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#158 Harrods Pet Kingdom

June 27, 2011
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By User:Mikegr (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Harrods. ENHANCE ENHANCE this picture until you can see the Pet Kingdom on the Fourth Floor. If this doesn't work, come back in one century's time, when technology has made us gods, and try again. (Okay, we didn't take any pics of the Pet Kingdom. We're bad people. You can hit us if you like.)

Harrods has its own pet shop. It has a lot of its own things, of course. It has 26 cafés and restaurants. It has its own bank. It has its own gold bullion centre, in case you run out of gold.  It has a bullet-proof clothing shop (yup, for real) in case anyone tries to get their hands on your precious gold. It has 11,500 of its own light bulbs on its facade. If Harrods was a small, objectionable child in the early 80s, he would have had all the Star Wars figures and both the Darth Vader and C3-PO carrying cases for them. Except, because Harrods is Harrods, he’d have a squint and a strange voice and his shorts would be too tight. For Harrods has defensive, gauche rich-person weirdness running all the way through it, like its Egyptian Escalator. Which is the novelty tie of department store escalators, by the way.

But for some reason, the idea of a pet shop embedded in Harrods seems stranger than all these other things. Nevertheless, there it is, nestled away on the fourth floor, surrounded by more mundane sections like toys and kids’ clothing. Yes, it has real pets in. Yes, it’s like a tiny, wrong zoo.

A couple of airy glass cabinets hold the world’s fluffiest cockerpoos, pugs and chihuahuas. (A cockerpoo is an cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, by the way. Not a cross between a cockatiel and a poo.) Smaller pets like gerbils and mice live in the bijou cages next door. They’re all obviously well-cared for. Perhaps this raises their expectations in life too high. I don’t know.

By ALMM (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

A cockerpoo, yesterday. "Stop papping me," yells the cockerpoo. "I hate the fucking press!" Language, cockerpoo!

To prevent Rich Person Buying Pet On A Whim Syndrome, anyone who wants to snaffle a pet has to provide two references from vets and such, confirming that there’s enough space in the penthouse/the pet won’t be left alone for the eleven months of the year when the family’s in Riyadh/the pet won’t be squeezed into one of those horrible pet handbags and paraded around like an expensive accesory.

Except the last one, of course! Harrods positively promotes this. It’s easy to pick up an exclusive leather chihuaha transporter or a plush pug-bag. And that’s just the tip of the pet torture iceberg*. There are king costumes for dogs, complete with crowns and robes, and all manner of dog and cat toys, ranging from the ludicrous all the way to the pathetic. Some of the pet costumes appear to be the same ones as in the kids’ department next door, actually. Maybe they swap the merchandise around occasionally.

And to top it off, there’s the pet spa, in which pets are subjected to a heartstopping regime of washing, combing, de-clawing, and blow-drying until they emerge, pristine and somewhat (we imagine) shell-shocked, before being dumped back into a Louis Vuitton handbag. The spa includes a treadmill with a TV screen and DVD player. And a luxury cologne spritz at the end of the session. You can watch the grooming through a large glass panel, until it starts feeling weird, which takes exactly 23 seconds.

Fancy a pet from Harrods, then? A little cockerpoo will set you back £1500. Make your own joke here, please. I’m busy. God. 

*Pet Torture Iceberg may already be a reality TV show. I don’t want to look it up, in case it is.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. akismet-1c10b1fbb4dd68f71b1a933694240654 permalink
    June 27, 2011 4:57 pm

    Thank you for this post. And for going here so the rest of us never, ever have to.

  2. akismet-1c10b1fbb4dd68f71b1a933694240654 permalink
    June 27, 2011 4:59 pm

    This is Katy, by the way. I’m not sure why WordPress thinks I’m not.

  3. June 27, 2011 8:04 pm

    Only just noticed that you have ads on your blog…

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