When I was a kid, getting a dog meant going to the pound and picking out a nice little pooch that didn't bark too much and wasn't foaming at the mouth.
Now, it seems having a trendy dog is as important as making sure you have the latest video iPod or cell phone that doubles as a PDA that also doubles as an electric razor.
Around the Bay Area, you see a lot of upwardly mobile young professionals keeping Bernese Mountain Dogs as pets. Although you don't see many at the dog park, you see them with pretty regular frequency in the back of Land Rovers and other luxury SUVs zooming by on the freeway. Apparently, Bernese Mountain Dogs are the new Golden Retrievers. Everybody wants them.
My wife saw her first Bernese Mountain Dog at Costco in September of 2004. We'd been talking about getting a dog for awhile, and were also in the process of selling my 1 bedroom house in order to buy something with more space for the (gasp) future
Little did we know that $1800 was just a drop in the bucket compared to what we'd end up spending because of him in a one-year period:
$1800 - dog
$600 - getting him neutered, some sort of problem, yada, yada, yada...
$2000 - special eye surgery because his membrane or something like that doesn't close right
$600 - Miscellaneous vet emergency bills
$500 - Stolen food from the counter or dinner table while we weren't looking
$400 - Ruined clothes and shoes
$4000 - Ruined furniture, carpet and sheetrock (wtf!) in new house
Grand total: $9900
Holy mackeral!!! That's more than what my car is worth!!!
Naturally, I think we did what any rational couple would do when faced with dishing out $10K on a dog: get another!
But that's a story for later...