Yes, taking care of a dog as if it were a child is by now a widespread habit in Japan and a social phenomenon worthy of thorough studies.
In this slightly overwhelming society that gives women little space in the professional world and makes it very hard for them to work and have a family at the same time, many young women choose to give up without dramas children’s diapers and pregnancies that would take away the chance to advance professionally in a macho dominated working environment; however, they do not give up the pleasure and the desire to cuddle and look after a frail creature in need of affection…
And so the phenomenon of the dog turned into a child and cared for as such is now well entrenched in the Japanese society, and so integrated into daily practices and customs that the only ones rolling their eyes in disbelief in front of a stroller for dogs is just us, the foreigners!
And yes, I have always thought, before arriving in Tokyo, that a dog by nature runs and walks the whole day, well I was wrong, here the dog has a stroller, often of a super brand (there are some designed by Louis Vuitton…), and goes for a walk carried by his caring and very well organized master so as not to dirty his beautiful shoes
(yes, you read that right, why??? Don’t we wear shoes to go out for a walk??). all dressed up with a warm duvet in winter and a nice baseball cap for sun protection during the summer months!
The shops of clothes for dogs are real Ali Baba caves, and many are the mothers to be who have toured them, choosing models of beautiful dresses and jackets, and then realize that these articles were not meant for their future baby!
You can find everything from clothing to toys and more, through eyeglasses and hair clips … … sorry, fur clips, necklaces and bracelets, or perhaps it would be better to call them “pawlets”; there are glasses and hats for all tastes and measures, even though on average the Japanese dog is small.
The collections change with the seasons
….for the Carnival…. but all year round you can find both costumes for fancy dress parties (why not?) and sports suits, ranging from judo of course, we are in Japan, to tutu and dancing shoes with assorted pink satin laces, culminating in colorful kimonos, for male and female!
…to play or to go to sleep And then there are all sorts of gadgets, toys, special suitcases for our four-legged friends, various types of furniture to hold their clothes neatly, kennels that seem real beds,
beauty products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mint tablets that stick to the mouth to perfume the breath, not to mention food, great birthday cakes in the shape of bone, yes, because you can rent rooms for dogs to organize dogs’ parties and holidays, and if there is not a cake, what party is it?
And as a birthday gift what to offer to our favorite bobby? It already has so many toys, so why not to choose a nice session at the spa, with a relaxing massage with essential oils, or a cruise for dogs in Tokyo Bay
where maybe he can meet his soul mate and this will give the opportunity to celebrate by buying those beautiful marriage dresses that are in the windows of one of the many boutiques!
And if you do not have a dog, what to do?
Well, no problems, Japanese are well organized and you can rent one for two hours and take a walk with him, smiling, taking a relaxing moment in the spa or a nice shopping afternoon, pushing your stroller!
Think about it…
Thank you Sally for proofreading