Thursday, November 11, 2010

The happy hounds of Harrods

I think Harrods, the famous department store in London, England, has just set a new standard for conspicuous consumption. It's opened a Pet Spa. The Daily Mail reports:

At the Pet Spa in Harrods, which opens this week, everything from nutrition consultations to nail-painting is on offer to the well-heeled dog, cat or even ferret — at a price.

A Thalassotherapy mud bath will set Rover’s owner back £49.95 [about US $80], full body grooming upwards of £85 [about US $137], luxury ­massage £125 [about US $202], and Reiki healing £175 [about US $281]. This, the brochure solemnly informs me, is ‘a ­healing method adminstered by laying on hands... channelling energy to the a­nimal’.

But isn’t all that rather a lot to spend on dog-grooming in a recession? Not so, says Pet Spa manager Stephanie Mehanna, the creative brains behind the new venture.

In Harrods Pet Kingdom, ‘Chewy Vuitton’ handbag-shaped cushions cost £119 [about US $191], diamante collars £530 [about US $852], crystal-studded gold-lamé Robert ­Cavalli dog-coats £249 [about US $402], and Perspex dog beds £1,200 [about US $1,930]. Compared with these, the £295 [about US $475] I’m paying for today’s session seems a bargain.

Stephanie’s enthusiasm is so infectious that the idea of olive oil baths for tortoises, waterless shampoos for gerbils and one-to-one kitten consultations soon begins to ­­sound . . .well . . . normal. Or have I gone barking mad?

. . .

I’m so carried away I contemplate booking George in next week for a £39.95 [about US $64] hour-long Deluxe Pet Pedicure. This includes a milk-­thistle paw soak and steam treatment, a vitamin-enriched between-the-pads massage, and claw-painting with pet-friendly nail varnish of the kind that David and Victoria Beckham’s Bulldog Coco was spotted wearing in LA. But I finally decide this would be a beauty treatment too far.

George’s eyes gleam when, after a final spritz of ­Harrods pet perfume, he’s given a plate of iced ‘pupcakes’ and carob eclairs from the in-store Canine Cookie Company.

There's more at the link.

Not content with such everyday luxuries, Harrods has gone further. They've teamed up with Debrett's to produce a 'Guide To Petiquette'. An abridged version may be previewed here, and the full book will go on sale shortly. There's no word on whether dog breeds mentioned in the guide will start walking around with their noses in the air, as well as their tails!

My friend and current landlord has a rather daft Heinz dog (i.e. 57 varieties) named Max. I'm trying hard to envision him going through some of the treatments described above. While he might come out of them looking and smelling great, I think in the process he'd pee on the pedicurist, molest the masseur, redirect the Reiki practitioner's energy flow to the spa's sewage system (doubtless to its, and her, lasting detriment), and escape from the Pet Spa to vigorously shake the mud bath from his coat all over Harrods' finest bed-linens and lingerie. Actually, I think I'd pay to see that . . .


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haut couture for pets, just as vacuous and useless an idea there too.