In Dogs We Trust

There are few things in this country we love more than Wal-Mart and the Starbucks drive thru. One of those things is our dogs.

Being a dog owner myself, I know that the love for a dog is comparable, if not equal, to the love of a family member. The happiness my dog brings me is on a completely different level than the happiness that any other human being could give me.

So, I thought that as a tribute to our dogs and our love for them that I would list 10 little known facts about our companions that prove how much we, as a nation, love our dogs. 

1.) An American Animal Hospital Association poll found that 33% of dog owners admit to talking to their dogs on the phone and leaving answering machine messages for them while away

To those who don't own dogs, this may sound extremely silly. To those who do own dogs, this may sound extremely silly, but you can relate.

When you leave a message for your dog, I think that you know deep down inside that the message is more for you than your pup. It's comforting knowing that you are doing everything that you can to keep in touch with your dog and make him feel secure. You also really miss him and you like the thought of him sitting by the answering machine with his tongue out pawing at the speaker because he hears your voice. 

2.) The USA has the highest dog population in the world

The last time I checked, the USA had more than 77 Million dogs within it's boundaries. That's a lot of dog food. 

This insanely high number can probably account for the fact that dog owners are spending more money than ever on their dog. Not only have some dog owners been known to put their health, food, and other critical expenses in front of theirs, but they will also buy their dog extra supplies (like dog treadmills) at the expense of their own well-being; not to mention gifts for dogs that are wrapped with more TLC than gifts wrapped for their own children. Right on.

3.) 58% of families put pets in family and holiday portraits

I couldn't imagine having a family or holiday portrait taken without my two dogs. I don't even attend company picnics if they don't allow my dogs to come with me.

I consider that discrimination on top of the fact that they want me to attend a family event with 50% of my family unable to attend. 

A Doggy Dog Christmas

4.) An estimated 1,000,000 dogs in the U.S. have been named as the primary beneficiaries in their owner's will

That's right kids! Hold on to your trust funds because Fido is coming to take over, and to be honest, who can blame them? 

I can understand people giving their money to their dogs. When you have grandkids hungry for blood and distant relatives looking to pull the cord, you might as well give the money to someone who's not looking for an easy ticket to a beach-side condo. 

I only wonder about the legal ramifications of this. Soon, the USA is going to have to add a few laws to protect the right to the wealth of our dogs. 

5.) More than 1 in 3 American families own a dog

This is probably why the USA owns the most dogs in the world. 

Dogs aren't only for kids either. It is a proven fact (this is a bonus!) that dog owners live longer and healthier lives. 

6.) Rin Tin Tin was the first Hollywood Dog Star and he really signed his movie contracts with a paw print

Rin Tin Tin is perhaps my favorite movie star, dog or otherwise. 

His life is legend, and out of all of his movie contracts (over twenty) and biographies I love this photo the best (see below). 

I'd also like to point out that the fact states that he was the first Hollywood Dog Star. There are many more out there, but Rin Tin Tin will always have a spot in my heart. 

Rin Tin Tin

7.) Franklin Roosevelt spent $15,000 for a destroyer to pick up his Scottie in the Aleutian Islands

I respect this man more than ever. I will gladly pay some tax dollars to help rescue the poor Scottie from such a place! 

On the other hand, how could he have ever left her behind in the first place? Poor little Fala was forgotten and President Roosevelt immediately sent a destroyer to get her. That's what I call doggie love. 

8.) George Washington had 36 dogs - all foxhounds - with one-named Sweet lips

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America himself, owned 36 dogs perhaps planting the seed for America to be the nation with the largest population of dogs. 

9.) 70% of people sign their pet's name on greeting and holiday cards

Yes. I will come right out and admit it. I have tried to somehow color my dog's paws so that he can leave a paw print in a card/letter/random arts & crafts project. It never worked out well for me. 

It probably doesn't work that well for other people since they end up signing the name themselves. 

This fact is in the same territory as family and holiday portraits; it just feels wrong not including them. 

10.) At the end of the Beatles' song

Now I know you are thinking "the Beatles aren't Americans" and that I've gotten all mixed up. Well I haven't. For this article, the Beatles' are going to be American because this fact is just that dog gone good. 

Apparently  Lennon had producer George Martin dub in a high-pitched tone, which most humans can't hear, but makes your pooch go bonkers. This was followed by a loop of studio noise, along with Paul McCartney saying "Never could see any other way," spliced together. The point was that if you didn't have an auto-return on the record player it would make your dog go nuts.

This makes me wonder what other kinds of secret messages are hidden in the songs we listen to every day.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading these facts as much as I've enjoyed writing about them. In the end, we can all agree that out of all the nations in the world, America is the best nation for a dog to live. Even with all the problems we have with animal abuse, ignorance, and lack of awareness, I'd rather have them here than anywhere else. 

With that said, it is important to control the population of our favorite creatures, so that we can enjoy them and maximize the quality of life for those that we have. We are the ones that domesticated them 12,000 years ago, and we should take responsibility for them.