It’s a sure cure for loneliness, holiday blues

Posted on 21 Dec 2007 at 12:14am
By David Web “The Rare Reporter”


David Webb “The Rare Reporter”

You should add a pet to your household as most gay folks do

Now, there are two survey results confirming what I already thought LGBT adults are more likely to own a pet than straight people.

A nationwide survey of 2,455 U.S. adults, including 158 gay and lesbian people ages 18 and over, was conducted Nov. 7-13, by Harris Interactive, a market research firm. The survey was undertaken with the support of the LGBT public relations and marketing firm Witeck-Combs Communications.

The survey showed that seven out of 10 gay and lesbian adults own pets, compared to 63 percent of heterosexual adults. Ninety percent of the LGBT respondents said they considered their pets part of the family, and 64 percent said they had bought their pet a holiday present in the past.

A spokesman for the marketing company noted that “Americans have well deserved reputations as animal lovers and pet owners, and our latest findings underscore that LGBT Americans are among the most avid.”

I thought as much, but I decided to confirm their data by surveying the Dallas Voice’s staff.

Of the newspaper’s 17 full-time staff members [16 of whom are gay and lesbian and one of whom is a straight woman] 12 or, 75 percent, share their lives with a pet. Of those 12, nine of them, or 75 percent, said they had given their pets holiday presents in the past.
And how many of the 12 full-time employees in our office consider their pets to be part of their families? An overwhelming 100 percent responded yes.

When I was doing my survey in the office I quickly learned just how important pets are to the staff not only to the pet owners but also to the five non-pet owners. All of the ones who do not currently live with pets tried to get me to put their names in the yes column because they have owned pets in the past. They even tried to sway me by pointing out that they had hung Christmas stockings for their previous pets in years’ past. They pointed out that they didn’t currently have a pet because of circumstances beyond their control, such as not being able to give a pet enough of their time.

With regret, I refused their pleas to be included on the yes side of the column in the interest of keeping my survey totally scientific.

The only concession I made in my survey was to include the straight woman in my results with the gay men and lesbians. She told me she was willing to pretend to be a lesbian if she could take part in it.

Now, that’s what I call devotion to a pet.

If you’re wondering where I fell in this survey, allow me to tell you about my two little darlings: Queenie, a white female schnoodle [a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle] who rules the house, and Butch, a silver male schnauzer.

They are the most important individuals in my life seriously.
You see, when I’m home with them I never feel like I’m alone.

E-mail webb@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 21, 2007.

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