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There’s a new joke making the rounds: “Who’s having children? People who can’t afford dogs.” Canine-driven consumerism reached a new high of $21 billion in 1996, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. And a 1995 survey by the American Animal Hospital Association showed that 7 out of 10 pet owners think of their pets as their children. In fact, nearly every goody once reserved for pampered offspring is now available for Rover, giving new meaning to the expression “It’s a dog’s life.”

—Carol Lloyd

KIDS DOGS
Mountain Camp II, Pollack Pines, Calif.
$610 per week (includes sailing, windsurfing, fencing, and backpacking)
Sierra Mountain Doggie Camp, Tahoe City, Calif.
$1,500 per week (includes swimming, kayaking, hiking, and airport pickup)

Healthy Times Biscuits for Teethers
$1.99 for 7 ounces (ingredients: organic whole wheat pastry flour, unsulfured molasses, whey, water, canola oil, natural vanilla flavor)
Haute Canine Natural Gourmet Dog Snacks
$21 for 16 ounces (ingredients: stone-ground whole wheat flour, cornmeal, milk, eggs, soy oil, romano cheese, and garlic)

Shampoo and cut at KidsCuts, NYC
$23.95
Shampoo and cut at PetCo, NYC
$30-$90

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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