Year of the dog: Pandemic puppies in high demand, short supply--CBC News, Ottawa
Before the pandemic you could normally expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred bucks for an ‘oodle’ from a pet store to something in the low thousands for a puppy from a breeder, but 2020 has seen demand soar. Breeders around the country are now selling designer dog puppies for upwards of $10,000. DMARGE was able to find a seller in Port Macquarie, NSW selling ‘miniature Golden Bordoodle’ puppies for $7,500 each – as of publishing, all these little cuties have sold out. --"AUSTRALIAN ‘DESIGNER DOG’ TREND DRIVING POOCH PRICES BARKING MAD IN 2020”, by Jamie Weiss, dmarge.com
Pandemic puppies: Massachusetts sees puppy shortage as demand for dogs skyrockets in quarantine--Boston Herald
Demand for 'flat-faced' puppies such as the French Bulldog and Pug has soared during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the UK Kennel Club .--Daily Mail, UK
The rush on toilet paper and other essential products at the start of the pandemic has come and gone, but there's another shortage that hasn't quite let up. This one is cuddly and warm, and one even Santa might not be able to get. --“Puppies in high demand and short supply this coming Christmas amid COVID-19 pandemic”, by Michael Finney and Randall Yip, ABC7 News, San Francisco
My beautiful black German sherpard past away just three days ago at the age of 1 year two weeks. My entire family is heartbroken we are non stop crying for Moonlight (our beloved German Shepherd). She past away instantly with no symptoms we were so distraught. She was a big girl standing up at 5 feet. She had long beautiful black fur. Such a beauty, and tragedy to die from heart disease. -- online eulogy
I shook my head, but no water flew out of my ears. I bit my rump till I
could taste blood. This was worse than watching balls being beaten back and
forth where there were no balls, no ball smell.
I’d heard of Doggie
Heaven. It’s where they said Sunlight went shortly after I arrived. They cried
as if they were broken-hearted and hugged me till I could hardly breathe. But
they kept saying they were happy for her, that she had gone to a better place.
That she’d be at peace, have lots of friends to play with, eat fresh meat and
ice cream to her heart’s content, and sleep on the most comfy--Stop! I’ll never
trust a word they said.
place--it’s where “Dad” took Tracy for her driving lessons. He let me come too
“for the ride” but when they let me out, the ground was so desolate, I could
hardly pee. There was nothing worth looking at, no one interesting to smell.
The place reeked of road, the sweat of cars, the funk of fucking people. This
place looks the same, but it’s filled with the smell of fear, the noise of
cries and whimpers. I’ve never seen so many dogs.
I’ve never heard a
dog whistle, but my ears stand up at the thin blue scream. Some of us turn as
one, and that--that land behind
the ruins of this shopping center--there’s a rusted sign on a chainlink fence. It
says (Don’t be so surprised. From 11 weeks, I was given newspapers, and I’ve
only got a cataract in one eye):
THIS FENCE IS PATROLLED 24/7
So of course I sit.
There are no gates in Doggie Heaven, says the voice. You dig your way in under the fence. For the inexperienced and
incapacitated, experts either mentor or dig you a new one. Once in, you must
expect a period of adjustment, especially if you have entered with pre-existing
conditions, it repeats. There’s so little discipline here, you
could mistake this crowd for humans. And the din is deafening. Sit! it bays, though it had never released us.
Of course we don’t
refuse anyone it says as if it’s talking to a puppy who has only
piddled in the kitchen, not the carpet. There’s no such thing
as a dog eat dog society except in human euphemisms. In a
dried pig’s ear would this crowd know a euphemism.
But there is a class
structure that has inevitably built up and is increasing
exponentially in social stratification based on these pre-existing conditions
or the lack of them. Wow. The voice mustn’t be attached to eyes. That
basset hound, for instance, can barely understand one-syllable words. And oh, boy, Tracy’s lucky she doesn’t have to go to Doggie Heaven. But maybe
she’ll go to her version, where she’ll have to go to all the school she cut
while lying to her parents.
