Sunday, March 7, 2010
Dogs have been in the news lately. The cruelty surrounding Michael Vick's dog fighting ring outraged Americans. On the other end of the spectrum, when billionaire Leona Helmsley died in 2007 she left her dog, "Trouble", $12 million dollars but left two of her grandchildren nothing! Most Americans love pets. Do we love them more than we love people?
Americans care about pets more today than ever before. Nearly two thirds (63%) of households have a pet and pet lovers spent $38.5 billion on their pets in 2006 alone. We can only guess that number is still climbing. Research tells us, according to the president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 42% of pets sleep in the same bed as their owners. I found no statistics telling what percentage of people are sharing their beds with other humans, but it's obvious that pets are catching up!
Before you start to worry that Trouble Helmsley is going to blow that $12 million on gourmet doggie treats or lose it all in Vegas with some dog of questionable breeding, or worse, fall for some Internet scam, relax. The $12 million is in a trust for the pup and Helmsley's brother is the trustee. So forget about sending your gold digging Retriever to sniff around Trouble.
To be fair, I should mention that the late Leona Helmsley left the bulk of her money (billions) to charity. But she still left $12 big ones to her dog! WOOF!
So love your pets and spoil them like crazy but don't try to turn them into people. Why would you want to knock them down to our level??