Have We Gone Mad?

Know this:
What I am about to share is not for the faint of heart,
nor is it intended to offend in any way, 
but merely my very own  
personal thoughts, 
 and feelings.  
One day Dw and I were out and about driving 
the streets of Phoenix for our weekly ‘date’.  
Since we moved into Phoenix proper, we had been 
grabbing a cup of coffee and driving a bit this way
 and a bit that way in an effort to get to know our new city.  
{We found some very beautiful areas.  
In fact, more than once we have said, 
“This is Phoenix?”
 because it looked so east coast –
how weird is that?}
As we sat at a traffic light one such day, I glanced up 
to the corner across the street.  There a large 
building sat with a gigantic sign, 
“_____ Pet Resort”.   

I commented to Dw, 
“A pet resort?  Seriously?”
A few miles later we sat at a different light.  
And there sat 
another giant building with a large sign, 
” _____ Pet Resort.” 
{Altogether different name,
but yet another Pet Resort.}  
This time, I was in absolute disbelief.
All I could think was,
What in the world?  
Have we literally gone mad?”

A Pet Resort????
When I returned home I began researching
 and found some very
mind-boggling, disheartening
and sickening
{in my humble opinion}
Ready for this?
Although retail spending is down, 
spending on our pets is 

up over 11%.
One of the Pet Resort websites outlined:  

“This state-of-the-art facility has doubled in size 
and now offers a heated indoor pool, 
pet suites with videos and soothing music, 
both outdoor and indoor play areas, 
pampering and activities packages, 
daily room and maid service, 
Happy Hour with homemade pet treats, 
even tuck-in service and more.”
More research revealed 
Americans will spend 
$43 billion dollars 
on their pets this year, 
$3.2 billion on boarding and grooming 
up 7 percent from last year,
 according to the American Pet Products 
Manufacturers Association.
What in the world is going on?
$43 billion dollars

 on our pets????

Don’t get me wrong, I really love our little dogs,
but there will never be a day that our pets
are pampered and children around the world
are starving.  

How could we sleep at night?
Something is seriously wrong when 
$43 billion dollars is being spent annually
by people in the United States for 
their four-legged creatures 
at the exact same time
 Almighty God’s 
most precious and cherished treasures,
created in His very image for a very specific purpose,
are seriously starving
 to death at the rate of
one child every 


Does we realize that 
870 million people are hungry
right this second?

How can we really justify FiFi 

getting a pedicure and manicure 


little ones are climbing through
garbage dumps
looking for anything that has a semblance of food?

How can we, 
in good conscience,

for a massage

when sweet vulnerable children 
are begging on the streets?
have we lost our mind?

wondering aloud here….
what would happen if we bathed and 
cut our dog’s hair ourselves?
Sure, it would take some effort.

No doubt it would take our time,
but what if we groomed our pets and 
then took that same grooming fee and
sent it to feed the orphans and
vulnerable of the world?
And what if told our neighbors and friends,
“Hey, I’ll watch Fido for you when you
are away and together let’s take that boarding fee 
feed an orphanage for a month?”
What would happen?
Surely the world would not 
fall off it’s axis
and actually FiFi and Fido and Sparky
wouldn’t know the difference cause
they don’t even know 
Pet Resorts exist!
How can we sit idly by and 
not do anything?
How can we indulge in our 
pets knowing this?
Will we not give an account someday?
We must stop the madness!!

