A word to the fashion-forward: Rats!

December 10, 2006

Ah c'mon. Like you can really tell the difference?Last week the New York Times had a piece about how the fashion-forward woman these days is carrying “a handbag with a heart,” as one of the purse-dog women put it. Another story was about how women are having more back and shoulder pain because fashionable bags are getting ever bigger and heavier, probably because there are dogs in more of those things.

You can breed the dogs smaller — and heaven known the puppy mills are working in it! — but they’re still too heavy. Not to mention: The smaller the dogs, the more likely they are to have health problems. How bloody inconvenient! And then there’s the naggy little problem (if you have a conscience, that is) that a lot of these teeny-tiny dogs are coming from hideously cruel puppy mills, through notorious pet stores like this one.

I was thinking about these problems last night and came up with the perfect solution:

Purse rats.

Yep! Don’t get a tiny purse dog, get a purse rat! Consider the advantages:

  • Unlike dogs, rats are supposed to be tiny. No problem fitting into smaller, lighter bags that won’t cause back and shoulder problems. Even the tiniest dog is heavier than a rat.
  • Like dogs, rats enjoy hanging out with people and can be very friendly and social.
  • Like dogs, rats can learn tricks.
  • The lifespan of a rat is less than three years. Considering how short any fashion trend is, having a purse pet with a three-year life span is much better than having one who can live to be 15.
  • Rats are plentiful, and relatively inexpensive. Pet stores have them. Shelters have them. Rats rescues have them. Heck, in Manhattan, the fashion-forward could pick one up in any alley — free!
  • Rats are easy to feed. They’ll eat the same crap their owners do. Those alley rats can even be fed from any nearby dumpster. Easy!
  • You want variety? Domesticated rats come in dozens of colors, markings and even a few different fur types. Street rats come in a glossy brown-black, like sable! Gor-geous!
  • Rats are just as happy to wear coats, hats and boots as dogs are.
  • A rat would be even more of a conversation-starter than a little dog. Let’s face it: Purse dogs are practically passe! Why follow the trend when you can start one?

So there you have it! Instead of getting a tiny, sick dog from a puppy mill who’ll far outlive your interest in purse-dog fashion, get a rat! Save your back! It’s the perfect solution!

Filed under: pets, connected,veterinary medicine — Gina Spadafori @ 3:47 pm


  1. I dunno, do you really want to subject a rat to the terminally shallow? ;-p

    Inanimate objects would be more their speed and what they need to stick to instead of live animals of any kind.

    Comment by Nancy Campbell RVT — December 10, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

  2. as someone who carried a rat with me in my pocket to my entire last year of university, i can vouch that they’re very portable pets.

    Hard to train not to potty in your pocket or bag, though. They’ll hold it for a while, but not like a dog will. ;)

    Comment by Laura — December 11, 2006 @ 10:07 am

  3. Maybe designer diapers would work, then. :)

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — December 11, 2006 @ 10:56 am

  4. A Totally Serious Proposal…

    She comes up with a very sick modest proposal to solve both problems: Purse rats. With adorable little carrying bags and accessories and stuff, it’s totally perfect. You go girl….

    Trackback by Dogged Blog — December 11, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  5. Thanks for spotlighting that horrible puppy mill Wizard of Claws in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. They have been allowed to sell poorly-bred, unhealthy puppies for way too long.

    Comment by Susan — December 11, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

  6. I’ve been in the States a week, and everywhere I go I see designer dog dishes and dog carriers, gourmet dog treats, and clothing–both casual and formal–for your dog. Have you been to Target lately? I just had to get Bailey her own pink photo frame.

    I had no idea the whole country had gone dog crazy in my absence. No wonder your book is doing so well!

    Comment by KathyF — December 11, 2006 @ 8:14 pm

  7. […] Brandy the Chihuahua weighs less than two pounds, making her the smallest dog in the world. Forget my post on purse rats: Eventually the folks who are breeding for ever-smaller dogs will get them rat-sized. […]

    Pingback by Pet Connection Blog » What is the deal with smaller and smaller dogs? — December 14, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

  8. Gina’s brilliant, as usual. Body image issues have hit the dog world.

    Comment by Martha — December 18, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

  9. I agree with Laura…the potty issue would be a problem for me, particularly with the Burberry dog carrier that sells for $650!!

    Comment by Kim Hanson — December 19, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  10. Hmm, I believe you could also maintain a bunch of these bright critters and so could take the fashion sense to a new level with variety…

    Comment by Diana Guerrero — December 27, 2006 @ 11:28 am

  11. […] As I was perusing the very attractive pet purse section in PetSmart the other day I kept remembering this very funny post by Gina Spadafori at The Pet Connection Blog. Why I was looking at purses for small dogs, don’t ask me. My smallest is Beatrice at 35 pounds. But the purses are soooo darn cute! Maybe Gina has a good idea here. A rat, hmmm. […]

    Pingback by Dogster For The Love of Dog Blog » Archive » Got a Purse Fit For a Dog? Pet Connection Blog Suggests Rats as the Next Fashion Forward Pets — January 31, 2007 @ 8:39 am

  12. […] care if these purse puppies are fashionable — this sort of breeding isn’t healthy. (Here’s a modest proposal, an alternative for someone who has to have a little creature in her fashionable […]

    Pingback by Pet Connection Blog » Breeding for disaster — July 5, 2007 @ 7:42 am

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