It's a Dog's Life: Elevating Status from Pet to "Fur Baby" at Yappy Hour

In: Society & Animals
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Abstract

Nonhuman animals always have played a significant role in people's lives. Lately, the technological and market economy has anthropomorphized dogs to human-like behavior, particularly to status of family member or child. This qualitative study expands upon the current studies on consumption and animals and society by exploring how human-canine relationships are anthropomorphized at the family excursion to "Yappy Hour" at Fido's Barkery. The type of person who attends Yappy Hour on a weekly basis has a unique and special type of connection with their dog that goes beyond most people's relationships with dogs. Most of the dog lovers interviewed do not perceive their dogs as dogs; they are family members, best friends, and "fur babies." These dog lovers also do not perceive themselves as dog owners; they see themselves as mothers and fathers. The social and market environment of Fido's Barkery not only reinforces their relationship with their dog, it shapes community, friendships, and personal identity.

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