What would happen if that same 
$43 billion 
was given to feed the hungry?
You guys know I definitely 
am not a mathematician
but using a calculator 
doing the math:
$43 billion spent on pets
divided by 
870 million hungry people
comes out to 
$49.42/hungry person.
Can you imagine $49.42 per hungry person 
in the world {per year} to eat
if everyone in the United States 
decided not to pamper their pets?
What a amazing start that would be!
So what can we tangibly do?
Above all else,
 if you think you can’t make a difference,
you’re terribly wrong.
A small doggie haircut and shampoo in Phoenix
costs between $45 and $75
{I just phoned and asked}.
Rounding it out to the median
would be approximately 
per shampoo and haircut.
However, I do know that same 
given to
International Voice of the Orphan’s 
Frontlines+ Feeding 
program would feed
in either India or Africa
{where we have our feeding programs}
close to 250 children.
Can you imagine the 
difference *that* would make?
Grooming a pet at home, 
instead of paying someone else to do it,
 would feed
{at least}
True enough, our family is passionate about
which has fed over 80,000 meals to the street boys
of Kampala, Uganda and orphans 
in both India and Uganda.

there are many worthy organizations,

IVO is near and dear to our hearts 
and one very beautiful and tangible place to begin.

perhaps today is the day to decide
that pampering pooches
and felines is not an option
ever again
a commitment to
feeding the hungry, vulnerable and orphan.

No matter what.

It’s a matter of life and death.

And for the record,
 in the time it took you to read this
{without skimming}
depending on how fast you read…

around the world

48 children

died of starvation.

And that my friends is exactly
why we *must* do something.

Pamper my pooches or feed these treasures?
Not an option on my watch.

“Do to others 
as you would have them 
do to you.”
Luke 6:31

38 thoughts on “Have We Gone Mad?

  1. AMEN!!! I have thought this for years as I see so many pet commercials and advertisements (like you listed), esp. the commercials that show pictures of animals in rough shape and play the sad heart-tugging music (don't get me wrong, I would never want to see animals abused or neglected, but the pampering and EXCESS spending on pets is ridiculous). I think seeing these children first-hand has made me look at our frivolous living here in the US and think in the same way you do… if only people would take even a portion of their extra spendings and invest it in the lives of soooo many beautiful children and their families in true need around the world. My heart and prayers are completely in tune with yours Linn!

  2. I agree in principle with this post, but I think we must be careful when we judge and when we paint with a broad brush. I know a young couple who is raising their own young children some thru adoption and fostering. They are very mission minded, involved in their church and give to your ministry. They also have two dogs that they rescued and they have them groomed every couple of months. Could they do it themselves? Probably, but the husband works long hours so mom can stay home with the kids. She works hard keeping up the home, caring for the children and dealing with multiple appts for the special needs child. These dogs are very essential to the family. They are great therapy for the children and a great way to teach responsibility.
    I'm sure there are people in both camps, some that could give more and some that give what they can. I just would hate to see her hurt because she takes her dogs to the groomers and some children go hungry.

  3. I totally see your point- I do. But I also think that perhaps you're not considering that to many (myself included), pets are our children. I'm still working from home and now my dog is 11, so I have never needed to use those services. But I have lots of friends who work full time jobs out of the home- leaving at 7AM and not getting home until 8PM or later. So they take their dogs to these places so that the dog can run and play and be healthy instead of sitting home in a crate all day. It's really helpful I've heard for younger dogs. If I worked those hours and had a dog under the age of six, I would look into it, out of love for my furbaby. Also, in this day and age, more families are two (or more) paycheck families. So dogs and kids are in respective daycares. It's expensive but I think for those who use the services, it's worth it.

    I also think they are embellishing the glamour of it all. I bet if you and Dw popped in to one of them, it wouldn't quite look like the resort they claim. But that's just a guess…I've not actually seen one in person.

    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

    1. Honestly many of these comments make me so sad. They are so unkind and judgmental. I don't have a dog because I don't want a child or can't be bothered to love a child or don't care about orphans. Nor do most people who own dogs. What a harsh judgment! I don't push my dog in a stroller in the summer months because I think it's fun. It's not, by the way. It's completely embarrassing. But she has arthritis. And I need our longer walks for exercise. So she walks half way while I also push an empty stroller and then when she can't walk any more, I put her in. Both scenarios are super embarrassing. But neither is because I don't love children. She is 11 and last year I bought her a coat to wear on our long walks in the winter. That's not because I don't love babies either!

