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One Girl And Her Dog

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The zeitgeist is a truly fascinating thing. A few years back we couldn’t get enough of Paris Hilton, in case you’d forgotten her. She was everywhere, including for a short while she’d rather forget in jail. She spawned an entire species of young women walking around with blonde hair, big sunglasses, bright fashionable clothes, and a small dog, usually cupped in a shapely, nicely tanned arm.

It’s a sign of how far the Paris icon has fallen that we’re going to be focusing on the dog, rather than the celebrity. It was the dog that deliberately epitomized the doting decadence of the boom years. A pampered little yapper that was essentially a rat with a bow on its head, Paris and her dog spawned an entire industry of mini-dog-bags, mini-dog beds, and mini-dog accessories, much of it with the moniker of the great Hilton herself.

But it’s a sad metaphor of the Bush bubble, that many if not most of these tiny beady-eyed dogs nestled into their fragrant owners were born and reared in brutal puppy mills, then sold through an elaborate shell game as breeder-born animals. Mall pet stores around the country were full of these puppies, being air-kissed by girls with a little cash who wanted to be just like Paris. But the cut-rate chihuahuas and yorkies in the arms of most of these Paris clones were definitely not free range.  According to the American Humane Society, the conditions in which they were bred and reared were and are for the most part truly nightmarish. The dogs are physically and genetically weak, poorly nourished, and many suffered from severe cage syndrome. To say they were deeply traumatized is an understatement. They were ticking time bombs in just about every respect, blighted in just about every way possible.

These poor animals only had one thing going for them – superficially they looked cute enough to attract a certain type of girl for whom bright, pretty, and fashionable were the prime criteria of consumer choice.

They sum up the era of the Second Gilded Age. The icons just didn’t stand up to scrutiny. Just like everything else that looked so cute, we were sold a bill of goods.

It’s a good thing that the boom is now history. Perhaps now honesty will have its day.

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Written by coolrebel

December 9, 2008 at 4:18 pm

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