The trend of celebrity-style pet pampering is one the rise, producing ever-greater demand for freakily fancy products and services. You can fly dear Fido in high style on a specially outfitted pet airline. Whiskers can relax in gold-plated splendor at Disney’s recently launched Best Friends Pet Care luxury dog and cat resort. An attentive "certified" camp counselor will care for his every whim.
But the biggest emerging trend of all? That would be giving dead pets the star treatment. Even in a sluggish economy, companies are making a fortune from the rituals and services sought by grieving pet owners. Clever marketers are finding new ways to give adored pets a glamorous send-off into the afterlife...
The modest backyard burial has given way to the professional ceremony, complete with lace-trimmed casket and religious readings. If you’ve ever seen documentary-maker Errol Morris’s indelible Gates of Heaven, you know that pet cemeteries have been around for a few decades. But the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories in Georgia reports that pet funerals are dramatically increasing.
In the U.S., costs for a pet funeral starts at around $800 — and sky’s pretty much the limit from there. The "Royal Pet Casket," boasting three layers of foam and waterproof materials, is sold on the PetHeavenExpress Web site for $458. The elegant "Gold Cherry Blossom Hour Glass Cremation Urn," available from Perfect Memorials, comes in at $499.95. Does all that seem a bit cheap for Precious? Then go Nile-style and have your dog mummified for $30,000. Freeze-dried preservation is a less expensive option, but it will still run you several hundred dollars.
Perhaps you’d prefer to wear your dead pet. You can do that by having the corpse rendered into a synthetic diamond with a company called LifeGem. For realz.This is good stuff, especially when you read that 25% of Americans expect to out-work their own life expectancy. Good times.
Granted, just because somebody's selling this dumb shit doesn't actually mean anyone's buying it--but hey, it's worth a shot, right? On the plus side, maybe we can solve our long-term unemployment problem by simply creating more pet-related businesses...