Perhaps on your normie-book account you’ve seen your friends gushing about how Disney will now allow pets in the park. Disney attempts to play it off as being able to bring Rover so the “whole family” can go, and you can awkwardly avoid eye contact with a stranger while both of you hold leashes at 11 PM and your dogs try to defecate in the bushes. But as obnoxious as that seems, those weren’t the people I saw applauding this.
The only people I’ve seen raise any level of enthusiasm for this are late-20s early-30s millennials with a “furbaby.” If reading that activates your gag reflex, I’ll leave you with the cold comfort of informing you that due to my time spent perusing the darkness of the human soul through the portal that is 4chan, I initially thought it referred to something worse. Point being, the “equality” of being able to pay big money for a structured family vacation has been extended to people whose bouncing bundles of joy say “woof” rather than “daddy, I made a mess on the floor.”
This tells us a couple things. I’m neither the first nor the fiftieth man to bring up the fact that the canine has supplanted the baby in many SWPL families. The writing on the wall looms so large that people now unironically (while attempting “double irony” and not remembering either grade-school grammar and the rule about double-negatives) refer to their furry parasite as “my baby.” This has become so self-evident that even the most oblivious and self-obsessed demographic, boomers, have added the furbaby to the indelible list of millennial faults as they attempt to distract themselves from their own. But remind the boomer that it would be irresponsible to have a child right now, what with the economy experiencing instability, and he will nod along. Every time I need to extract myself from a boomer filibuster, I start singing the Standard and Poor’s lullaby and wait for the eyes to glaze over, the lower jaw to droop open, and good ol’ Tom to get lost deep in a daydream about using the equity of his current home to buy a beach house in the next state over and using his 401k to make mortgage payments. You can talk a boomer into almost any act of insanity if you can convince him that his financial status would improve because of it.
While we’re talking about his 401k, I think we also might need to talk about industries and industry-stagnation since his 401k is based on these. A couple of kid-centric industries stand to make considerable losses. Even decreasing the 2.5 average to a solitary late-in-life child constitutes a massive loss of industry. This gets even more dismal when you consider that, prior to Clownworld, the most reliable industry that existed was infants and children. Disney and Starbucks constitute what we call “early adopters” of the pupper paradigm shift. Does it hurt to see another couple out with their kid for some icecream? Take your pooch out for a puppiccino. Does your girlfriend get a little choked up when she’s forced to see other women who have managed to have kids while at Disney, trying to distract yourselves from how badly the modern world sucks? Bring the dog.
What fantastical abominations await us in the future? Woofer T-ball leagues? Pup scouts? Canine height-chairs? Doggy dentist visits? If you think I’m being intentionally bombastic, I want to be the one to tell you that cable television designed specifically for dogs is already a thing. Even entertaining the notion of dog baptisms makes me angry, but I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that sacrilege since the only thing young people could possibly be less interested in than kids is genuine Christian religion. But if the fuzzball-frivolities replace the child-shaped hole in the millennial life, there’s young men and women sad enough to try to fill it with meaningless drivel, and a drivel-merchant concerned enough about his bottom line to sell it to them. The only reason they’ve opted for dog-world is because it’s less obviously pathetic than a couple carrying around a toy doll, and they would lose the option to brag about the super legit shelter they got him from.
In some ways, this phenomenon actually has a tragic basis and some legitimacy. Most of these people are kids themselves, and how could a kid possibly be expected to raise a kid? The short answer is that the kid would have to grow up. One of my operational hypotheses about the millennial world is that the millennial is aware on some level of the great meaninglessness and banality of 21st Century life. This leads to a constant attempt to retreat back to the childlike mentality where the true determinant of whether it was a good day or not is whether you got to play with that action figure, whether there was pizza for dinner, and that tomorrow could be good if today wasn’t. You had the certainty and assurance of things to look forward to in the future.
The adult millennial even now attempts to retreat from a hopeless and dreadful world into his toys and gadgets, his comfort food, and even trying to place himself in a familiar state of his childhood trappings so he can remember what it feels like to genuinely look forward to life. Of course, no man can become a child again. The dark irony of the millennial perma-child is that the closest you can get to experiencing that primal and fierce joy again is to have a child yourself. And even then, the world around you will be difficult and you will still face trials and difficulties. In fact, the life of an adult and the meaning it holds comes from the trials, difficulties, and victories. A dog can be a wonderful and loyal companion for somebody or a family who want a pet rather than a living furry doll. But if dog-parents could be honest with themselves, they wouldn’t spend all of their time in Neverland, much less need a +1 for their fake child.