Sunday, July 29, 2007


Ok, so my buddy Fritz barked at me with this crazy story, I just had to share! A company called FlexPetz, based out of San Francisco, CA, is offering part-time pet sharing...basically a "rent-a-pet". For the "busy" person who isn't able to care for a dog full time, they can rent hours, or an overnight stay with a dog when it's convenient to them.

WHAT??!! I'm me this sounds crazy. How can this kind of instability be good for a dog? They are kept in a cage-free kennel, and then rented out on a per-need basis. As my buddy Fritz said, how weird to wake up to different "owners" all the time.

For an annual fee of $99.95, a monthly payment of $49.95 and a per-visit charge of $39.95 a day, (discounted to $24.95 Sunday through Thursday), animal lovers who enroll in FlexPetz get to spend time with a four-legged companion from the 10-dog crew of Afghan Hounds, Labrador Retrievers and Boston Terriers.

The membership costs cover the expense of training the dogs, boarding them at a cage-free kennel, home or office delivery, collar-sized global positioning devices, veterinary bills and liability insurance. It also pays for the "care kits" - comprised of leashes, bowls, beds and pre-measured food - that accompany each dog on its visits. it's not only a rent-a-pet...but with no real effort on the human side..the dogs come with pre-measured food?? All this for a day or night, then send them back the next day...seems like a lot of work just to "feel" like a real dog owner.

To me, dogs need stability...if people want to spend some time with a dog, they should check with their local animal shelter and volunteer as a dog walker. With the amount of packed shelters out there, it would be a great gift to a dog really in need of exercise and human interaction.

But of course, that's just my opinion. What do you think? I'd love to hear your comments on this!

Breed Spotlight: The Basenji

So I was at Greenwood yesterday and met two new little dogs. They were Basenji's. My human was smitten. She confessed this was the breed she looked at before picking me (WHAT?!). So naturally, I was curious about these pups...and wanted to see what the hype was about.

Well, the Basenji is a sighthound. It is small and agile (like me!), and adapts well to most living conditions. It comes in three different colour combos with ears that stand up and a curly tail.

According to the Basenji Club of Canada it's said to be of ancient origin, this hunting breed was valued for its speed, intelligence, and silent workmanship. They have excellent sight, very mobile ears, and an outstanding sense of smell. The Basenji is often called the “African Barkless” dog, but it is not mute. It can howl, growl and snarl. In addition it can make a yodeling noise and puppies can crow like roosters.

What I loved was their willingness to play, chase and be gentle around new pups and people. I admit, these two i met were quite cute. One was red and white, the other tri-colour.

They are said to make great pets, but can be a challenge to train. So you must be disciplined to take one on. They are quite independent. For more info, check out the Basenji Clubs in Canada and the US.

[photo credit]