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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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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