February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day.1 It’s estimated that 85 Million households in the US owned a pet in 2018!
Count many of us at Aspyre Wealth Partners in the 85 million, mostly with dogs. My dog Quincy is a loveable, 82 pound (give or take) golden retriever who loves walks, belly-rubs, taking naps, chasing squirrels, eating, chewing sticks, and is my shadow. Speaking of shadows, she is also afraid of anything that is not “routine”. Currently, my home is undergoing a remodeling project and Quincy finds the zippered plastic doors between the rooms terrifying!
They say that dogs and their masters often look alike. I don’t know about that, but Quincy is like me in many respects. Unfortunately, most of these things cost money. We are on the same slow thyroid medicine –the same pill, in different dosage! She has arthritis in her knee, I have arthritis in my back and hands! She and I both love to hang out on our patio and say hello to the neighbors walking past. She loves doing yoga with me – a true downward dog! Quincy assumes that anyone visiting the house is there to see her, forever putting her paw out on the humans for attention. I foolishly believe that most of these humans are there to see me, but perhaps I’m deluding myself.
My colleague Jamie’s Corgi Milton is the star of Jamie’s recently published book, “Milton the Money Savvy Pup”. Milton is a Rockstar now, visiting children’s classes so Jamie can introduce basic money principles to youngsters. Milton sits quietly while Jamie reads the book to the class. Quincy would flunk this test, instead going around licking each kid whether they liked her or not.
Chrissy’s household includes three dogs – Rio, KC, and Chief. Guess who the passionate Chiefs fan is! Rio, a pug, is the old man of the trio at 13 years old. KC, a Brittany Spaniel mix is 6 and the Diva of the family. Chief is a 90-pound German Shepard-Mastiff mix, with an Eeyore face and personality. When sirens go by, the trio breaks into the “squad song”, howling in unison with the sirens!
Willy and Izzy are members of Matt’s household. Willy is a 9-year-old King Charges Cavalier, who recently suffered an ACL injury when playing with his human sister. It hasn’t slowed him down at all. Izzy the cat is Willy’s buddy.
Amanda’s family includes two adorable golden doodles, 6-year-old Harper and 5-year-old Charley. Charley is a bundle of energy and loves to chase (and more often), be chased by his human “sister”, 3-year-old Emerson. The benefit is that it wears both out! Harper is lower key, a snuggle buddy for everyone. Both enjoy treats and food, particularly the food dropped on the floor by the kids.
Heather’s Bentley is a social butterfly, the most popular pup at the dog park on weekends! He introduces himself to all dogs and humans, garnering lots of attention. Bentley, a 7.5-year-old Goldendoodle, loves vanilla ice cream at Sonic and charms the car hops. Although trying for 7 years, Bentley has yet to show a knack for catching a frisbee.
Frankie, a 3-year-old Chinapoo, rules the house at Mimi’s. Frankie has an overbite which leads to a crazy grin each time she looks at you. Proving that dogs provide us with laughs just by being who they are!
Tom’s pup Lily is 1.5-year-old loveable Labrador retriever, the most loving lab their family has had over the years. Her official name is Tiger Lily after the princess in Peter Pan! She is also an Alpha female, often mixing it up with her human siblings.
Jessi’s household includes Walter, a 100-pound bundle of sweetness golden retriever who loves to go for walks and runs, go to the gym, plus play with his hedgehog toy. Walter shows his inherent nature by always looking for something to put into his mouth to greet visitors. If you meet Walter, make sure you stand firm, as his “lean-in” snuggle may knock you over! Todd the cat also resides here, putting up with Walter by mostly avoiding him. Todd recently began admiring himself in the magnifying mirror!
Research shows that pets help people lead healthier and happier lives. Dogs encourage us to maintain our walking routines and snuggle to comfort us when we are down, injured or sick. We can also socialize with our dogs with the boom of dog parks! As humans, we reap all these benefits, and all we need to do is feed them, take care of them and in return receive unconditional love. That’s a financial planner’s dream – priceless!
It’s a great day for all of us to show some extra love to our pets – I’m sure my Aspyre teammates will.
Share with us stories of your pets and how you will celebrate them today!
Today also happens to be Quincy’s birthday, another reason to celebrate. Gotta go – time for a belly-rub and special birthday cake for Quincy!
Joni Lindquist, CFP®, MBA; is a Principal at Aspyre Wealth Partners. When not walking or hanging out with Quincy, she is a career/executive coach and financial planner, helping clients reach for their aspirations. Aspyre helps clients Master What’s Next, no matter what phase of life they are in. For help with your specific situation contact Joni Lindquist at jlindquist@AspyreWealth.com, (913) 345-1881 or visit our website at AspyreWealth.com.
1 American Pet Products Association, National Pet Owners Survey 2017-2018