Most people grow up in a household where money is an issue, so decisions as trivial as what brand of cereal to buy to those as monumental as where to buy a house are always a battle of want versus need.
Likewise, when you graduate from racking up bills to busting your hump so that you can pay your bills, how you live and what your willing to pay for is usually dictated by what you can afford.
As a result, your cereal bowl is brimming with Marshmallow Safari instead of Lucky Charms, and curled at your feet is a fat, old dog, instead of a ten foot alligator.
This is not just a socially acceptable lifestyle, but one that keeps the average person pretty happy—something we quickly forget when our checking account balance suddenly jumps from four-figures (at best) to seven-plus.
Like those lottery winners who wake up one day to kiss life in a crappy apartment goodbye and celebrate their new McMansion's yard by filling it with weirdo, overpriced statues, pro athletes also find puzzling, and often awesome, ways to unleash their suddenly fat wallet.
There are few better examples of this phenomenon than the exotic and weird animals they choose to make their faithful companion(s).