In the News: Grandpets Become Objects of Indulgence

Some lucky dogs can enjoy pampering from not only their pet parents, but also from doting pet grandparents who are more than willing to lavish them with attention.

My grandmother would resist the characterization, but she’s grown into the role of a doting, indulgent matriarch—to my dad’s dog.

A Christmas stocking full of biscuits still hangs from the banister in the living room, and chew toys occupy the tight space beneath a sewing cabinet. A bowl of water sits on the kitchen floor, always filled fresh upon the dog’s arrival.

Clearly, Frankie is her ordained granddog.

Turns out, the label is fairly common, according to story from CNN about “grandpuppies.”

“For years, we didn't have any grandchildren and my daughter's dog, Mr. Moose, was all we had,” 63-year-old Eileen Williams told CNN, which reported that older folks are increasingly spoiling their children’s dogs.

For Abilene (Texas) Reporter News columnist Sharon Randall, the bond between grandpet and grandmother is easy to explain. Like many doting grandmothers, she’s eager to share the love.

“I can show you lots of pictures, if you like,” Ms. Randall writes. “Did I mention they’re the smartest cats and dogs ever born? And get this: I won't ever have to help pay their way to college.”

According to a Newsweek story, “Spoiled granddogs,” the trend is big business. Online retailer, for instance, offers more than 55,000 granddog-related items, from T-shirts and decals to mugs and dog clothes.

Items available online allow the human members of dogs’ extended families to state, “I [heart] my granddog,” and, “My granddog leaves pawprints on my heart.” One site sells a decal boasting, “Granddogs are better than grandchildren.”

One self-acknowledged pup-grandmother offers her reason.

“Sure, you can spoil a grandchild, but you can spoil a granddog more,” Barbara Holbrook told Newsweek.

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