Old dogs--those who
came here before breeds were invented continues the
imperturbable voice--and mutts--are naturally the
elite, but don’t worry. This is a compassionate society.
If you had people and
they loved and ‘took good care’ of you, you can take advantage of our generous
dream rights, though if you truly care about them, you should not abuse the
frequency of these visits, or they’ll never be able to ‘get over’ you.
Yes, I’ll get to you
strays . . .
It must be
dinnertime. My stomach’s growling. With my luck, I bet there’ll only be a damp
bag of kibble, wet, rubbery, stinking of mice, if I can even find it in a
corner of some garage . . .
time the voice stopped, only some of us still had our ears at attention, our
buttholes warming the tar. When it finally said Okay!, of
course, with my breeding, I rushed forward to help get the intake through. Some
of us were better at this than others, but we managed by dint of lead, push,
growl, bite and mothering, to get every last dog through, down to the most
intransigent chihuahua with teeth like a whirring lawn mower, and that
urine-soaked mop of seizures, the shih-tzu.
The voice wasn’t
wrong about everyone needing adjustment.
Would you like to
“Did you have to include the social
criticism?” asked a pug.
“We felt it only right to be scrupulously
honest.” The shaggy proto-St. Bernhard who had last saved a boy in 1845 looked
around the park. Her eyes, their red rims always showing, gave her the look of
someone who’d not only been awake for a week straight, but had spent those 168
hours writing a manifesto.
“More to the point,” she said. “Does anyone
feel we’ve left anything out? Try to remember back to when you first arrived.
What would you have liked in your welcome pack?”
A dog who was new here, and thus had only begun
transitioning, tried to speak, but his or her face wasn’t in any state yet. Its
bugged-out eyes couldn’t even blink once for Yes. Its millions of
followers mightn’t even know that it had passed on, having attained a certain
immortality on The Richest for its looks: “like it stuck its paw into an electrical socket and has been dealing with the
aftermath ever since.”
“Are you friends? Can you step in?” asked the
proto-St. Bernhard, whose name was not verbal, of course, but
scental--(automatic translation: Rolling in Rotting Salmon).
She’d asked a dog who’d almost sold for much
much more. Nibble, she was called by her rescuers who threw themselves
in front of the truck that was transporting her and about 150 other Tibetan
mastiffs stuffed in chicken crates. Their fad had ended as suddenly as it had
begun, and no one wanted them except these fanatic saviours. (How could I possibly
know this? As I told you, most of my puppiest life, I was stuck in a room floored
with newspaper spreads.) Her life after that had been just as confusing--so
obvious she was still shaking from peopleshock. Her smell--people can’t handle
it. She didn't know what had happened to her. She couldn't even remember her
first days, when she'd been taken from her mother and fed a lion's mother's
milk. Nor did she understand what anyone here was saying. And there is no place
here to hide. And though there are scores of Nannas here, there’s never one where one needs one. She
bit the root of her tail, a bush of dreadlocks, in embarrassment, which made Rolling
in Rotten Salmon bow her head and drop her eyes sideways, looking at nothing,
in her embarrassment.
But Rolling in Rotten Salmon always found good
in a situation.
“All those who’d like more brains, raise a paw,”
“Why?” came a yip.
“To show you want more brains.”
“For who?”--someone else.
“Why?”--from an English sheepdog.
“Whom.”--a Scottish terrier.
“And where are these brains coming from?”--some
“I know I’m dumb, but my people were dumber and
it never hurt them.”--something sprayed pink.
Rolling in Rotten Salmon suppressed a growl. Meetings
could be very frustrating for those who tried to pay attention. For the rest,
that’s what fleas are for. The park was filled with the low clarinet reediness
of snuffling hunters, the thin staccato of castinetish teeth-to-teeth fine
nipping, and the repeated basenotes of involuntary footbeats.
