Nothing captures the minds is a great example of mass marketing hysteria on the rise and fall of the humble pet rock. Originally conceived in the 1970s by Gary Dahl Californian advertising executive, pet rocks were no more than ordinary grey pebbles that had been bought from a building supplier, package and marketed as if they were like pets. That any sold was remarkable, the fact that they became an overnight sensation making Dahl millionaire is even more incredible. The public took six months to hop off this fad when it then crashed as quickly as you can say Pokémon.

Sold through the company will bottom productions, the rocks were sold for a mere US 3.95 each.the rocks were swaddled in Excelsior and placed in a small cardboard box which was decorated to appear much like a small pet carrier. Your pet rock came complete with a very serious care and instruction manual which detailed the proper steps you should take a rating in caring for your pet rock. Notable omissions from this care manual with the instructions! The manual did contain some useful gems such as training instructions on how to get your pet rock to sit or to stay. Gently place your hand on your pet rock place your rock in a sitting position and say SIT! or STAY! which was appropriate.

As it turned out, the pet rocks were both very very quick to learn these commands and most obedient when it came to following them. The instruction manual contained advice on helping your pet rock perform more complex tricks such as rollover – however this trick invariably always involved some assistance from the trainer. The pet rocks were found to be quite stubborn in fact most lacking in any empathy when it came to mimicking more doglike behaviour in following commands such as come.

People who purchased their pets, were encouraged to give them a name to talk with them to pet them and to include their pet rock in their day-to-day activities. There are upside to having a pet rock. The food bill the stars was very small, you didn’t need a big yard then require a lot of attention or exercise. There was no requirement to find a carer should be on holidays and leave them behind. Indeed many people are the ideal pet.

As silly as the whole matter was and remains there is still something to be learnt from all of this and not only just that people can be very silly. Not everyone is ready for the responsibility of the pet. While some pets can be classed as high maintenance there is no such thing as a no maintenance pet. The only no maintenance pet is an inanimate object – and lost a pet rock requires care level that some pet owners could delight pets, this is more an indication that there are people who enter into pet ownership without first considering the implications and responsibilities when doing so.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.