Doggy Day Camp

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This AP story, which is presumably headlined "Pet Boarding Industry Finds Pampering Pays" because the title "People Willing to Pay $78 a Night So Their Dogs Can Have Storytime Are Idiots" would have been too long, got me to thinking about history's most pampered pets, and frankly the Doggy Camp industry has a long way to go before they can match my Top 3:

1. Caligula's horse Incitatus. Roman historians claimed that Incitatus had "a stall of marble, a manger of ivory, ... and a collar of precious stones." There's also a long-standing, probably apocryphal story that Caligula intended to make the horse a consul.

2. Lots of people have left money in their wills to ensure the care of their pets (including one 19th century Brit, who left 10 pounds a year to, and I am quoting directly here, "my monkey, my dear and amusing Jacko), but no pet owner could match Eleanor Ritchey, who had taken in some 150 dogs by the time of her death and left them her entire estate: 4.5 million bucks.

3. Alexander the Great liked naming places after himself (he founded no fewer than 19 Alexandrias). So you know he really liked his horse, Bucephalus, because Alexander strayed from his usual self-congratulatory town-naming after the horse's death, declaring a town in modern-day Pakistan Bucephala.

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March 1, 2006 - 9:35am
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