Do you ever read news stories about the Baby Boomers that make you wonder if they have lost their minds, or maybe just their common sense? Many of the tales about the Boomers are just a marketing ploy, of course, as the cohort spans almost 20 years and seems to include just about everyone, even those of us born in the 1960’s who really have little in common with those born just after the war. Anyway, I caught a href=”http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/Advice/EmptyNestsBreedPamperedPets.aspx”this story on MSN/a about how the Boomers are now spending more on their snooty dogs than they are on children: br /br / blockquoteWho’s your baby? If she’s got a wet nose, nasty breath and canines that make confetti of your new pair of Manolo Blahniks, you’re in excellent company: Spending on children is plummeting in the U.S. as we lavish ever-larger amounts on the other little beasts at home. br /br /Take Pepper, a 5-year-old wire-haired dachsund who “fell into a tub of butter” when owners Maurice and Valerie Teich brought him home. Maurice buys and sells steel internationally; Valerie is a banker. Pepper leads a good life on Manhattan’s Park Avenue and vacations in the fashionable Hamptons. He joins the Teichs each morning at the breakfast table for oranges, yogurt and toast before donning his leash and jacket. (Should he wear the shearling? The red Burberry with brass buttons? The Ralph Lauren?)/blockquotebr /br /The other day, I was at a local public relations meeting and one of the women there told me she worked for the DIY network; we laughed about a show they have on called emBarkitechture/em where owners learn to build doghouses for their pets; there is even a book out entitled, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1579908535?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1579908535″Doggie Homes (DIY): Barkitecture for Your Best Friend./aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1579908535″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / The PR person told me that the one predictor of who watches the show is if the person has a yearly birthday party for their dog. When I howled at that, she sheepishly admitted that she hosted a dog B-day every year, “Look, I don’t have any kids, my dogs are my kids,” she explained.br /br /”Uhh, they are? Really, dogs are kids?” I thought — but no, I was not rude enough to say this out loud. Apparently, many Americans feel this way, referring to their animals as their “a href=”http://pets.webshots.com/album/551126121RuOZFO”Fur children/a.” br /br /So maybe one can let the Baby Boomers off the hook if they have already had children and now because of an empty nest are looking to their fur children to lavish their attention on, although I have to ask, what happened to spending time with the real, live human grandkids? And if people are having fur children eminstead of/em real children, what will happen to the human race? And what about retirement, long after your fur children are dead, will you end up in the doghouse because you blew a wad of cash on a dog a href=”http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/02/15/babyboomers.planning/index.html”instead of planning for retirement /aetc. Just a few questions for those who can’t tell the difference between an animal and a human being.