How often do you play with your dog? Be honest, now — in our modern age of gadgets and gizmos aplenty, whosits and whatsits galore, who really has the time or patience to teach a dog the finer points of fetch, or even drag it unwillingly around a noisy city block as if it was a debtor being taken to Jabba the Hutt to discuss the small matter of repaying a loan? You’re busy, and though you’d love to spend your free time fawning over your dog, it’s just not practical. There aren’t enough hours in the day, which means that every night, your poor, neglected canine companion slips into a restive sleep, unplayed with and, for all it knows, unloved. With no practical reason to keep itself trim, your dog starts putting on weight until one fine day you realize your dog is fat and it totally grosses you out. “Ugh,” you think squeezing your dog’s neck rolls, “fat dogs are so gross.”
Ah, but there’s always a quick solution for a complicated modern problem, and that solution might be, in this case, to get your sad, attention-starved dog a temporary tattoo. The idea of tattooing a dog at first seems risible, if not openly cruel. Dogs don’t need to have their skin stained with ugly roses or barbed-wire armbands — they’re dogs. Most of them don’t even realize they have tails. That’s when it hits you — “Hey, if a dog doesn’t know what a tattoo is and the tattoo doesn’t hurt the dog, then why not tattoo my dog?”
For starters, it can seem like the sort of superfluous, money-burning activity that only well-heeled pet owners living on, say, the Upper East Side in Manhattan might engage in. Rich people can get pretty weird about their pets, and temporary dog tattoos seem to be the ultimate mark of pet-fawning decadence, especially with endorsements like this:
And the key player turning on tail waggers' masters to the idea is Jorge Bendersky, a celebrity dog groomer whose clientele hails mainly from the Upper East Side. The tattoos are especially popular among owners of short-haired dogs, he explained.
"In the summer, they cut the dogs' hair short, so you've got to supplement the glamour," he said. "Having no hair is no excuse not to be glamorous."
Cue the eye rolls and dismissive snorts. Such custom dye jobs can cost about $100, and although that $100 could probably be used to better effect to help feed starving pets, consider celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky’s argument-ending rationalization for temporarily-tattooing one’s dog:
Dogs are like humans, and when they accessorize they get attention. A pink dog does not know it's pink, but when people are smiling and taking pictures, it gets attention. So, a dog likes to get tattoos.
Hey, that sort of makes sense. In an ideal world where no one has to work because we all have our own goats for making milk, cheese, and other foodstuffs (prive goat ownership presents its own sets of difficulties, but I digress) and the economy is really just a polite barter system, you’d obviously get to play with and fawn over your dog all the time. That, however, is probably just a fantasy for your overworked, exhausted, real-life self. Maybe it’d be better to maximize the attention your dog gets during walks by stamping a temporary tattoo on its back so it can get all the belly scratches and head-pats that otherwise apathetic strangers are willing to give out. After your dog has thus feasted on the attention of strangers, you can watch GoT guilt-free and your dog will never suspect that you’re fantasizing about getting a box of direwolf puppies for your birthday.
Image via Eric Isselee/ Shutterstock.