In de Democratische primary stemt mijn hond voor …maart 3, 2020
Until recently, I was unaware of the “pets as people” movement. I did, of course, know that some animals have sought representation in American courts. And, just by ambling through the supermarket aisles, I knew that pets were quaffing gourmet foods, e.g., Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine with Roasted Fowl that Morris, “the world’s most finicky cat,” could only dream of.
But I didn’t know that:
▪ Dog DNA testing is very much in vogue. For a mere $189, Embark, which has partnered with Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, can tell if your pet has any wolf, coyote, or “village dog” in its background. The great fear among dog owners is to find “Staffordshire terrier” in Fido’s double helix. “Staffordshire terrier” can be classified as a pit bull, and, well, there goes the neighborhood, to say nothing of the pedigree.
▪ America has recognized well over 100 pet holidays. According to dogtipper.com, February is Pet Dental Health Month, August 5 is Work Like a Dog Day, and so on. The whole idea of pet holidays seems jejune, given that dogs and cats seem to be enjoying a permanent vacation, judging from where I sit.
▪ The primary beneficiaries of the changes in marijuana legalization appear to be . . . pets. “The ‘pets as people’ movement not only means taking care of pets physically but emotionally as well, including when it comes to stress reduction,” Marissa Heflin writes on the website Pet Product News. There is no shortage of CBD products for Fido and Felix, including CBD-infused Peanut Butter Pouches, and The Barking Dog’s Edibites, available in two flavors: sushi and pizza.
What’s next? Pets get the vote?
Funny you should ask.
Because the science of animal polling is still in its infancy, I approached my wife’s West Highland terrier, Mica, to divine her intentions vis-a-vis the 2020 elections. (Note: This exchange has been edited for clarity.)
AB: Whom do you like in 2020?
AB: I didn’t know that. Unfortunately, he’s no longer running for president.
M: I tell you, New York is one dog-friendly town! I’m assuming you’ve seen Mike Bloomberg’s all-dog ad? “I lick Mike” — very funny!
AB: In a canine sort of way, I guess. You remember when I had you read that Politico story, right? How cats are Republicans and dogs are Democrats? The author argued that dogs are “bleeding-heart liberals” who “want to save the world generally.”
M: Yeah, I’m saving the world, one bone at a time. Did you see that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s golden retriever has his own Twitter feed, @FirstDogBailey? He hasn’t posted much since Iowa, I notice.
Hi! I’m Bailey Warren. I like long walks, belly rubs, and financial regulations that hold billionaires and corporations accountable.
— Bailey Warren (@FirstDogBailey) January 7, 2019
AB: Well, there’s not much to say when you’re @FifthDogBailey.
M: You know how retrievers are — they jump back up. Speaking of the future, if there’s a change in administration, will I get to keep my Donald Trump chew toy?
AB: Don’t worry, you’re covered. That’s a preexisting condition.
Alex Beam’s column appears regularly in the Globe. Follow him on Twitter @imalexbeamyrnot.