So now you get the gist? It was I
who had the bright idea about screening, ID'ing (however that's spelled. I've only heard it), and forming a brigade to get
order and discipline at the fence. Before then, it was laisse faire chaos. Oh,
I’ve had lots of bright ideas, and am so handsome, I have quite a presence, but
no tact. It’s a little scrap of a thing with worn out paws and only a few well
chosen words--Fly, who chose to keep her lifelihood’s professional name, who
takes my ideas and brings the masses around without anyone feeling the least
The welcome pack is only one of our ongoing
projects. Ball-making, sand-dune re-creation, rotting-things-to-roll-in parks,
the constant inducements needed to bribe trees to drop sticks of assorted
appropriate sizes--all are constants, as are other parts of the necessary
infrastructure: lampposts for the Europeans, fire hydrants for the Yankees. But
those are piddlesticks compared to the most pressing and important need of our
Great Society--the levelling of the playing field when it comes to health care.
Ignoring reality, however, is not an option.
Because of the growing demand by humans, for dogs, and because that demand is
for breeds with increasingly extreme profiles, the number of new entrants here
has skyrocketed even as the percentage of them with pre-existing conditions
overwhelmed our capacity to make their Heaven heaven.
At first, the agonizing spinal cysts that are
the price of pricey ugliness for that fashionable faux-electrocuted
Affenpinscher were treated by proto-cocker spaniels (the ones before their big
sad eyes were caused by ingrown eyelashes) who would gaze on a newly resident
Affenpinscher with such a caring warmth, the new resident didn’t know the
cockers practiced this look by gazing at pictures of dried liver.
The treatment was, as treatments usually are,
“moderately effective,” the term used by the bureaucracy here in DH to denote
“As worthless as a picture of a chicken leg.”
Something had to be done, for immigration was
changing our society, turning it cruder all the time, its mainstays of ways things are done ever more dug under
as frustration with the status quo stirred up base instincts till our formerly
great society was rolling on its back, peeing on its very belly. Thus,
competitive howlouts of the old and fit vs. the young and fucked broke out,
revolutionarily, before the sun goes down,
the notes long and tortured as, and possibly haunted by, that humans’ horrorsong
competition, The Voice.
Still at attention? If you’re good,
the answer’s obvious. Time has passed, but I forgot to release you.
The old and wise Rolling in Rotten Salmon is
still top dog. She never gets others’ hackles up. And her broad head with its
tiny eyes and its practical ears is filled with reasonable brains. Well, I
“Reasonable! That’s what’s wrong with this
Burnt Sofa and Rotten Egg are grousing again--their
tone so unreasonable, so unlike the tone of Heaven. Two uglier dogs used to be
hard to find, Indeed, they’d each been crowned World’s Ugliest Dog a few years
ago. BS is an English bulldog who could hardly breathe and whose legs are so
Chippendaled, he doesn't walk so much as shifts crabbily from side to side. He’d
been bought from a puppy mill by an organization opposed to puppy mills but
obviously not opposed to the deformed creatures making their new owners money
and fame, and thus giving more aspirational owners reasons to find and produce
ever more deformed and funny winners.
Rotten Egg’s eyes are so bugged out of their
sockets, they leap whenever she gets excited--which is like, always. Like Burnt
Sofa, her teeth never meet each other but sort of wave from opposite poles of
her froglike mouth. Not that they were accidents. Their function had been to
mock horrify and genuinely amuse, aided by a few hairs standing up from her
crown. Otherwise, she's as naked as a newborn rat.
“What good’s a ball to me?”
Another newbie's pitched up. Unlike BS whose
tongue is a hanger for a thick stream of spit, this dog’s tongue is small and
pink and dry. The dog’s bright little eyes are on a 7 o’clock/ 1 o’clock axis,
her head stuck in a lolled position.
“Lolita!” Burnt Sofa nudges Rotten Egg. “This
“I know who she was,” RE says coldly. “You made
millions on the internet.”
“I?” The little dog’s eyes lose their gloss.
Her crooked tail droops as much as it can.
“Don’t take your pain out on her,” growls BS,
and to the little dog: “You don’t have to act happy anymore.”
“That doesn’t solve anything,” snarls Rotten
Egg. “Just not having to act happy can’t make us happy.”
