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Saturday, March 27, 2010

In the Dog House: "One Nation Under Dog" by Michael Schaffer.

NPR's Fresh Air recently repeated an interview with Michael Schaffer, author of One Nation Under Dog.  The book reportedly looks at the amount of money Americans spend on pets, and why.  On NPR's web site, the story begins,
"When Philadelphia-based journalist Michael Schaffer's [Saint Bernard] started messing the house and barking non-stop while he and his wife were at work, he went to his veterinarian for help.

"It's called separation anxiety," his vet said. "There's a drug for that."
My thought at this point was that Schaffer should switch vets.  When I next read that Schaffer actually purchased antidepressants for his Saint Bernard, I decided I would not be buying his book.  Antidepressants?  Really?  How about more exercise and attention instead?

But the great part was when I read the comments to the story.  Here is Steve from Texas:
Ok so here is a guy why adopts a really large working dog, and then leaves the dog at home alone in the house. This pet owner is an uncaring uniformed person. This is a dog designed for covering large distances, which must eliminate every 1.5 hours and needs other dogs and humans around it. Then he medicates the dog because he doesn't understand the simplest things about dogs. Oh and then he writes a book about it, and NPR puts him on the air. Most adoption agencies ask about how the dog will be maintain and housed either he lied or they didn’t ask.  To treat a dog like this is nearly a criminal act. Wake up people, dogs need specific things, room, exercise, companions, work to do, and a place to eliminate. If you can't take care of a dog, don't drug it to make it sleepy. This story is such a sad commentary. This writer and his wife need to get over themselves and take care of their dog. One of the few NPR pieces that really made me mad, so mad I had to comment.
I have to agree. 


  1. Me, too. This is why I have never had a dog since Diamond Jim, even though most dogs and I are soul mates.

  2. I think it was Will Rogers who said, "I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons."