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Dogs are the New Kids

John on June 16, 2007 at 11:57 pm

That’s the situation in San Francisco where dogs outnumber children:

Nobody beats San Francisco when it comes to doting on dogs. It’s a city with luxury dog hotels, rooftop dog cocktail parties, a pet cemetery and City Hall plans to turn dog droppings into alternative energy. And the urban legend is actually true: Dogs outnumber children in the City by the Bay.

There are an estimated 120,000 dogs in San Francisco, according to the city’s Animal Care and Control department. There are anywhere from 108,000 to 113,000 children, according to U.S. census figures from 2000 and 2005.

Here comes my favorite line:

Dogs dominate in part because it’s becoming increasingly impossible for parents to afford to live in San Francisco — 1,000 students disappear from the public schools each year. Also, a large percentage of the city’s gay couples are choosing canines over kids.

Gay couples are choosing canines over kids. Because we all know gays could just choose to have kids at any time. You just go to the kid store and pick the cute one with the wet nose.

Here you can have your dog pose with a Mrs. Claws drag queen at Christmas, or have your dog washed by a go-go boy in a Speedo to raise money for AIDS charities.

Because, really, what’s Christmas without drag queens?

On weekday evenings, parks become the social centers for neighbors and their dogs. At Duboce Park, several dozen dogs play in the two-block stretch of grass — the French bulldog people sit together in one section, the Chihuahuaphiles in another, and the bigger Labs and retrievers run in circles in the lower flat portion of the park.

How long until the first “doggie rascism” lawsuit in San Francisco?

At the Best in Show dog boutique on Castro Street, sales of high-end designer dog toys go up every year, said co-owner Richard Shiu, who can sometimes be found sporting a T-shirt that reads, “Dogs Are the New Kids.”

“People want function, but they also want design,” said Shiu, whose top-selling toy is a rubber squeaky bust of President Bush.

Didn’t you just know that was coming?

wag1.jpgCapitalizing on the dog worship is Ritu Raj, who just opened one of his posh pet resorts, Wag Hotel, in San Francisco. [Yes that's a real photo from their website.] Vacationing owners can leave their beloved dogs and cats in suites with faux leather beds, flat-screen TVs and Webcams, knowing their animals will get daily play dates, organic meals and, for an extra fee, swim time in the pool, pedicures and blueberry facials.

For a little extra you get a night of cat juggling! No, not really. But here’s what you can get:


That’s a whole lot of crazy right there. Alas, it may take that and more to alleviate the canine version of parental guilt running rampant in the city by the bay:

“When you come home after work and your dog has been alone all day, you really feel guilty if you go out to dinner, so that’s why Zazie [a dog restaurant] is perfect for us,” said Janet Moomaw, who shared a table with her German shepherd mix Findlay, her girlfriend and her neighborhood dog walker…

“We started dog night because we are a French restaurant, to be whimsical and to cater to the neighborhood,” Piallat said. “I’d like to do it every night.”

As we all know, the French are experienced at hosting Germans.

[Cue rimshot]

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Category: Absurd & Outrageous |

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