Dear Third World student who is using the Internet to research the question, “Do Americans really give Valentine’s Day cards to their dogs?”: I am pleased to be able to provide you with an answer.
And not only a card, but also a present. Total cost: $2.99 for the card plus $5.49 for the “Mean Kitty” toy equals $8.48. If this is more than the average daily income for workers in your country, I’m sincerely sorry. Really. We Americans don’t realize how good we have it.
It bothers me that our dogs have a higher standard of living than many people elsewhere in the world. It also would bother our dog, Serena, if somehow I could communicate to her the concepts of “standard of living” and “elsewhere in the world.”
This is Serena on her futon bed where she sleeps each night in her own downstairs room. Once again, if this is bigger and nicer than your own room, I’m sorry.
Possessing a dog brain, Serena doesn’t even know what Valentine’s Day is. Which raises the question, “Why get a dog a Valentine’s Day card?” I’m not sure. If I thought about this at all seriously, I’d be sending off a $8.48 check to UNICEF instead.
I learned here that the first Valentine’s Day card “was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London.” I doubt that he had any inkling that, some six hundred years later, people would be sending Valentine’s Day cards to their dogs.
We’re a great country, for sure. Yet we’re also a wasteful country. We give unneeded gifts to our pets and we discard lots of stuff that is needed by others around the world.
Yesterday I took some old computer equipment to a recycling depot. Two large boxes were filled with monitors, computers, printers, and such that probably mostly still worked. I added my own outmoded equipment to the pile. I thought of how happy a poor student in a Third World country would be to have what I didn’t want to have anymore.
But it was just a thought. And the next day I bought my dog a Valentine’s Day card.
Warm greetings from a American who wishes he and his country had different priorities (there are lots of us; hopefully we'll start making our wishes into reality before too long).