How dogs in the USA turned into family members - ForumDaily
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How dogs in the USA turned into family members

Фото: Depositphotos

This year, on TV screens all over the world, you can see how Americans are saving not only children and property, but also pets, from hurricanes, sometimes carrying dogs and cats in their arms, standing in the water to the waist, as something most precious that they have there is.

The news reports not only the number of people rescued, but also the number of pets. Representatives of the local authorities in Florida tired of saying: “They allow animals to the evacuation centers so that people do not put themselves in danger, for fear of leaving their beloved Rex or Molly alone.”

A few years ago, such stories caused me a little bewilderment. And now, becoming the mistress myself, but rather the dog’s “foster mother”, I fully understand them.

We decided to start a dog two years ago. To do this, went to the online store PetSmart, where they sell pet products. Volunteers bring there for the weekend dogs, which they take in shelters for stray animals for temporary residence and education, until there is a permanent owner for them.

These shelters are run by animal welfare societies, which are fully funded by donations. By the way, my sister, who at that time lived in Oklahoma City, was also such a volunteer. Many dogs passed through her house, but most of all she remembered her first lodger: he was only released from prison, where he participated in the rehabilitation of prisoners. He was a wonderful dog, but he was suspicious of people in sunglasses. Probably because in prison only the wardens wore glasses, suggests my sister.

Bye in PetSmart I critically examined dogs, my husband with a thin puppy with a narrow muzzle emerged from the crowd. “I found him,” he said triumphantly, after which I realized that you could forget about the other candidates for adoption.

After we decided on the dog, we were sent to an interview with a strict-looking woman who, in the aisle between the shelves with goods, was wondering if we could be trusted with a pet and was terrified by the responsibility we take. "We can handle, aunt," we urged her. In the end, the dog, which we called Zakk, was entrusted to us, was given a certificate, for which we paid $ 150, and also gave coupons for his dowry.

A dog in the United States is the same element of an exemplary American family, as is its own house, surrounded by a white fence, and a couple of children of similar age. By the way, in the US there are more households with dogs than with children. Moreover, they calculated the tireless researchers, 60-80% of dogs sleep in the same bed with the owners.

Dogs are the most popular pets. They are followed by cats, fish, birds and various exotic things. Restrictions on the content of wild animals as pets in different states are different, and in some they simply do not. So, if your neighbor in North Carolina or Georgia keeps a kangaroo or a lion at home, then it makes no sense to make claims - all by law.

A dog in the USA is an expensive pleasure. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent 2016 a billion dollars in 62,75 on food and medical services for their pets. Moreover, these costs have steadily increased in recent years, despite the recession.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has already calculated that keeping one small dog will cost its owner $1314 in the first year (it will be a little cheaper thereafter), and a large one will cost $1843. If you want animal society, but don’t mind the money – keeping a mouse or rat costs $340, and keeping a fish costs $235.

Basic expenses - food, medical expenses, and services such as walking the animal or keeping the hotel when the owners are on vacation. When my husband is traveling, an employee of a dog walking company comes to our house for half an hour - let our pet out play and do his business in the yard. We did not manage to receive such detailed reports on the behavior and successes of our dog from our teachers in the kindergarten!

Although we try to take the dog everywhere with us, we left it at the hotel a couple of times. We assume that she perceives this as a disciplinary institution, because she always returns with improved behavior.

The hotel, of course, he has not a prison type, but without luxury. Those who have nowhere to put money, can place their pets in luxury hotels, the night in which will cost about $ 100 per pet. In the USA, there are even special airlines for pets - this, of course, is for those who feel sorry for sending their own plane or ordering a charter.

But the costs of animals are not limited to this. Valentine's Day is a real bonanza not only for sellers of flowers and chocolate, but also for various goods for animals - clothes, toys, even perfumes. In online stores you can find music written specifically for cats, dog clothes or a special stroller for walking aquarium fish. Just do not think that all Americans who have pets, buy it - for most of them it looks like an unnecessary and ridiculous whim.

Over the past 100 years, the relationship between people and pets has changed significantly

Previously, the status of dogs and cats was not much different from the status of other pets: they were kept for the sake of work - hunting or helping herders. They lived in the yard, in a booth or in a barn. And today, most people keep dogs, cats and other pets for the sake of company and treat them like children - in the US, few people will be surprised to celebrate the birthday of their Jack or Kitty.

And in recent years, the idea of ​​the health benefits offered by pets has become increasingly popular. They reduce the risk of developing allergies in children, make the owners move more, help overcome the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

And if a person is lonely, the dog is not only her friend, but also the best matchmaker. Walking the dog is the best way to get the attention of the opposite sex. It’s hard to think of a simpler way to start a conversation than “Oh, what a cute dog you have.” And two people with dogs - communication can no longer be avoided, especially with such a sociable dog as my Zack. By the way, in the US, in some restaurants, you can also go with dogs.

According to some studies, interaction with dogs also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. And although such effects are poorly investigated, this does not prevent many Americans from believing in them. In the US, there is even a special therapy when volunteers come with dogs to the hospital and nursing homes to give them the opportunity to “talk” with dogs, as well as special classes at libraries where children read books to dogs.

Man’s love for pets has a deep history and may have made a great contribution to human civilization. Paleo-anthropologist Pat Shipman believes that domestic animals have become a kind of life hacking for prehistoric people: in order not to evolve a powerful sense of smell and strong legs to run after antelope, you can teach a dog to do it; so as not to grow our own claws and guard barns with grain from mice, you can “make friends” with cats.

And when the dog settles in the house, I’ll add from the position of the owner of a big puppy, as a result of hours of joint ball games, long walks, watching TV shows in an embrace with a fluffy friend and, let's not fool anyone, for nights with a dog in the legs, for family members with it creates a strong emotional connection. But if our city is flooded, then I still will not carry my dog ​​in my arms. I'll take a child or a backpack, because Zack is too heavy for me. This is the responsibility of men.

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