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There’s a new joke making the rounds: “Who’s having children? People who can’t afford dogs.” Canine-driven consumerism reached a new high of $21 billion in 1996, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. And a 1995 survey by the American Animal Hospital Association showed that 7 out of 10 pet owners think of their pets as their children. In fact, nearly every goody once reserved for pampered offspring is now available for Rover, giving new meaning to the expression “It’s a dog’s life.”

—Carol Lloyd

KIDS DOGS
Mountain Camp II, Pollack Pines, Calif.
$610 per week (includes sailing, windsurfing, fencing, and backpacking)
Sierra Mountain Doggie Camp, Tahoe City, Calif.
$1,500 per week (includes swimming, kayaking, hiking, and airport pickup)

Healthy Times Biscuits for Teethers
$1.99 for 7 ounces (ingredients: organic whole wheat pastry flour, unsulfured molasses, whey, water, canola oil, natural vanilla flavor)
Haute Canine Natural Gourmet Dog Snacks
$21 for 16 ounces (ingredients: stone-ground whole wheat flour, cornmeal, milk, eggs, soy oil, romano cheese, and garlic)

Shampoo and cut at KidsCuts, NYC
$23.95
Shampoo and cut at PetCo, NYC
$30-$90

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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