On a recent MSN list of “unusual ways to make a buck,” 5 of the 21 items on the list were about pets. That doesn’t seem like that many, but it’s the largest single category on the list. The pet inventions are Pet Rocks, Doggles, Petite Amande, Pet Butler, and Neuticles. Given the age of that first item, it doesn’t require much explanation; we all know what it is.
Let’s look at the other pet products on the list in increasing order of ridiculousness. That means Pet Butler is up next. It might seem crazy – a butler for your pet – but really the company provides a legitimate service. Staff members don’t show up in penguin suits and cater to your dog’s every need: Pet Butler is a pet waste disposal service. They’ll come into your yard and clean up the waste your pet has left there. It makes one wonder why pet owners can’t just do such a thing themselves, but especially compared to the other products on the list, Pet Butler isn’t that extravagant.
Next up are Doggles. These are somewhat easy to figure out given the name: they’re goggles for dogs. They’re not for swimming; they’re shaped like goggles, thus the name, but their function is more like sunglasses: they provide UV protection for dogs. Inventor Roni Di Lullo created them after she noticed her dog squinting in the sunlight.
These seem a bit extravagant as well, but they can also be useful. Dogs’ eyes can be harmed by the sun just like ours, so if your dog is going to be out in the sun often enough, they could be a worthwhile investment. More importantly, Doggles have served our canine troops. They’re part of equipment now often sent out to military dogs in the Middle East, as they offer the dogs protection both from the sun and from sandstorms. For most dogs, Doggles might be an unnecessary accessory, but they’re proven a useful tool for dogs in certain situations or with certain health conditions.
Petite Amande is a perfume for your dog. Now, I can see the allure of this – dogs can often be smelly. But come on: just give your dog a bath, don’t fork over $74/bottle to give your dog “delicate notes of French blackcurrant, Tunisian neroli, mimosa, and violet leaf,” or a “base of sweet bourbon with a little almond.” At the very least, couldn’t you find a cheaper perfume to spray on your pup? It’s too much, and that’s all I have to say about that.
So what could possibly be more ridiculous than perfume for your dog? Testicular implants for pets. That’s right: Neuticles are fake testicles that you can have attached to your dog or cat, to replace the ones he’s lost. The FAQ page on the Neuticles website bemoans “emasculation” becoming the norm; note that there’s no equivalent for female pets. I’ll try to stay off my gender commentary soap box about that.
Yes, Neuticles are just plain ridiculous. Our pets do not notice or care about these missing parts. The concept is funny – funny enough to have won inventor Gregg Miller an Ig Nobel Prize (prizes for inventions that “make us laugh and think”) — but that’s all it is. If you have the money to spend on fake testicles for your pet, you need to consider investing it elsewhere.
*(The above image by ktylerconk is licensed by the Creative Commons 2.5 Attribution License).