AR-News: (US-NY) NYTimes: Spoiled Rotten in a Sprawling Petropolis
marisul at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 15 11:27:59 EDT 2003
Spoiled Rotten in a Sprawling Petropolis
By GLENN COLLINS
Dear Tourist: Please be aware that the New Yorker standing before you, seemingly so brusque and busy and unfriendly - and so impatient with your ambling ways - may actually be Skippy's Mom. Or Ruff-Ruff's Dad. And very possibly baby talks to them. In public.
The concrete jungle is home to 1.5 million dogs (though fewer than 100,000 are licensed, according to the Department of Health) and 1.8 million cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And many are animals of considerable means. They have pet acupuncturists who make house calls. They have pet chauffeurs. They have pet nannies.
"The city is also the world capital of canine and kitty couture - indeed, of all pet fashion," said Kathleen Hulser, the public historian of the New-York Historical Society.
The city's petocracy is hardly new, according to an exhibition at the Historical Society that opens today. New Yorkers have gone gaga about pets for centuries.
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