You’re sitting in a chilly waiting room. A diffuser slowly mists lavender into the air. New age chimes play over the speaker. The lights are dimmed.
A man in a white lab coat says he’s ready to see you. You follow him into a room with posters of Eastern herbs on the wall.
Are you at a spa? The chiropractor? No, you’re at your dog’s veterinarian.
Your rescue pit bull Iggy has been chewing on the kitchen cabinets. He suffers from anxiety.
Are you at the vet to get him a prescription for dog Xanax? Try again. You’re taking him to the animal chiropractor to balance his Chi and pick up his CBD biscuits, just like you would for yourself.
Does this sound familiar? In any city in America, you’ll find a veterinarian who practices animal reiki, recommends essential oils, and offers acupuncture for pets.
As a growing number of humans chase the dragon of commodified wellness, they bring their pets along for the ride.
Have you been on a flight recently? You were probably seated next to a service cat. More likely, a regular cat with a bullshit online service certification and an obnoxious vest.
The stakes are pretty low for taking your obsession with your pet too far.
If you’re an anti-vaxxer, your kid could die from the measles, or contribute to the next flu outbreak.
If you don’t vaccinate your dog, it could get rabies and go crazy and you’ll have to it put it down like Old Yeller. That movie was fucked up, but seriously, vaccinate your dog. And your kid.
At the end of the day, fake wellness doesn’t hurt pets the same way it hurts people.
Will lavender oil calm your dog? Probably not, but it can’t hurt. Will oregano oil prevent your dog from getting rabies? Absolutely not, but he will have better breath.
We can’t bear the hard edges of consciousness, and we project these feelings onto the only being we truly trust, our pet.
Just because Iggy “looked sad when you were getting ready,” doesn’t mean you should blow off that Tinder date. Don’t project your commitment issues onto your dog.
If you like reiki and you think your dog will enjoy it, plus you have $150 to blow, try it out. It won’t hurt him. Just remember to keep perspective on reality. Don’t bankrupt yourself to pay for Iggy’s chiropractic adjustments.
Here’s a radical idea that sounds like Boomer wisdom: Go outside. Take your pup to the dog park and go talk to someone.
After some sunshine, socialization and exercise, I bet Iggy won’t chew the cabinets anymore. And you might feel better, too.