Pets. Most of us have at least one. Some are schnoodles, pixie-bobs, and Mexican alligators. Not interested in live critters? Adopt a pet rock, Japanese robo, or silicon jellyfish “living” in neon aquariums.
Studies have shown that pets are good for you – even fake ones. They reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. There are three categories of pets that can keep you healthy: dog, cat, and other.
Where do you fit?
Consider the facts. The U.S. claims over 73 million pet dogs; Canada has 6 million; and Western Europe boasts 43 million. There are over 525 million dogs on Earth.
That’s a lot of chew sticks for human’s best friend. It’s also good for business. Dog treats alone bring in $1 billion a year.
Ask Tucker, the designer mutt (golden doodle) created from two AKC pedigrees – poodle and golden retriever.
You can buy a Tucker puppy from a breeder for a paltry $3000 after reserving a spot in a litter (usually months in advance).
Who can resist?
Cat owners are often as strange as their pets. The Ecology Global Network estimates there are over 600 million small cats in the world – including pets, strays, homeless, and feral – all infamous for their independence. They’ve lived with humans for 10,000 years yet a recent study found that cats do understand their people . . . they just don’t care.
Can you blame them? Maybe it’s revenge for being dressed up on Halloween or given names like Marmalade, Morris, or The Cat in the Hat? On the other hand, Grumpy Cat has earned well over $100 million.
There are also bigly cats that are exotic and illegal. A lot of people just don’t care.
Would you like this pet living next door?
Perhaps you’re an other who prefers birds, iguanas, snakes, and fake pets? Roughly 28% of U.S. homes are others. In China, many others house pet crickets in small cages. It’s a popular hobby dating back to 618 AD.
U.S. others feed their crickets to pet bearded dragons. They buy the crickets from a local pet store for about 13 cents apiece and store them in baggies until dinnertime.
If crickets and bearded dragons don’t do it for you, there are 9.5 million fish swimming in chic American tanks; 9.3 million reptiles sunning themselves in the family den; and 14.3 million chatty birds messing up the floor.
Others who prefer to avoid tanks and pooper scoopers can go fake and buy a robo dog.
These guys come with names like CHiP and WowWee. Amazon describes them as “intelligent, friendly robo puppies. Using advanced sensors and smart accessories, CHiP is always alert, and ready to play.”
Their battery is rechargeable.
Choosing a pet can be influenced by critter royalty. In 1922 President Harding was photographed in front of the White House with his dog Laddie Boy (Airedale Terrier).
Library of Congress #LC-USZ62-65041
Theodore Roosevelt moved into the White House with 6 kids and more animals than anyone before. There was Josiah the Badger, Baron Spreckle the hen, and Peter the rabbit. He housed a pony named General Grant, a rat terrier called Skip, and a pig known as Maude. Life was never dull in the TR White House.
President Millard Fillmore owned two ponies named Mason and Dixon.
One of the country’s most famous dog, Fala (Scottish terrier), traveled with President Franklin Roosevelt, met foreign dignitaries, and became an honorary private in the U.S. Army by “contributing” $1 every day to the war effort
The ghosts of Laddie Boy, Skip, Buddy, Barney, Millie, Fala, and others now wander the White House, proving the refrain, “if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
According to Caitlin Gibson in The Washington Post, “Donald Trump is the first commander-in-chief in over a century to not have a pet.”
Maybe Mr. Trump should reconsider his strategy?
After all, a dog can’t leak to the press.