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Personal Adds: Is pet ownership up? Doggone right it is.
Personal Adds

Personal Adds: Is pet ownership up? Doggone right it is.

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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

Personal Adds is an occasional column reflecting on contemporary life. Send submissions to Kim Mills at

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