Monday, January 24, 2011

Pet people

As a former pet owner I shouldn't be surprised at the degree to which people are attached to their pets. We shared our life with a cute-to-us but weird-to-others mixed (to say the least) dog for fifteen years. She warmed her way into our hearts during a visit to the local SPCA with the idea - not necessarily the act thereof - of of adopting a pooch. In order to make her presence known she stuck her front paw out of the cage as we walked by, causing us to stop in front and comment "awwwwww..." Changing paws a few times to underline her desire/desperation to go home with us, our resistance was weak and the rest, as they say, is history. It took more than five years to even be able to talk about her when she was gone, without my eyes welling up with tears and a period of nose-blowing.

Some people would rather be an adoptive "parent" to a pooch, as is the case with a family member. As the caregiver/slave to her daughter's lap pooch, she admits to being a 'grand-dog' care-giver. In a recent Facebook posting, she shared her feelings admitting to a friend, "I am dog crazy...we had our dog growing up but now I have my Grand Dog, Winston, to dote on! The older I get...the crazier I become...Go figure!"

In England at Christmas time, a man was threatened with a fine for afixing posters of his lost dog on trees, in the middle of the night. That's how desperate dog owners become in being re-united with their best and lost friend.

Statistically, Canadian pet owners would rather deal with their furry friends than other people, according to a recent study by Harris/Decima. A study revealed that 53 per cent of Canadians who own pets find them more reliable than people. Ninety per cent of Canadians talk to their pets and one-third have confided their deepest, darkest secrets to Fido or Milo or Hero.

Furthermore, 73 per cent believe pets can sniff out illness.
- Women more likely to confide in pets (33 per cent) than men (18 per cent).
- 44 per cent would bring their pets to a hotel if allowed.
- 86 per cent believe pets can help lift a bad mood.
- 82 per cent of retirees (65 plus) feel less alone in their home because of pets.
- 67 per cent believe their pets help to keep them active.

The survey was conducted for Purina and its pet connection website,

What does all this mean in the scheme of things, you might well be asking yourself. We need our pets as much as our pets need us. Or to put it into perspective: "Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms" (George Eliot) Ain't that the truth!

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