Because my dog is at my feet, I have to say this…Dogs Most Popular Pets
It is true that most pet partners are owned by their dog. However, our daughter Emily would argue that cats are the best pets. They are easier to maintain and when they love you, they are very loyal.
Americans are spending more money on our dogs than ever before. Actually, this is one deciding factor in my authoring more pet books. For 25 years I have written excellent parenting books and my best selling book is “I Lost My Best Friend Today—Dealing With The Loss of a Pet.” It is also why I decided to start charging for my Pet Grief Coaching. I was getting more clients with pet problems than parenting problems.
In America, the average owner can expect to shell out a minimum of $11,500 in the course of a dog’s life. Depending on which study you look at, anywhere from 87 to 99 percent of dog owners report they see and accept their dogs as family members.
Animal Human Connection
Carolyn Knapp of “The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs” shares: Dogs can be aggressive and stubborn and willful. They can be difficult to read and understand. They can (and do) evoke oceans of complicated feelings on the part of their owners, confusion and ambivalence about what it means to be responsible, forceful (or not), depended on/ They can push huge buttons, sometimes even more directly than humans can, because they’re such unambiguous creatures, so in-your-face when it comes to expressing their own needs and drives: if you got problems asserting authority, or insecurities about leadership, or fears about being either in or out of control, you’re likely to get hit in the face with them from day one.
In my view, dogs can be shamanistic, can be heroic and gentle and wise and enormously healing, but for the most part dogs are dogs, creatures governed by their own biological imperatives and codes of conduct, and we do both them and our relationships with them a disservice when we romanticize them. “
That said, I also believe that pets can—and often do—lead us into a world that is qualitatively different from the world of people, a place that can transform us. Fall in love with a pet, and in many ways you enter a new orbit, a universe that features not just new colors but new rituals, new rules, a new way of experiencing attachment.“
After Dogs and Cats Come Other Pets
The next most popular choice for pets classified as exotic are members of the rabbit, reptile and rodent families. While the histories of dog and cat domestication are much longer, people have also been sharing their lives with these less common pets for a long time.
Rabbits, which were owned by more than 1.8 million people in 2012, were kept in large colonies by the ancient Romans, but did not become the subject of selective breeding until the Middle Ages. Records exist of new breeds being created in the 16th century. Three hundred years later, in the 19th century, breeders began hosting exhibitions in Western Europe and the United States, though the breed standards didn’t much reflect value in human-rabbit relations other than interactions that ended in the rabbit dying. These exhibitions stressed the importance of fur-bearing, meat quality, or wool-potential.
Animals Are Good For Us
Bunnies typically don’t require the same amount of exercise as a dog, but there are still studies that point to health benefits of holding the animals. A 2011 study found that women who held rabbits for a few minutes had lower cortisol levels.
Other experiments have used the pets as a form of therapy for children suffering serious illnesses or coping with intense self-esteem issues.When I wrote the book “Raise Resilient Bounce-Back Kids” I interviewed 5th and 6th-grade kids about how they handled disappointments. The number one remedy was to cuddle with their pet. If they did not have a live pet, they used a stuffed toy or warm blanket. If your child is having an emotional time at school, make sure they have a loving pet and family to greet them when they come home.
About The Author
Judy is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books and many articles and speaks all over the world on family issues. She works with Head Start organizations and child care resource centers. She and Dwain, her husband of 40 years, have six grown children and nine grandchildren. They consider their greatest success in life that their children like themselves and each other.
The symbol of the artichoke has great meaning for Judy in her teaching and writing. As she works with families, she sees that frequently only the outer edges are exposed and they can be prickly and sometimes bitter to the taste. But, as you expose the artichoke and people to warmth, caring, and time, gradually the leaves begin to open and expose the real treasure—the heart.
The artichoke also became a teaching lesson when Judy, with her young family, moved into military housing in California to find Artichokes in their yard. Given that it takes two years for the herb to flower, the original gardener never got to see the seeds of her labor. Many times, our actions and reactions in life are felt by people we will never meet, but we plant the seeds of kindness anyway.
You will enjoy Judy’s approachable manner, wonderful storytelling and common-sense solutions gleaned from working with hundreds of families and organizations just like yours. Your encounter with Judy will leave you feeling inspired, entertained and especially motivated. Visit Judy’s website for excellent references and a full listing of books, topics, past clients and testimonials.
To make arrangements for your group or organization to enjoy having Judy present a keynote address, workshop or training session, please contact her at:
Judy H. Wright
(406) 549-9813, email Judy at JudyWright@ArtichokePress.com
Finding the heart of the story in the journey of life.
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