This meeting of the Jen Waters Of The Washington Times Fan Club is now in session

OK, I haven't even started reading this one yet, and I already know it's the be-all and end-all of Jen Waters stories. Every Jen Waters story that came before was simply a brick in the pyramid leading up to this one: the apex; the summit; the Awesomest Jen Waters Story Ever.

Ladies and gentlemen... I give you...

Canine Castles

While shopping for a pad for her pet, Mary Read of Crownsville, Md., couldn't find anything aesthetically pleasing. Because she planned to put the doghouse for her border collie, Rocky, in her front yard next to the porch, she didn't want it to scare the neighbors.

To solve the dilemma, she decided to have a dwelling custom-made from cedar. Because her own home is cedar, the two houses blend together nicely. Now Rocky spends lazy afternoons as king of his own castle.
This dog has a better home than half the people in Washington. Hell, I'm sure it's better than my apartment.

Although Snoopy probably never napped in such luxury, many of today's dogs are living it up in extravagant doghouses. Some of them even rest their heads in handmade houses complete with air conditioning and marble floors.
All of a sudden this has turned into Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' Dogs. Air conditioning? These dogs have air confuckingditioning in their doghouses? This is the kind of thing that makes me want to destroy all humans.

The one-of-a-kind doghouses created by Colorado builder Alan Mowrer, who constructs the houses for La Petite Maison, can cost upward of $6,000, depending on accessories, such as copper roofs, electricity, bay windows and hardwood floors. The doghouses Mr. Mowrer has hand-built include a French chateau and Swiss chalet.
I'm... too angry to even respond to this coherently.

Sometimes the dwellings are replicas of human homes. Usually, clients request whatever will best suit the dog's comfort, Ms. Pollak says. However, at times, customers simply want Mr. Mowrer to build a work of art, even if the dog doesn't use it.
Yes. Of course. How many thousands of homeless people are there in Washington? (Rhetorical question, but it's about 9,000 on any given day just in the District.) And yet, there are people building ornate doghouses for their dogs that are not even being used by the fucking dogs.

Oh, crap... we're going to get hit with a plague for this, aren't we? Hellloooooooo, monkeypox!

When designing a doghouse, one of the most important aspects to consider is the size. The house needs to be small enough for pets to keep warm in the winter and big enough for them to keep cool in the summer, says Chuck Keeton, owner of Blythe Wood Works in Blythewood, S.C. The company sells cedar and pine doghouses with insulation and pet mats. A deck for the dwelling is optional and can be purchased at a later time.

Most often, Mr. Keeton uses a dog's weight to determine the size needed for the house. Height requirements also must be considered. Ideally, the house needs to be big enough for the dog to enter, turn around and lie down. If the house is bigger than that, body-heat retention is sacrificed during the colder months.
Blah blah blah. Jen goes into her patented "Encyclopedia Brown" Mode, which is like having to listen to the office dullard.

Some of the doghouses are even suitable for cats, says Melody Lee, owner of Merry Products Corp. in Toronto. Merry Products recently received Cat Fancy magazine's Editor's Choice Award for the doghouse called "Room With View," which has steps along the side that lead to a rooftop balcony.
Argggghhhh... this cat has a two-story house all to itself. Again, too angry to speak.

The company sells various cedar structures, including mansions, barns, chalets, taverns, bungalows, playpens, stables, and bed-and-breakfasts, each priced up to $499. Miss Lee's dog, Happy, has five houses of his own, placed inside and outside his owner's abode.
I have nothing to add. There's just... nothing to say. Except maybe

YOU STUPID FUCKING BITCH. Your dog does not need FIVE of its OWN FUCKING HOUSES. He's a DOG. He's perfectly happy licking his own balls anywhere in your one, single, human-sized house.

Investing in an extravagant doghouse is one way to show a pet love, says Fred Albert of Vashon, Wash., who is author of "Barkitecture."
"Barkitecture." This guy actually wrote a book called "Barkitecture." Dog-related puns just don't get any worse than that.

One of Mr. Albert's favorite creations is "Muttropolitan Opera House," which features an extravagant theater facade with a proscenium stage in gold leaf, embroidered in velvet with draw curtains.
Gah, sweet mother of homosexuality. I stand corrected.

"You could probably put a box out there and the dog would be happy," Mr. Albert says. "Many of the doghouses I ran into, the dogs didn't use, but the people kept them in their yards as a work of art, or the children played in them.
See, that's my point here: dogs don't need fancy doghouses. They'll be OK with a cardbox box. Hell, they'll probably be happier with a box. They're dogs.

For those pet owners who would rather not have a doghouse in their back yard, there is always the dog bed, which can be placed indoors, says Lil Lewis, owner of Canine Carousel in Herndon.
See, that's more like it. A nice little dog bed is plenty enough.

Her poodle, Surprise, sleeps in a four-post bed in the master bedroom of the house.
Gah. This lady has a poodle and bought a four-post bed for it. She must be an absolute hoot to hang out with.

Whatever the environment, it's important to set aside a separate space for a pet, says Elizabeth Quinn of San Francisco, author of "Pads for Pets." Otherwise, they will be in the homeowner's space without a thought.

"Just like you would spend lots of money making sure your child had a comfortable bed, you do that for your pet," Ms. Quinn says. "Animals have specific needs."
Fine, a set-aside space for a pet I have no problem with. But the people in this story seem to be laboring under the assumption that their pets have the same needs that they do: that is, to show off how much money they have by buying fancy things that they don't need. On the contrary, that's what's great about pets: they have no concept of money. A dog's going to be just as happy running around chasing squirrels in the backyard as he is chewing up your $200 tablecloth. A cat is probably more likely to sleep all day on the floor than in an expensive house built just for it.

It's not the pets that need these thousand dollar habitats; it's their shallow owners who need these possessions to stroke their own egos and show off to the neighbors.

Hmm... I don't think I'm analyzing this article the way Jen would. I'm betting she doesn't see the irony, and she just thinks it's cool to interview people who spend needlessly large amounts of money on their homes (this is the third or fourth such article we've seen). Still, I got more out of this article than I expected to, and Jen only launched into her trademark encyclopedic monologue one. There may be a journalistic future for you yet, Jen Waters. Or, at least, a public-relations-flak-type future.

Meeting adjourned.

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