What does your choice of pets reveal about you?

With the start of 2010 we wanted to once again ask the basic question “What does your love of animals reveal about you?”

The following are a few highlights of a study done at the University of Oregon.

Question: Why would the University of Oregon College of Business Administration be profiling 667 pet owners?

Answer: People with pets are major players in the world of business. The pet supply industry is vitally interested in what will make you buy that designer dog dish or French day bed.

Oregon’s College of Business Administration graduate students, under the leadership of Lynn Kahle, head of the marketing department, tried to figure out what your choice of a pet says about you. With that essential information, marketers can appeal to your sensibilities and convince you that Precious really does need a plastic bowl with a lid that doubles as a Frisbee.

Here’s what they found with their questionnaire:

–Dog people tend to be more honest and forthright than most other people. They are loyal and religious;

–If you consider yourself to be a cat person, you probably are a bit of a loner yet have fairly high job satisfaction. You tend not to toe the line when it comes to the rules and rituals of an organized religion;

–People who are primarily attracted to fish as pets are more optimistic than most and not as materialistic or concerned about social status.

Kahle concludes, “A more thorough understanding of the motivations, values, and lifestyles of pet owners can help marketers design more effective advertising approaches, both for pet products and in advertisements for non-pet products.” (“We Lavish Love, Money on Our Pets Study Reveals Psyches of Animal Owners” by Ranny Green, Seattle Times, 1993)

So the gathering of this kind of data is how pet commercials are targeted directly at what excites and interests you — not your animal companion.

Well, we have a slightly different take on the subject. We think that not only do animals often reflect a person’s psyche, they also mirror their souls, or the amount of love in their hearts. It’s our opinion that a person who says, “I don’t like animals,” is experiencing a disconnect between the heart and the mind. Ask any animal lover and they will tell you: Animals are our hearts.

Have a little fun with two surveys we wrote that will help you gauge which type of pet most mirrors your personality.

Visit www.angelanimals.net/quiz.html for “Pet Personality Quiz”.

Visit www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Pets/index.aspx for “What’s Your Pet’s Personality?”

On another note, in consideration for animals who struggle to stay alive and be rescued in Haiti, remember the animal organizations that are going there to help.

To keep informed about the animal side of the situation, subscribe to the newsletter provided by www.kinshipcircle.org.

United Animal Nations and other animal welfare and rescue organizations are sending their rescue teams to Haiti. They have formed an umbrella organization called Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH). To learn more about this and donate, go to www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=670
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com

Has one animal led you to another animal in distress?

First published by Angel Animals Story of the Week, January 23, 2010. Reprinted with permission. To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com

By Michele Bonilla

Many years ago when we first moved to Florida, I could not believe all the stray dogs who were wondering around. We lived in the woods on a sparsely traveled dirt road.

One day, I was driving down a nearby street and saw a lot of puppies in the road. I had to see if I could help. As I got closer, the puppies all ran into the woods, including the mom.

I went home to get some food and water for them. As the days went on, I continued to leave food for them. Then one day I could not find them, and they were not eating the food. After looking around, I found six or seven of them under an old broken down mobile home.

Once again, I put out food and water. Still, when they saw me, they ran into the woods. Again, they disappeared. As the days dragged on, I tried to find them but with no luck. It broke my heart. How would they eat? Were they okay?

About a month later, I was out in my yard when this sweet looking dog approached me, wagging his tail. I thought, “You sure don’t like a stray. You’re so beautiful, clean, and happy.” He was a black and white spaniel and did not at all look like the other strays I had seen.

“Where on earth did you come from?” I asked him. He just wagged his tail and looked at me as if he had known me all his life. So out came the dog food and water. He ate and sat down. “Okay,” I said with a smile, “you can stay.”

At that time, I was taking daily walks to the end of the road. Everyday this dog would walk with me. I recently had open-heart surgery. Having him walk with me felt wonderful. He seemed so happy and smiling, staying by my side. It was such a comfort.

One night, when I went out to feed him, he wouldn’t eat. He kept running into the woods and then coming back to his food. “What on earth are you doing?” I thought.

I was very curious and crossed to where he ran into the woods. I could see three little faces looking at me. I recognized them as three of the puppies I had been feeding. They would not come out of the woods to eat.

This sweet dog kept going back in the woods to coax the puppies out so that they could eat. I moved back and again, my new friend returned to the woods. Suddenly the puppies came out of their hiding place. My new friend stood there and let them eat his food. What a great dog he was.

We did this routine every night for about a week or more. Every day I could get a little closer to the puppies. They soon came out on their own to eat.

Then one night, I went to feed them and saw no sign of my smiling friend. I looked all over for him. I called and called. I went down every street and searched for him for days and then weeks. My walks were not the same without him.

Through the years I have thought of him often. He came into my life during a very scary and lonely time. I was staying home after surgery. No one was around to offer companionship, and I didn’t have much to do. This dog brought me the puppies I had worried about.

I am certain he was not a stray. I can only think of one thing — he was an angel. An angel sent to those puppies and to me when we needed him most. I will never forget that beautiful angel dog. To this day I smile, driving down the road we walked together.

As for the three puppies, I named them Boomer, Princess, and Shylow. They stayed with me for a long time. They would never let anyone too close, only me, and only when they wanted me to be near.

Boomer and Princess left, but Shylow stayed with me for almost three years, on her terms. Over the years we built fences to keep our other dogs at home, but Shylow would always jump the fence and roam. One sad day a car hit her.

We tried very hard to get her to the veterinarian, but she ran into the woods. The next morning we found her in the doghouse we had built for her. She had jumped one final fence over to the Rainbow Bridge, where I am sure my angel dog awaited to guide her home.

Michele Bonilla is a 61-year-old young lady. She is married and has two great daughters and seven grandchildren that she loves very much. Michele has six rescue dogs and five rescue cats. One of her dogs was born blind as was one of her cats. She does kitten rescues for kittens who have no moms and takes care of feral cats. She asks that everyone would have their animals neutered or spayed so there would be no more feral cats and stray dogs who have to suffer.


Has one animal led you to another animal in distress?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com