Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

For Fido, Only the Finest

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

For Fido, Only the Finest

Article excerpt

It's a good time to be a dog.

At least that's how a human might see it.

Today's canine companion could, say, go to a doggie spa for a day of beauty - maybe get a "pawdicure," followed by a fresh blueberry facial - then, back home, watch a special doggie video. After a nice organic dinner, it's off to sleep - on a luxurious bed that could be a fuzzy race car or a Louis XVI canopy bed. Or maybe the little one will just snuggle up with the two-legged members of the household.

This is a far cry from 50 years ago, when most families fed their dogs whatever canned mystery meat was on sale and many dogs slept outside - in unheated, un-air-conditioned dog houses.

Nowadays, in the U.S. and many other countries, a dog is often a full-fledged family member, as author Pamela Redmond Satran, a Norwood native, chronicles in her new humor book "Rabid: Are You Crazy About Your Dog or Just Crazy?"

"A lot of this - from the elaborate clothing to the vegan diets to the spending thousands, going into real financial difficulty to treat an illness or something - did seem crazy to me," says Satran, who now lives in Montclair. "But I think people really do, for better or worse, often relate to their pets [as] kind of the friends, the spouse, the child they don't have."

Satran, who wrote the best-selling humor book "How Not to Act Old," as well as seven novels and is co-author of eight baby-name books, filled her latest book with fascinating tidbits about over- the-top and bizarre dog trends, services and products - including "Neuticles," testicular implants intended to boost a dog's self- esteem after neutering.

In fact, local dog groomers see many clients who treat their dogs like children.

"There's no limit to what people will pay to do these things to their animals," says Rosaida Surman of West Milford, who operates a mobile dog-grooming business called Groom'n Tails.

Surman's own two dogs are pictured in Satran's book. In one photo, her dog Kate is sporting nail sheaths the same color as Surman's daughter's toenails.

"I guess I am a little crazy," she says, laughing.

Jennifer Taylor, a certified dog groomer who lives in Saddle Brook, has a doggie customer that rides on the back of its owner's Harley-Davidson. …

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