The world has gone to the dogs.
The madness is so widespread that I believe George Orwell's book, Animal Farm, could became a virtual reality sooner rather than later.
Major aorta bypass surgery, followed by an enforced week's bed rest recently, was time enough for me to reach this conclusion.
A few months ago my friend and colleague Kuli Roberts offered me two beautiful puppies of indistinguishable breed. Being such a strong woman, a bitch, herself, Kuli has a way of intimidating me at the best times.
I accepted the "gift" without a fuss.
"Not so fast," she admonished me with her smoky voice. She went on to give me a long lecture about do's and don'ts of raising her beloved brood, adding, "they need three nutritious meals a day".
"And, for heaven sake, no pap. You'll also need a family vet."
Now I know, the devil does wear Prada.
I took them home and tried to stick to the letter and spirit of my agreement with Ms Roberts.
Being bitches, I named them Kuli and Hlubi, her beautiful sister - Nandipha in Isidingo. Needless to say my daughter arbitrarily renamed them Brown Dash and Bitch Black Afro.
A few days later, the woman who wakes up next to me every morning caught another expensive brainwave.
"We should take them for grooming, you know. A friend takes hers to a dog parlour that does great trimming and good potty training."
That would set me back R1000 every second month or so. Oh, shucks.
"We can always get medical aid for pets. Just check this out," she said as she handed me a glossy subscription copy of Cats & Dogs magazine.
The damn rag costs 30 bucks a pop.
Whatever is the world coming to?
When I was growing up dogs where dogs, period. There were no vets or animal rights groups in sight. When I used to visit my granny in the village, dogs were maintenance free.
If anything, dogs were providers. They earned their keep. Most mornings, my uncles would disappear into the woods with dogs in tow. They would later return heaving under the heavy load of all sorts of catches, including hare, porcupine and an occasional impala or kudu.
Those dogs would chase their prey most of the day, wear it down and go for the jugular when the beast was on its final hind legs.
Once they had made their kill, they would carry the dead animals to their masters.
The hunters would return like conquering warriors to the village, skin the kill, and family and neighbours would eat and celebrate long into the night. Once everyone had had their fill, the leftovers would be passed on to the ever-grateful dogs.
But today's urban dogs have taken on the lifestyle of their owners in an uncanny way.
No wonder some are showing strange tendencies.