According to several pet food industry experts, approximately 67% of American households own at least one pet. The Reid household falls into the other 33%. But it wasn’t always that way. We had a Jack Russell terrier until 2012, when Palmer went to the Rainbow Bridge at age 15½.
I was reminded of that yesterday when I was looking at his toy box. Well, it’s not really a box. It’s a (very) large wicker basket; and it’s full of every dog toy imaginable. Most of them still work, as in “squeak.” There must be a hundred of them, and we’ve never had the heart to throw them away.
Every season and holiday is represented, including squirrels with Santa hats; July Fourth stars and stripes squeaky bones, and a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. There’s also Duke and Carolina toys, representing our split household.
COVID-19 has seen a rise in pet ownership; especially dogs. The virus has drastically limited our upward mobility and social lives. Companionship and love are cherished now more than ever. And what better companion can there be than a dog? If we do decide to get another pet, it will be a dog.
I just don’t think we can have the same affection for other pets such as fish, birds, cats, ferrets, reptiles, gophers or others. I want a pet that can lick my face. That would be a dog. Cats also do that, but you never know what kind of mood they’re going to be in.
Dogs seem to always be in a good mood. They enjoy lying around on the sofa or on your lap. What other pet do you want on your lap? A bird? A gopher? A fish? A snake? I don’t think so. And dogs are great to keep you in good shape.
I see people walking their dogs in our neighborhood every day. I never see anyone walking a ferret, a cat or a bird. I’ve had other pets before, including goldfish. But I just never felt close to them. The only goldfish we have in the house now are made by Pepperidge Farm.
As for me shopping for a dog alone, I’m on a short leash — meaning I better not do it.
If I do, I better have a doghouse built in the backyard. And it better be large enough for me.
Contact Raymond Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Adds is an occasional column reflecting on contemporary life. Send submissions to Kim Mills at email@example.com.
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