Maybe it’s me being my usual grouchy self, but I am fed up with strangers coming up to me while I’m walking Lucy and asking me how much I paid for my dog.
It is none of your business! I would never dream of asking a stranger how much they paid for anything. It’s rude, or at least that’s the way I was brought up. But in New York, rudeness knows no boundaries.
I never got this question when I lived on the Upper East Side, where the residents are more refined. It’s only in Harlem and when I lived in the newly-termed Clinton (formerly known as Hell’s Kitchen).
One grizzled old man said to me one day, “I bet that dog cost you a lot of money? How much did you pay for her?” I snapped back, “I don’t ask you how much you pay for anything you buy so why would you ask me?” Of course I kept walking and didn’t stick around for an answer.
When I’m in a good mood, I have taken the time to find out why someone wants to know. No, I don’t ask but I do have a way of looking at someone that lets them know what I want. A couple of times women have told me that they’re thinking of buying a dog and they want to know how much they cost. I explain that so many factors go into buying a dog that you can’t just ask someone how much they paid. Number one, my dog is 8 years old and there’s something called inflation. Also, my dog wasn’t bought in New York, where everything costs more. Also, someone shouldn’t think of what it costs to buy a dog but rather what it costs to maintain a dog with annual teeth cleaning, emergency veterinarian visits, etc. And they really need to consider the breed of the dog for their environment because not all dogs should be kept in an apartment. I’m sure everyone who rushed out to buy a Beagle after adorable Uno took Best in Show at the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show realizes this now.
I don’t presume that most of the time people want to know how much I paid for my dog because they’re dog shopping. They’re just nosy and want to be able to tell someone, “I met a crazy lady who paid $3,000 for a little runt of a dog.”
But I’ll never give them that satisfaction.
“She was a gift,” is my favorite answer.
And if you’re too young to remember the song that this post is titled after, click here to watch Patti Page’s rendition on YouTube.