FlexPetz offers time shares in dogs for people who don’t have enough space or time for full-time dog ownership. Members are able to reserve a dog for a certain day, then pick up the dog or have it delivered, and the dog comes with its own “care kit”, including leash, food, bowls, and bed. FlexPetz was started so people who miss having a dog, but know they aren’t able to be a full-time dog owner, could still have canine companionship.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I don’t like the idea of people thinking dogs are just an object you can rent or something disposable or interchangable. But I do like the idea of people benefiting from having a dog even if circumstance don’t make it possible for them to responsibly have a dog full-time. Dogs can add so much to our lives:
- more exercise
- companionship and love
- reduced stress
- more laughter
- more socializing with other people
- a level of security
- improved physical and mental health
FlexPetz says it adopts rescue dogs when possible and I immediately noticed on their site that they have black labs, which are dogs least likely to be adopted from shelters. (Check out the post on black dog syndrome to see the problems black shelter dogs face.) FlexPetz must choose dogs who are unfazed by moving around and meeting lots of people, but even then I don’t like the idea that these dogs lives might be too chaotic. However, these dogs are probably some of the best exercised dogs around and have the most enriched lives, because the people spending time with them are literally invested in them. FlexPetz is insanely expensive.
If you long for time with a dog, I think a better idea might be volunteering at a rescue organization for dog walking, training, socializing, and grooming. Check with your local Humane Society or animal shelter.