100517_dog_display_1.jpgOne of the crazy fantasies that I’ve had since I was a kid is living in a deserted mall—sleeping on different beds in the furniture department every night, snacking on anything I’d grab in the supermarket, or watching TV in the cinema. It would be awesome if dogs in pet shops experienced the fantasy on my behalf, but day in and day out they’re just there in their cramped cages without anyone to walk them or play with them.

Sure, kids and adults alike fuss over them outside glass windows, but when their five seconds of not-quite fame is up, it’s back to the harsh reality that they’re not just behind a glass window, they’re inside a cage as well. They can’t even be petted in those five measly seconds. I feel really bad for these puppies that I always find myself hoping that someone will buy them—although I know it’s always best to purchase a dog from a decent breeder. That makes it even sadder—to buy a dog from a pet shop more out of pity than out of the sheer excitement of taking care of one.

100517_dog_display_2.jpgHow can you not feel bad for these dogs? My husband and I make it a point to check out the pet shops when we’re in a mall. Often, week after week, we see the same dog on display, still without a home. Sometimes I’ve even commented on how much a certain dog on display has grown, which only emphasizes the fact that the dog has been stuck in a cage far too long.

These pet shops should know that the longer a dog stays in a cage on display, the less likely it will be sold. Buyers would rather spend good money on puppies, not on dogs that haven’t gotten any decent exercise for months—or worse, dogs that have probably gone a bit cuckoo, not having felt loved practically since they were born.

If these shops absolutely have to put their dogs on show, these poor animals should be put on display only for a certain number of days. Letting a puppy grow behind a glass window—in a cage—is certainly not the smartest means of visual merchandising, or the most humane.

As I write this post (at about past 1:30 in the morning), I try to picture what those window displays look like in the dark. I also imagine the gentle stir of metal cages as sleeping dogs twitch, dreaming, of what it’s like outside the glass window that they think is their home.

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