lamp, but less so than a child.

    Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? We don’t have a well-defined class that translates to >lamp &

  57. Well, pee. That failed. Anyhow, I think it’s a bad idea from an animal welfare perspective. Better than being killed at the PETA shelter, but still sub-optimal. I don’t think a law is necessary, though. I think market forces are gonna stomp that sucker flat because the pound will give me a dog for way less than $300 + $50 a month.

  58. T,

    I don’t think we can think alot of people that “rent” pets, but my libertarian side first says “why should there be a law against this” followed by “did anyone actually see if there’s a practical upside”. Just because something sounds bad in theory doesn’t mean it is bad in practice. Anything that gives irresponsible people options that mitigate their irresponsiblity without coercion is atleast partially OK in my book.

  59. Fluffy, please stop foaming at the mouth for a second and listen to reason. No respectable agency would practice this. The first thing they want is assurance you will provide a stable home. If you can’t refrain from willfully conflating letting someone else babysit your dog for a day, and giving it away, there is no point in having this discussion any longer.

  60. If we can find a profitable use for the dogs it may relult in less post-partum abortions?

  61. If you value a dog over a human life you have serious problems

    Gone into troll mode eh? I dont value a dog over a human life. I value my dog’s life over your life, and all the the millions of strangers’ lives out there that have no impact on my life.

    It comes down to cost-benefit, I love my dog, and I would be very hurt if he was gone, on the other hand you would just be one less person posting on H&R.

    Also maybe you can tell me where I did this complete freak out?

  62. http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6157/

    Remember Socks? That white bitch gave Socks away.

  63. I heard Elliot Spitzer was renting his dog. His code name was K#9.

  64. what retards… people that rent their dogs should be given the death penalty instead.

  65. “I know what kind of bond there is with a dog. You don’t rent out members of your family,” he said.

    My kids are members of my family. My dog? It’s a dog. Meaning, I don’t put him in little sweaters, and if he gets seriously ill, it’s the big sleep. There won’t be any $8,000 experimental surgeries and treatments. That’s for people who don’t have kids, and got confused as to what role their dogs played in their lives.

    It’s a dog.

  66. Frankly, I see this frivolous waste of money as evidence of our economic decline. Stock market traders would call it “topping action”.

  67. Happy to reconsider the validity of your post if you can point to any sort of study supporting your position.

    Anybody who’s gotten a dog that was already housebroken. Or a cat that’d already been around dogs. Or a bird that had a considerable vocabulary. Or any pet that’d spent a lot of time in vehicles.

    Maybe they should just call them “experienced” pets.

  68. “…but renting a dog is a four-legged escort service. It devalues all parties.”

    But I like being devalued – thats the point!!! May I have another?

  69. Nope, sorry, Rhywun.

    Consider a dog at a shelter. That dog will be cared for by a revolving group of volunteers. If it’s a no-kill shelter that has space issues, it may be fostered out for weeks and months at a time to a variety of temporary foster homes. If it has socialization problems, it may also be temporarily housed with a specialist volunteer who re-socializes dogs.

    A dog that goes through this process will pass through as many hands as a dog who is “rented”.

    But renting a dog is cruelty, and working with a shelter is animal heroism.

    That just doesn’t wash, sorry.

  70. “…but renting a dog is a four-legged escort service. It devalues all parties.”

    Has anybody checked to be sure Spitzer (client 9, or maybe him client K-9 in this case) is not involved?

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