Rent-A-Rex

beer dog

When I was a kid, my father had a favorite cartoon that he would occasionally refer to.  It depicted a man relaxing in an easy chair with a can of beer in his hand.  Lying at his feet was a dog.  The caption read: “Man’s best friend–and a dog.”  For some reason, an article a few weeks ago in The Times brought that to mind.  The article cited a recent study by the American Heart Association that has shown that owning a dog might be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.  Good news for dog owners.

Years ago, even before this study, I had tinkered with the idea of developing a dog rental business for people who just wanted to own a pet occasionally.  Say you’re a single guy and think that walking a cute dog might be an easy way to meet girls but are too comittment-phobic to actually  own one (a dog, that is). Wouldn’t it be great to have the use of a pooch just on nice weekends?  As the director of marketing for this business that never happened, I’ll answer that. It would be fabulous! And now, as this study suggests, there may even be an added health benefit. Of course, I’m not sure if having a dog only occasionally would still help your heart, but I’d bet it couldn’t hurt.

I didn’t get too far with the dog rental business.  I came up with the company name, Zipdog.com.™  but was stymied with some of the practical considerations.  For example, leaving a dog leashed at various stations throughout the city seemed…seemed, how shall I say….heartless.  And then there was the problem of somehow keeping the rental dog fed.  But, even though I didn’t follow through on that idea, I still think that it has enormous potential.  And not only for daily (or hourly) pet rentals.  I’m certain there’s a huge demand for other kinds of now and again relationship needs.  I sense a franchise in the making.

A case in point: since my parents have died, you might imagine that Fathers Day and particularly, Mothers Day could be empty affairs for me.  While, of course, it wouldn’t be the same as the real thing,  if I had access to a mother from Zipmom.com™  for just a few hours on that Sunday, I think the day could feel totally different.  I know I can’t be the only orphan who could use this type of service.

And who hasn’t experienced that feeling of being all alone during the holiday season.  How awful is that!  So why needlessly suffer?  With an outfit like Zipfamily.com®, you could choose just the kind of family with whom  you’d like to carve a turkey or trim a tree or light a Chanukah menorah. Who knows…it’s possible you may still want to rent that family even when yours is around.

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