Archive for the ‘Life with Dogs’ Category
Like a typical golden retriever, Tasha first holds a stuffed toy with a “soft mouth.” This breed usually holds their prey tightly, but without too much pressure, so as not to actually pierce it. Sometimes they even drop what’s in their mouth.
Not my dog. No matter how big or small the stuffed toy, it doesn’t take Tasha long to get a good grip and start ripping it apart. She’s like a dog maniac on a short-lived mission.
I’ve tried hiding these fuzzy teddy bears, rabbits, and balls, but she can smell them. I wonder what stuffing must smell like.
I’m busy writing away upstairs. Last time I looked, it was 4:00 in the afternoon. Suddenly, I hear my dog Tasha get up off the floor next to me, she shakes, she moves in closer, and I can feel her expectant stare right on me. It’s 5:45, and the dinner routine is about to start–just 15 minutes from can-opening time, and somehow, she knows it. I might still be consumed with work, but at the witching hour, I have no choice but to pull myself away from the computer and out of my chair. I must trundle downstairs to attend to the needs of my dog.
I didn’t mean to train my dog to eat at such a specific time, but 6 o’clock it is–every night. On the dot. If I stay out late, I think Tasha sits beside her food bowl, waiting for me to come home and get on with it. She’s always right where she should be, sitting patiently (but not too patiently), and drooling to her heart’s content.
I live in Seattle, where there are twice as many dogs as kids. I don’t have kids, and I do have a well-loved dog, so this is good to hear–I’m not alone. As I look around, it makes sense that dogs are more popular than ever. Dog owners are devoted to their pets. Dogs demand love—they won’t let us ignore them.
Because we love them so much, dogs are good for business. While our economy has sagged, we are spending as much or more on our dogs. They have become a $50 billion business and an entrepreneur’s best friend. Popular products and services are promoted and sold by featuring dogs, some appearing in TV ads and some between the covers of dog magazines.
The pet market is consistently ranked in the top ten for business opportunities, and as more and more dog owners become “dog people,” things will only get better business-wise. According to the American Pet Products Association, dogs are found in 46.3 million homes across America. (By contrast, cats are in 38 million, freshwater fish in 11 million, birds in 5 million and saltwater fish are last, in just 700,000 homes.)