Economics of Dog Ownership

My mom Cathy was discussing Richard Florida’s book, Who is Your City.

“Florida’s right about home ownership,” she was saying. “He says home ownership restricts mobility. He’s got some good ideas about revising rentals.

“But,” she went on, “he missed some other factors that keep us from being mobile. Health insurance is a biggie.”

Right. But what was his greatest omission?

Richard Florida says that communities who welcome gay and lesbian couples enjoy greater economic prosperity than those who don’t.

But what about cities who welcome Canine Urban Princes and Princesses? Seattle would rank Number 1 – and it’s one of the most prosperous cities in the United States. Lots of jobs. Ridiculous property values.

When Mom wanted to move from New Mexico, she chose Seattle because the city is more dog-friendly than her other choices. She’s never been crazy about the rain. But she loves the dog parks and the fact that I’m welcome in all sorts of places. She loves taking me on buses.

And when dogs are welcome, owners spend more discretionary income.

At one time, our favorite coffee shop, Uptown Espresso in Belltown, allowed dogs. You’d see me and my canine friends, snoozing away under the tables. One lady even brought me a muffin because I was so good. (My mom refused to let me eat it, of course.)

Then the Health Department stepped in. No more dogs! Now Cathy makes her own coffee at home most of the time.

It’s not exactly scientific. After all, I’m a dog. What do you expect – controlled experiments?

Maybe Richard Florida’s next book will have a place for dogs. If they need cover art, I’m prepared to pose naked, with or without a moving van.

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