This holiday season has been rough because the loss of my sweet old dog is still fresh. We have delayed putting up any decorations that remind us of her, and we skipped putting up stockings all together because I can't bear to see hers.
Given that my dog didn't need me now, I decided to fly to Arizona to visit my mother. She's up there in age and with our shared background loving dogs, I knew she'd know what to say to help me manage my grief.
Have you ever had one of those times when you are just so surprised by your reaction to something? Where you are caught off guard by the passionate response you have to a random commercial, or highway billboard or maybe a magazine ad.
I had one of those experiences as I paged through the SkyMall catalog while on the plane south. SkyMall was filled with every gadget no one really needs. As I flipped the pages, my eyes landed first on a $24 "Pet Tiding Stone" that memorializes your pet using a rock and not your pet's ID tag or collar. Then scanning to the right, I see this...
Thanks For Everything Memorial Picture Frame for Pet
You gave your beloved pet a great life. If your pet could speak, this is what he or she would say. These words (and the favorite image you provide) will comfort you while grieving and remind you of the good times. These words (and the favorite image you provide) will comfort you while grieving and remind you of the good times. Laser-engraved marble resin 5x7 frame holds a 3.5x3.5 photo. Easel back; sawtooth hardware included. Discounts do not apply. $23.
REALLY? THAT'S IT? REALLY?!??
I couldn't believe my eyes. I still can't. The copy says this is my beloved pet, and I'm going to be comforted by a hey, thanks for everything...I was beside myself and actually tore out the page, in disgust and so that no one else might get offended.
After I got home from my trip, I went to the SkyMall website to grab the photo you're seeing here. Much to my surprise, there are 23 comments and reviews attached to this frame, and most are complimentary. I was not expecting to read:
I was beyond pleased with the quality of this item; it was purchased to house the pic of a beloved pet! I couldn't be happier and would highly recommend this to anyone!
I absolutely LOVE it. He died 6 months ago and it is great memory of him.
This frame is so adorable, and when I gave it to my sister, she cried. Everyone at the party commented how sentimental and amazing it was and asked me where I got it. Of course I told them, Skymall. When someone loses a pet, it's so difficult. How nice to be able to see their face everyday in the frame with a positive reminder in the phrase printed on it. I went back and bought another. Don't hesitate. You will love it. High quality.
This comment was probably the most negative thing anyone wrote:
I ordered this after I had to have my dog put down as it seemed a very nice way to remember him. I was a little disappointed in the quality...printing seemed a bit faded out, and there was a small yellow mark right under the picture opening which wouldn't come off . The frame was a little bit smaller than I had envisioned, and I wish there was the option of hanging it on the wall instead of standing it on a table. It had seemed a good idea, but I changed my mind after seeing it.
Maybe I'm overreacting but a part of me wonders if I'm just seeing now that my view of dogs and our relationship with them is uncommon?
Am I that different?
People who read this blog and everything that we share on Grouchy Puppy know that we are sentimental but also pragmatic in our perspective about dogs, and the human-animal bond. I was shocked that a product would be sold that seemed to downplay the bond we have today with out pets. It's not 1964 or even 1974, but 2014 and the notion that dogs and cats are members of the family is now common!
Why would we believe that if our pet could speak they'd say something cavalier rather than a simple "I love you too" because, "I had a wonderful time" breaks my heart. I don't believe any loved dog would say that. I believe they'd say "you're the best mom in the history of moms" or, "you did everything for me, thank you" but never something this casual, a throwaway observation.
I don't believe my dog would ever say or think anything close to this. If the seller wanted to downplay a dog's sentiment then stick with words like "Squirrel" or "Treat" and if they want to illustrate a dog's heart simply use the word "Love" and call it a day.
What do you think about products like this? Is this sentiment more common than I realize?