Monday, March 24, 2008

The Guardian: Is your dog writing morbid poetry? Help is at hand

from The Guardian:

If our pets really are a barometer for human stress, then we should raise the emotional terror alert to orange

Marina Hyde
The Guardian,
Saturday March 8 2008

After a lacklustre Oscars ceremony, and a depleted awards season that failed to capture the public imagination, all stardust-seekers must turn their eyes to Crufts this weekend, where the flashiness quotient has never been higher.

According to reports, the biggest dog show in the world has seen an influx of canine glamourpusses, if you will, as a result of the relaxation of the quarantine laws, the general apotheosis of all things showbizzy, and probably the Hollywood writers' strike. The writers' strike seemed to affect everything from David Letterman's opening monologue to Shanghai zinc futures, so it stands to reason it will have had some influence on the owners and dogs gambolling round the Birmingham NEC on these most hallowed of dates in the canine calendar.

But just as the glittering surface of the Oscars masks the often troubled lives of its sparkly attendees, so the razzmatazz of Crufts belies the existential angst suffered by - or, more likely, projected upon - so many pets. Why is it that more and more dogs seem to lack the skills to cope in a troubling modern world? Who knows. But last year, that big-hearted pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly launched its response to the crisis: a canine form of Prozac, called Reconcile. (Aren't drug names always so creepy?) So if your dog is sleeping a lot, writing morbid poetry, or listening to the Smiths - or if you just feel he's getting too old for his pooch Ritalin - chemical help is now at hand.

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