Having One of These Can Increase Life Expectancy

Get one of these-Pets, that is..And depending on where you live, some places are ever-more-pet-friendly than others..Read on….

(In Asheville,  North Carolina, Critter magazine is dedicated to animals…one more sign attesting to how pet-friendly this town is.  Now, I ask:  “Where else do you ever see this –a mag dedicated to people’s pets?  It’s in bins right alongside the other mags on the region.) critter-magazine-asheville-bigger

 You know that Priceline commercial on TV where “Big Bang Theory’s” Kaley Cuoco appears, interviewing a young man wearing cat t-shirt, at Feline Convention? She asks the convention-goer:   “So where’s your furry friend?” to which he answers, “I don’t have one.”

At that, Kaley dead-pans to TV crew, registering silent disbelief.  She can’t understand a man whose shirt professes to be “All about cats,” doesn’t have one.

I know how it feels to be one of a Pet-less Minority, for the fact my husband and I live in a town (Asheville) where it seems everyone MUST have a dog, for 60% of this town’s population is “All about Dogs.”

Another 10% goes the Feline Route.

If you’re “sans pet,” here, it’s like being a heterosexual, single woman, in an all-male, gay town….You’re a distinct minority.

I was the only Pet-less One, at a party I attended my first year, in Asheville.

I was invited to a Women’s Party. Oh, it was magnificent—an early Thanksgiving get-together for those of us who’d miss family on that auspicious occasion… in whatever states we were from.

Everyone at that party had a dog (or two)…except me.

When folks arrived at the hostess’s home, they opened car doors to release unfettered pets who proceeded to bound across her lawn. They all seemed to know one another (the pets, that is,) greeting each other with big, slobbering kisses.

I looked about:  Shih Tzu’s, labs, beagles, and border collies were everywhere.

When eyes met eyes, it was instant appreciation amid wild exclamations of “Oh, he’s so cute…Look at those eyes!” Then again, “Is it a girl?  “Oh…I see…It’s a male (all laugh.)

Then the purring…the petting…the “Awwwing” over everyone’s version of Doggie Wonder. I began to realize this party was a mere front for showcasing pets; it wasn’t really about us.

I never saw anything like it…Not even when we were all mothers at a much earlier point in life, cooing over infants.

Quite simply–We never gave each other’s babies such rapt adoration.

It got me to thinking:  Of course we didn’t.  It’s so much easier loving Furry Friends.  We’re older now….We know the score. We’ve learned in life.

Babies are one-sided.  Older kids are even worse. They’re not as cute and they’re still taking…or expecting to take. And don’t even get me started on adult “kids.”

We waited years ‘til the tables turned.  In some cases, that never happened.

No… Dogs and cats are waaayyy more appreciative. And considering the IQ of this town (Seriously, has anyone surveyed that, despite the fact it’d be terribly politically-incorrect?), people probably arrived at that conclusion, waaaayyyy earlier than most…

Hence, the love affair with pets. I know of only one outside Asheville spot where owners can’t bring pets..See if you can guess? Put your answer in Comment section below….Then, I’ll add the answer I’m thinking of.  That way we’ll get more info on a subject I know so very little about….

In the meantime, check out this pic (keep clicking on it to enlarge.)  I nearly went off the road, yesterday, in Connecticut, when this went blaring past.  Yep,  I predict: Fleets of these will soon be on highways across America…

So, hotels that cater to pets…restaurants with pet meals on menu (as well as human)…pet resorts…pet camps…..And here’s a list of the Ten Top Pet-Friendly Cities in America...

pet ambulance-betterGot a pet (or two or three)? Is our country “going to the dogs or cats”? Weigh in with your  thoughts…

PS…If you don’t want a live one (pet, that is), get a blow-up, pretend pet like the one little girl walks in the pic.  Then you can exercise about your complex, joining other Pet Friends, while having none of clean-up involved in a real one.

 little girl with fake dog

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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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