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Camila celebrated her first birthday in a blue-and-white striped dress. She played with her guests in a room decorated with pink balloons, lilacs and Hello Kitty posters.
When the cake arrived she barked at the candle. More barks came from the Chihuahuas, bulldogs and Pomeranians in the room.
"We've never had a female dog so we wanted to do something special with her," said Valery Palma. She's a single 35-year-old lawyer who owns Camila.
Over the last decade, more people in Mexico are earning more money. This has created a new market for dogs. Fancy goods and services for dogs include clothing, spas and restaurants with doggie snacks cooked by a pastry chef.
It's a big change in a country where a dog's life has long meant days chained to the roof of the house. A 2000 movie used the brutal treatment of dogs to represent the unfairness of Mexican society.
Mexico has more than 20 million dogs. Many of the dogs roam the streets hunting for food in the trash. Some spend their days shut up in apartments by owners. The owners use them as living burglar alarms.
Many of the 40 million Mexicans with middle class incomes are having fewer children than their parents did. So they have more money to spend on things like pets.
Palma has two dogs. She spent $300 on the birthday party for 11 canines and 16 people. The party included a cake, presents and snacks. It also had a dog hotel with a gym.
"Today people invest in their dog," said animal behaviorist Renan Medina.
"This goes beyond a trend," he said. "People see their dog as part of the family."
Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/junior/people-mexico-pamper-their-pups/