THE SECRET LIFE OF AUSTRALIAN PET OWNERS written by Pawshake 2016
I love secrets! That’s why I spend so much time reading WeeMails left for me by my doggie friends. I discover where my mates are, whether they are going for walks, and of course, The WeeMails tell me all the neighbourhood gossip. This includes who is new to Subiaco, who needs me to visit because they live behind a high fence and are lonely, and if there are any new cats in the area I need to avoid.
Here are some secret Pawshake discovered about cat and dog owners.
Research reveals 87.5 per cent of Australians love their pets so much they would give up their dream home for them
Pawshake research reveals that being a pet owner has a significant impact on life choices and behaviours – from home living and the local community – to social lives and relationships.
KoKo and a loving friend in Subiaco
Pets vs. Home – real estate agents take note
In addition to Australia facing soaring housing prices and rising rent making it difficult to look for a place to live, Australians are still willing to factor in one other priority – their pets. A survey released today by pet-sitting community Pawshake has found that 87.5 per cent of Australians wouldn’t rent or buy their dream home if it didn’t allow their beloved pets.
Pet vs. Family – watch out kids
Revealing Australia’s love for our furry friends, the survey also looks into the habits of pet owners in the context of family life at home. Surprisingly, two-thirds (67 per cent) of Australians would choose a pet over a child if they could only afford one or the other.
Australians also seem more forgiving of their pet than their child, with 77.5 per cent admitting they would be angrier at their child than their pet for ruining a piece of furniture at home. More than half (59 percent) also admitted they would feel guiltier if they forgot to feed their pet than their child.
Dog with Animal Physio Leigh
Pets vs. Neighbours – knock-knock, who’s there?
The love for pets doesn’t stop there with 74.9 per cent of Australians saying they would recognise a neighbours’ pet before they would their neighbour and seven in ten (70.3 per cent) going on to say there are pets in their neighbourhood whose name they know and who’s owner’s name they don’t know.
Not only are pets included as part of the neighbourhood, they’re also included in life’s milestones, with 67.7 percent of pet owners signing greeting cards for their pet and over half (57.7 percent) going as far as imagining their dog’s voice!
Pets vs. Health – are you calling my pet fat?
It seems that pet owners care for their pets so much that almost nine in ten (87.7 per cent) take their pet to the vet more than they would take themselves to the doctor. This care for their pets’ well-being is further evident when it comes to how their pets look, with half (50.5 percent) of pet owners admitting they are sensitive to any comments other people make about the weight of their pet.
Pets vs. Social Life – it’s not you, it’s my dog
The influence of one’s pet is also prevalent in pet owners’ social lives with almost all (95.9 percent) willing to sacrifice treating themselves in favour of treating their pets, from a meal to a night out and from a haircut to new clothes if needed. 78.5 percent also admitted they would put their pet before their love life and stop dating someone if they discovered they weren’t a pet lover.
However, the influence of pets on the lives of Australian’s dogs stop at the haircut. Contrary to popular stereotyping (and to our disappointment), only 8.6 percent of people have admitted they have had or currently have a similar hairstyle to their pet.
KoKo looking glamorous – with my groomer Michelle
1,125 Australian pet owners responded to this survey in November 2016.
Each morning my human Mum Helen promises me we will go for a walk soon. Then she gets into the shower,then dresses. When she sits down to eat her breakfast I remind her of her promise. “Bark, Bark, Bark” I yell. She says “Just wait please KoKo, we will go for a walk soon.”
Eventually, she lets me escape out the front door and follows to put my lead on. “We are going for a walk KoKo. You will meet lots of doggies and can read some exciting new Weemails left by your doggie mates” she says.
My tail wags back and forth, back and forth, as my grin spreads across my furry face. The thought of a walk excites me.
Then Mum goes back inside the house saying “I will just hang the washing out KoKo then we will go for a walk.” Promises, promises, I mutter as I sniff my empty breakfast bowl.
“Woof, Woof” I yell “Come and give me my food Mum!” Finally, she appears again at the front door, puts my food in a bowl and makes another promise. “We will go for a walk soon KoKo.”
But then she goes back inside again calling out “I have to get my keys KoKo.” I sink down flat on the veranda. Will she forget her promise and leave me here pining for adventure?
No, here she is at last, we are running out the gate and around to the park.
Promises are meant to be kept. Sometimes we doggies just have to be patient.
My Mum Helen and I are dropping into Waroona tomorrow to leave you some comfy beds, food and toys, for those of you who have lost your homes. I hope some of you get to enjoy our contributions from the Subiaco and Hillary’s dogs. We know you will be feeling tired and anxious so some of us left our Wee-Mails on the blankets to enable you to smell of our concern and warm wishes.
I would also like to invite you to tell your tales on my blog at some point in the future. You can bark about your escape or woof about the sadness of loosing your mates and home. Or maybe you could tell us of your new lives now that homes are being rebuilt.
My Mum is good at translating Wee-mails but we live a bit far away. We might have to come down to visit when things have settled a bit.
My Mum loves taking photos of animals so if you would like to be the centre of attention, please let your humans know.
Every morning I catch up on the local gossip from my dog friends. I read up to 20 WeeMails on my one kilometre walk with my mum. As I am very polite, I always instantly leave a WeePly on the bush.
I run very quickly up lanes and along streets. Mum lets me choose which way we go in the mornings. Eventually as my little paws tire, I slow down and walk “at heel” as a good dog should.
I am very happy that the morning’s winter darkness is now starting to lift and I can see my way better. I have mentioned in an earlier blog that we dogs have a GPS (Global Positioning System) in our heads so that we are we accurate with direction. No matter where we are as soon as mum turns towards home, I know, and I jam my feet into the pavement just to let her know that I am not ready to go home yet. Sometimes we have a little altercation but I let her win, as she has to go to work.
If mum does not go to work, she cannot buy me food and treats. I understand when to give in.
Plea for comments
By the way……………. I love feedback! As this is my first attempt at creative writing (and I am only seven years old), I would love you to comment on my blog. I would also appreciate it if you could share my blog with your friends if you think they may enjoy it too.
Well, here I am at last, finally putting paws to paper (I mean keyboard!)
My name is KoKo.
I am a famous coffee drinking dog, from Subiaco in Western Australia. My blog allows me to share my adventures, doggie disasters and local community events in Subiaco.
The following dog’s tail (whoops! I mean tale) is about my nearly nine years of living in Subiaco from April 2006 until December 2014. It is only a short history as I am only a little dog.
In my Dog Blog I share tales of fun moments and sad events, stories of my dog friends and of the people who pat me. I talk about the parks I visit, the rangers I meet and the work I do as a responsible Subiaco Resident. I will also excite you with tales of my adventures in this leafy suburb.
You will discover while reading this tale that I am not just any dog, for I am a clever Subiaco dog. I see, smell, hear and think a lot as I walk around streets and lanes near my home. As I cannot write or speak human English I asked my Mum to write down my thoughts for me in words you will understand.My Mum is very clever too and also takes all the photos.
When you see me in the street, I will probably have my nose to the ground. You may wonder what I am doing. I am reading Weemails from my friends! Being a polite dog, I always leave a Weeply on the Weetrees planted for us by the City of Subiaco workers. The workers really do look after us well – they even put Weetrees on roundabouts in case we need to leave an urgent Weemail!