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How much is that doggie in the window?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long, long ago (way back in the fifties), a popular singer named Patti Page recorded a song that became her fourth recording to top the charts in five years. That song was How Much Is That Doggie In the Window

Long, long ago (way back in the fifties), a popular singer named Patti Page recorded a song that became her fourth recording to top the charts in five years. That song was How Much Is That Doggie In the Window? At the time, the song seemed like a sweet and harmless message, and it soon became the unofficial anthem for the pet industry. However, opening with the question, "How much is that doggie in the window? I do hope that doggie is for sale," the song helped to popularize the concept of purchasing commercially bred puppies from pet stores. Page recorded the song for a children's album, early in the "Baby Boom" that doubled the U.S. population, and brought a tripling of the pet population within a generation of the end of World War II. By the time the Baby Boomers' children began having children of their own, there was an exploding population of unwanted animals, and animal shelters across the country were forced to euthanize thousands of dogs each year. Page, now 81, certainly had no intention of encouraging the puppy mill industry, and she has repeatedly stated that in 1952, she had never even heard of puppy mills. Recognizing the fact that almost all doggies in pet store windows today come from puppy mills, Page has recorded a new version of the song, with the same familiar melody, but with totally different lyrics.

Do you see that doggie in the shelter, the one with the take- me- home eyes?

If you give him your love and attention, he will be your best friend for life.

In each town and city across the nation, there's so many dogs with no home

Hungry with no one to protect them, lost in this world all alone.

Collies and beagles by the roadside, puppies and dogs in the street.

Once they are rescued by a shelter, they'll finally get something to eat.

Doggies and kitties who are homeless with sad eyes and tails hanging down

Let's do what we can to show them kindness and let them know that they've been found.

Page is hoping that the new version will promote the adoption of animals from humane societies and rescue groups instead of pet stores, and has given the song to the Humane Society of the United States for use in its campaigns to save and care for homeless animals and stamp out inhumane puppy mills. The lyrics were written by Page's publicist, Sanford Brokaw, and Christ Gantry. Grammy Award winner Page is celebrating 65 years in show business with the release of her latest CD, Best Country Songs, and her official memoir, This is My Song. Unfortunately the revised Doggie song was not finished in time to be included in the CD, but it will be used in public service announcements and in various other ways.

Page says that she hopes that when people now hears the old familiar "Doggie" melody, they will be reminded of homeless animals and animal shelters instead of pet stores and puppy mills. "The original song asks the question: "How much is that doggie in the window?" The answer is TOO MUCH! And I don't mean just the price tag of the puppy. The real cost is in the suffering of the mother dogs back at the puppy mill. That kind of cruelty is too high a price to pay." If you'd like to hear Page sing the new version, go to the Humane Society (HSUS) website, and type in Patti Page or Doggie in the Window.

You may even want to listen and sing along!

* Pauline Larsen can be contacted at Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or e mail at plarsen@rconnect.com.

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