Update: Amusing as it is, it looks like this story may not have been entirely factual. Makes me feel a bit sheepish. Thanks to Amy and Canaduck for pointing that out!
Apparently, thousands of rich Japanese women were conned into buying lambs as pets, believing them to be super valuable miniature poodles. No, I’m not kidding. This insane scam was brought to light when Japanese movie star Maiko Kawakami complained on a talk show that her new poodle refused to bark or eat dog food. Another couple found out the truth when their groomer told them that she couldn’t cut the “poodle’s” nails, umm, because they were hooves! As funny as these people’s clueless-ness is, the sad part is that the aftermath of this scam is that hundreds or thousands of sheep have been left to God only knows what fate.
It reminds me of the way people in this country jump on the bandwagon and buy purebred puppies because they match the drapes in their new house, because they’re trying to make their lives look like a picture from an LL Bean catalog or because the latest Disney movie makes the kids beg for one. Then, a few months later after the novelty has worn off, the dogs wind up in shelters, or worse, on the street. This whole poodle thing is really no less absurd than the dalmatian craze that swept the US after the 101 Dalmatians sequel came out a few years ago and the clown fish craze after Finding Nemo.
It’s funny that this story came up now, as next week is national Be Kind to Animals Week, and to celebrate we’ll be highlighting one simple thing per day we can all do to make the lives of our own companion animals better and to help animals nationwide. But I want to start a little early. Let’s all agree not to buy sheep as house pets. If we can all agree to do that, I think we’re on the right track . . . OK, yes, now I’m kidding.