Stupid trend alert: FlexCars just aren’t enough. Now we need to rent dogs. Shockingly, someone is willing to make money off this concept, according to a feature in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal. Enter FlexPetz (yes, with a “z”), which has come under fire for its practices in New York, London, and has all but been shut down from opening in Boston by both the city and the state of Massachusetts. No one, so far, has wimpered in D.C., where the FlexPetz Web site says a new outpost is planned for 2008. I have calls and e-mails out to the company, as yet unreturned.

One poster on the Adams Morgan listserv, at least, is interested: “it could be good for a child in a home that can’t full time a dog. Not a dog owner, but curious.”

If you can get beyond the fact that a dog’s not an accessory or that maybe it wouldn’t be so hot for a dog to jump from one family to the next, try and get over how much this costs:

  • A monthly Membership Fee of $99.95 which contributes towards providing full care for all the dogs at each FLEXPETZ location.

  • Daily Doggy Time charge (Daily Doggy Time is equal to a day, or part of day, you spend with a FLEXPETZ dog) at a rate of $45.00 per day.

  • You will be billed for 4 Daily Doggy Times per month. You are not required to take out a Flexpetz for any set number of days, but you will be billed for these minimum four days regardless of actual usage  at a rate of $45.00 per day.

  • Your Membership includes a mandatory in-home training/introduction session with a FLEXPETZ trainer….The total cost of this in-home orientation is $150.00
  • Most FLEXPETZ locations have a shuttle service that can deliver and collect a FLEXPETZ dog to your home or office. Fees vary by location but are generally $25.00 per single trip.

For those of us who don’t have $500 or so to pretend to have a dog, I suggest going to a shelter, becoming a foster parent to a rescued dog, or, I don’t know, consider making friends with someone who has a dog. And I don’t mean this guy.

(photo by Kalimistuk)