      My dog has saved me. Literally. She has brought me out of the depths of depression like no therapist or faith ever could.

      I am just so shocked by the lack of compassion and heart from this post. Honestly…it's unreal! How others chose to spend their money is only their business. One could say the same thing about people buying name brands vs store brands with a coupon or a certain brand of car or a new house or taking a trip or anything else really. But unless you walk in their shoes, you don't know what and why people make specific choices. It's like listening to 2 minutes of a conversation and claiming you know everything about that person.

      KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

  4. Thank you for telling it like it is. We are so blinded by what we see around us (that we take for granted) that often we can't see the truth. This is so much on my mind…..

  5. THANK YOU Linny for sharing this! I too have a heart time grasping the amount of money people spend on their pets. No, I'm not a cold hearted person, it just does NOT make sense. I have this weird way of thinking about how many children could be sponsored at New Day South foster home in China where I serve if the money people would spend would be put towards them.

    Thank you for saying what needs to be said.


  6. Love this post! It's a rant I've been keeping all cooped up inside for years now..and this nonsense continues to get more and more bizarre. Thankyou for putting words to it.

  7. I have pets! Love my pets! But I pay nothing extra for them. I feed and love them (as do the 7 kids in my house), but that is about all. They, like little children, just need the basics and LOTS of LOVE, not $$$ and extravagance. But I am surprised that you are surprised. I have been blown away by the depth of the sadness for a lost/hurt dog or cat, yet an aborted baby gets a "whatever, not my issue." Or an orphan gets a "Someone else will take care of that, good for them." Or a neglected child gets a blind eye. Just sickening and sad. Thanks for posting what many others are thinking but too afraid to offend (myself included!).

  8. I agree whole-heartedly. But the same could be said about people too. Why do we need manicures and pedicures and massages and iphones and ipads and video games and whatever the latest and greatest device is? Why? What purpose does it really serve?

    We bathe our own animals and a friend watches them while we are away. If I spent money on these things to begin with I would definitely consider sending it out as you have suggested. However, you are still challenging me to do more. Gotta sit down with the family and come up with a plan. 🙂

    On a side note… Sorry for bombing out on the MBM… You said you have three days so I thought I'd take some time to think about it and time seems to have gotten away. Maybe next month?

  9. Oh Linny – this is my pet peeve [pun intended]. The other day Justin and I walked past a woman with her dog in a baby front pack…. Justin immediately looked at me to surely see smoke coming from my ears BECAUSE I believe that a CHILD should be in that front pack. I believe that desire she has to nurture and care is for the orphan sitting and waiting in the foster system or some orphanage somewhere…. yet because of selfishness people go to animals for connection, yet no responsibility. I could go on…. the dog clothes, the dog strollers, the dog life insurance…. all because people don't want the "risk " of a hurting child and how it could change their life…. oh it'll change their life alright. Just today I almost had a small fit of gratitude because my brown baby was possibly the cutest, yummiest, funniest 2 year old EVER…. seriously almost ate him today! I could go on. [but i won't and please don't feel like you need to post this small rant – just wanted you to know I [once again] share your heart!]

  10. Every time I hear about tens of thousands of dollars spent on dog houses/collars/etc, I get sick to my stomach. My Compassion child, Latifa, in Tanzania, used her sweet sixteen birthday money I sent her to buy bags of rice and beans for her family. I'm still waiting for word on my John Dave in the Philippines after the typhoon…. $43 billion on pets?! Ridiculous and disgusting! 🙁

  11. There is a video on the Orphan Sunday website that tells some of these same stats… how much Christians spend on eating out… on cable… on and on… It was mind boggleing… I think it was done to the song take my life… really great and totally mind blowing stats… hit home just like your blog… Miss you friend… Praying for the orphan with you right now… Praying for our selfish hearts… Much love!

