Sunday, February 28, 2010

George and Gracie

Here are my two cats, both adopted from the Humane Society. They are very naughty, but I am so attached to them I often hesitate to travel because —while the neighbors will come in and feed them and they'll be just fine — somebody has to sleep with them.

More on rescuing an animal

An American Animal Hospital Association survey found that three-quarters of pet owners would go into debt to provide for their animals’ well-being. Nearly a third — and almost half of all single people — say that of everyone in their lives, they rely most on their pets for companionship and affection, a Yankelovich survey for American Demographics reveals.
            ~ Jon Katz
            The New Work of Dogs

In fact, a study under way at a major U.S. veterinary school was finding that more than half the married women in its sample told researchers that they got more emotional support from their dogs then from their husbands. (In March 2001, The New York Times reported on a similar survey with almost identical findings.) Their dogs understood them better than some members of their families, they said. More than 80 percent believed their dogs loved them “unconditionally” and would be loyal to them “no matter what.” Almost half said they couldn’t really say the same for their spouses.
            ~ Ibid

In Albert and Bulcroft’s 1988 study “Pets, Families, and the Life Course,” the researchers found that pet ownership is comparatively low among widowed people for a number of reasons: physical frailty, expense, housing restrictions, and a desire for autonomy. Many older people in Montclair also told me they didn’t want to get a dog that would almost surely outlive them.
But for those widowed or single people who own one, a pet can be an important source of affection and companionship. “As givers and receivers of affection,” note Albert and Bulcroft, “pets can contribute to the morale maintenance of people who live alone or with few significant others to play such roles.” And, compared to other animals, the researchers found, dogs are the most adept at playing affectionate and emotionally supportive roles.
~ Ibid

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rescue a pet

Life, Love, And Four Paws

I disagree with Ben Stein on pretty much everything political, but his video essay on 2/15's CBS Sunday Morning brought a tear to my eye.

Check it out:

Ben Stein says "adopt a dog"

He's absolutely right. I would have a dog if I could, but George and Gracie would freak. I adopted them both from the Humane Society -- not siblings, but rescued together -- and they provide much-needed unconditional love. The comic relief is an added bonus. Here they are, doing what they do best. 'Night.

To settle or not?

I enjoyed this interview by Sarah Hepola. Gottlieb says, "I want somebody who has my back and whose back I have, and I want somebody who, when the kitchen sink breaks, can help with that."

And David Ehrenstein replies, "Get a dog -- and for that sink, hire a plumber." (See the comments section.)

No shit.

Lori Gottlieb on "Settling for Mr. Good Enough"

Nonfiction -
Rare is the book that infuriates and captivates like Lori Gottlieb's latest. From its unapologetic goal -- to help unhappy single ladies get hitched! -- to its grabby, "oh no she didn't" title ("Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough"),  women haven't argued about a dating book so ferociously since we first learned he just wasn't that into us. "Surprisingly, unnervingly convincing," wrote Alex Kuczynski at O magazine, while over at the Daily Beast, Liesl Schillinger tarred it as "whining, capricious, corrosive." In the meantime,  Tobey Maguire's production company snapped up the movie rights, and Gottlieb has been interviewed everywhere from Dr. Phil to the "Today" show.