#158 Harrods Pet Kingdom
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.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.