  12. I love your blog and your heart and no I don't spend that type of money on our pets. But be very careful about judging others on how their money is spent. I agree that that money for a pet is awful but others might judge you or myself for our pool, the size of our homes, the luxuries which we take for granted in our homes or even for buying coffee and driving around in our cars. Please realize I buy coffee too but I bet if you researched what is spent for coffee every year you would be appalled. I know you meant well and agree it's appalling but you or I might come under another persons judgement for how we choose to spend our money. I hope you don't take this wrong. It was not meant in a mean spirit at all..

  13. Just be careful not to judge how others spend their money. I know you meant well and I agree but others might judge you and I for choices we make. That could be the type of homes we have or the luxuries we have in or homes or owning and maintaining our pools or our hot tubs or golf club memberships etc. They could also judge us for buying coffee and using gas to drive around. And don't get me wrong I do the same. But I think you may be more appalled by the amount spent on coffee. Please take this in the way it is meant not mean spirited in any way. Just food for thought. Love your heart and blog!

  14. I like my dogs too, but I don't even take people to spas or for manicures – nor do I intend to when I have adoption fees to pay and sponsored children to feed. I can't believe people don't see the craziness when we have whole stores dedicated to animals. One aisle at Walmart is all we need, America!

  15. Interesting post, are you saying that people who care for their pets (which I do believe are God's creatures) don't also care about the welfare of children? You live in a very beautiful new and large home with a pool, is that really necessary? Do you have a smart phone, an IPad or other electronic devices? Do you really think they are necessary? What about taking a bus instead of driving a car, working out at home instead of going to the athletic club. Maybe we should just have very little pets like mice and rats instead of dogs, cats or horses.

  16. Maybe your kiddos can start a dog care business :-). Dog walking, dog grooming, etc. A 15 year old teen in my neighborhood has a thriving dog walking and cat care business (cleaning out litter boxes! – and every penny goes into her college fund. She is reliable and extremely trustworthy – and she waters the plants, brings in the paper and daily mail as part of her 'business'. Bet Liberty can do that as well.

  17. I'm guessing that people who spend elaborate amounts of money on their pets spend many times more on themselves. They probably have enough to give and spend a reasonable amount on their pets. I'm a veterinary technician and I like to see pets kept healthy, clean and well fed. They don't need to wear a different sweater every day, but neither do their owners. The people that spend their money this way aren't the same people who give, and don't read great blogs like this one.

  18. Interesting post….I have three dogs and no children, but I work with children who have special needs. Does that make me a bad person? I don't spend exorbitant amounts of money on bling for my dogs – just money spent on food, leashes, some toys. I am a giver and gave to people affected by the Colorado fires and the floods. I supported a Compassional International kiddo. I have given free babysitting to people, made contributions to those adopting, etc. etc. etc. My heart breaks when I see children in the US who have been given up by parents who don't want them. I think the bottom line is God puts on OUR hearts what he wants us to spend our time and money on. Your heart is for the orphan in Africa and that is great – your family does mission work there, but I have a nephew who was adopted from Russia. He did not have nutritional meals and was left in a crib all day. Our interests vary and that is okay. I would say we should follow our hearts and find a balance in what we spend our money and time on. I might not do what YOU think I should be doing and what is dear to your heart, but I am following God's direction in this area.

  19. Last year, a man at a stoplight was asking for money, so I offered him the bag of nuts I had in the car with me. He thanked me, but he said he could not eat nuts because he had no teeth. I was so shocked to see his mouth full of empty gums. I was really disturbed that homelessness/no access to health care has gotten this bad in my city.

  20. Thank you for this post!! I love it and agree whole heart heartedly! I told myself we would never be the same after our visits to Ethiopia and while that IS true ( we have 2 children in our home, hearts, and family from there) some times I STILL find myself getting caught up in such earthly things!!

  21. Very well written. I agree with every word! What a difference each of us could make if we took the time to think about things at this level. Thanks so much for your thoughts. A true eye opener for me and I don't even take my dogs to the groomer! It just shows that the little things can truly make a difference if used for the right cause!

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