Oh, there are dogs that are a lot more expensive than that. My two and a half year old Husky Nikolai was actually a bargain at only $125, rescued from a shelter. Not bad for a purebred. Handsome fellow too, a chick magnet if I've ever seen one. I didn't catch Jill that way though, they did not allow dogs at the classy restaurant where we met. No, the deal with Jill was closed with a cupcake. An expensive cupcake mind you, but I digress.
So Nikolai was romping through the backwoods and ravine behind our house last Thursday, when he let out a loud yelp. A few seconds later, up he wobbles from the bottom of the hill, as if he had just saved Private Ryan. I wasn't actually home at the time, our friend Sheryl was staying with us and she gave me the play by play.
24 hours later, Nikolai was still limping on three legs. So off to the vet I go, after spending an hour online researching his possible condition. A torn ligament was the chief suspect. I don't know if it hit me when I was doing the research, when the vet handed me the cost estimate for the surgery, or when I sat in my car with my wallet in my back pocket. But at some point I felt a bruise on my ass. My bet is on the vet. He did not even offer me a cigarette after he handed me the estimate.
Actually $1,500 is what the surgery is costing me. Once again, there's a lot worse, no doubt. As I was leaving the vet, this guy and his cute, pigtailed daughter were picking up Roofus to the tune of $2,500 for gallbladder surgery. I didn't even know dogs had gallbladders. I thought they had a tube that went from their mouths straight to their ass. Maybe a pee valve somewhere in between for liquids that cannot be eradicated from the face of the planet, not even by an apocalyptic meteor. After Armageddon, visitors from other planets will fly through the space where earth used to be and exclaim, "what the hell is that smell, and WTF are those floating yellow stains??"
But if Nikolai's surgery is $1,500, what's the other $3,250 about? Well there's dog food, about $50/ month, grooming (unless you want your house to smell like a fraternity), another $50/month, occasional boarding / daycare, about $100/month, plus carpet cleaners and other repairs, throw in another $50/month. And finally there's the annual check-up & immunizations, which apparently are distributed exclusively by Gucci.
So at just under $5,000 a year, that cute little doggie in the window is a bargain, isn't he? If you don't believe that try this: go out to your driveway and throw a ball out, as far as you can. Then see if that $400/month car will go fetch it for you. Go ahead, try it. I'll be waiting right here, playing with Nikolai. Who, I might add is a sport on three legs. Yes, the $100 doggie painkillers are definitely helping until surgery day. They relax him, whereas they tend to take me back to the 70's.
Peace, man's best friend.