“But throwing off our shackles will.”
Me, I've never spoken up at these meetings. I’m
not a public speaker. We do have, like you, a loud silent majority, and a
silent, furrowed minority. We manage to understand each other. So I’m letting
you in on more.
Be honest. “Doggie Heaven”--like Santa, for
your kids. We--we’re all just memories, eh? Get those damn buds out of your
You too, you wretched batch of puppies. Don’t
cry! You’re not drowned rats. Here, curl against my stomach.
You, above and below: Quiet! Listen and learn--
That low, but assertive grrr uttered by a little dog so fucked
up by breeding, she couldn’t properly bark--she was the first in our
The Old Guard wasn’t swept away as humans do.
They were merely recognized as irrelevant.
The most urgent order of change to effect was
redistribution. Extreme inequality was the root of the problem, and the reason
the problem had not been recognized was that the Old Guard was too old and
comfortable and the new, too young and therefore socially naive yet in levels
of pain and disability unimaginable to the sympathetic olds.
The revolution uprooted standards, digging up
the park meetings though they’d been the very symbol of social cohesion with
what must have been a proportional slice of the populace attending, or so it
was stodgily argued in the first and only challenge to the revolutionaries.
Stop mewling. This is interesting. That little
challenge, I say, was a tiny toot compared to the ruckus kicked up when the silent
majority got wind of the plans.
You’d think every dog had been made to eat what
some had died to tell of: the vegan rawfood diet of broccoli, soy and brussels
sprouts. Lucky you were too young for solid food.
The plans, by that Central Committee of Three, have
never been caught and collared.
They are just, with no commands, no plans as
such, being dug into our future.
Say a dog has hip dysplasia (which by the way,
was the first condition to be treated, possibly because there are so many
members here who were ex-law enforcement--you all would have got it soon). All
hips here will be replaced by healthy ones and all tendons and muscles also,
till the dog can happily jump over a junkyard’s chainlink fence. Naturally, the
laws of economics can never be broken, so the loss of bad bones, muscles, pain
and associated arthritis, must be a net gain to the breeders, handlers and
Or as in the grrr of that little dog with the bright pink tongue that its lady’s boyfriend called obscene; “From each according to his disability, to each according to his sleaze.”
The revolutionaries will soon be shaking Doggie
Heaven so hard, a rain of our fleas is gonna fall on them below.
Still there, puppies? It seems to be
just you and me. How long’s it’s been? You seem to be cold in perpetuity.
I wasn’t wrong about one thing. A something has
befallen. Nothing like our old everyday pains you drowned puppies were too
young to experience--fleas under the collar, having to “hold it” all day till
someone comes home, trying not to commit a crime from the boredom of solitary
confinement, having to keep calm and carry on when people explode things
because they’re, inscrutably happy. Breathing.
This is something so big, many people would
have their tails between their legs if they had tails. Others, like dogs who
bark from the safe side of doors, jeer and laugh and live as always till, at
their eulogies, people act as if no one noticed their poo-poohs. Some call
what’s happening cosmic payback. But all that empty chewing on why is
what people do, like endless watching of balls you can’t mouth.
Down there now:
People hobble to cafes on legs as curved as your
tongues. They try to to sit on chairs, yet only manage to lean their butts on
the edge, their faces twitching. Sometimes a leg juts out with no warning and
they clutch parts of them as if pain is a clump of weeds growing in them big
enough for a streetgang of strays to pee on. They order coffee, which they pass
under noses that cannot be used to breathe through and if meant for decoration,
those who value that aesthetic must be a rarified breed indeed. Sprays of teeth
protruding from cracked lips make drinking their coffee impossible, so they
suck through straws--alternating with taking air through their mouths--as they hold
flea collars they call handkerchiefs to their chins to catch their stinking drool.
At their feet are typically, unidentifiable
mutts who have bred as naturally as the day likes to be wild. These mutts rule
with equanimity, of course, being dogs.
Equanimity? Fly, can you explain? And where’s a
Nanna where I need one?
They’re smart but sick, you see, for
they were never pets.