You Don't See Them Renting Cats, Do You?
"THE Beatles sang Money can't buy me love, but people are flocking to the "Puppy the World" rental pet shop at Tokyo's Odaiba waterfront park to rent just that by the hour.
"On a recent Sunday dozens of lonely hearts gazed at photos of adorable doggies and then shelled out 1575 yen ($20.99) to take the chihuahua, toy poodle or miniature dachshund of their choice for an hour's walk.
"Upon their return, many give their short-term companions a quick hug and a wave in a misty-eyed farewell.
"For Japanese with a fondness for animals but who are unable to raise pets because of their cramped homes or strict apartment rules, shops like these are a godsend.
"Three of us in our family love dogs, but my grandfather hates them," said a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents and grandparents in a Tokyo condominium and who rents a dog every week."
I can personally vouch for the Japanese love of dogs. When I was a pup in CA, AHM would take us all walking in a nearby tourist town that was a prime stop on the tour bus route. (Tuesdays or Thursday were pretty much Far East days, depending upon whether the buses were headed north or south.)
Naturally when AHM visited the stores in town, we had to wait outside. There was plenty of shade and benches--and Japanese people with cameras. Now we all knew our job was to be ambassadors (and -esses) for the U.S., so of course we were polite and posed for pictures. We're used to posing for pictures. I mean, just look at that photo at the top of the page and tell me you wouldn't want to point a camera in our direction?
Even when AHM would duck into her favorite hole-in-the-wall, off-the-main-drag café for a quick lunch they'd find us. There we were, minding our own business and catching a few zzzz's on the shady bench in the corner, when suddenly there would be a burst of jabbering and a horde of tourists clogging the alleyway, cameras clicking.
I still wonder how many pictures of us are tucked away in vacation photo albums across Japan--right between Disneyland and Fisherman's Wharf.
Dug up at Dave Barry's Blog.
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