Where humans go, pets go. Birds of the parrot family, when kept as pets, tend to to love it when they can ride on their owner’s shoulders. Well, that makes sense. It’s like a safe perch in a tree that moves from place to place!
It turns out that you can map European settlement patterns in the New World by studying the genes of the general, semi-feral cat populations. Dogs are more closely held pets than cats. We keep better track of our dogs, and are at greater pains to breed them deliberately. Cats not so much – cats have historically fended for themselves a lot more than dogs. I read somewhere that cat genetic markers can differentiate, say, where Dutch people settled, or didn’t, in America.
We are more mobile than ever. Many hotels and motels bill themselves as pet-friendly and many freeway rest stops have special pet rest areas, marked as such. There aren’t that many cats that are great travelers, but dogs love it. Go somewhere with the human? Yesyesyes! Good dog!
Believe it or not, there are some general aviation pilots who take dogs along—and dogs that seem to like it. This does create a problem not found in cars. Small airplanes have a lot of engine noise. So: manufacturers have come with noise-reduction or noise-cancelling headphones for Fido.
Says Sporty’s, a famed aviation shop, in their online copy:
You wear ear protection in the cockpit, shouldn’t your dog? Protect your four-legged family member’s ears with Mutt Muffs. Specifically engineered to meet the curvature of a dog’s head, these hearing protectors will drastically reduce the sound level for your pet.
Reviewers report that the muffs probably work better on large dogs than small. Further, you can’t really ask the dog if it works!
Then there is the 80-year-old Texas man, Eugene Bostick, who rescues abandoned dogs and has built a train of sorts to take them to the creek once a week. Each dog has a dog-sized car (made from a plastic drum, with something like wagon wheels) in the train, which is pulled by Mr. Bostick’s tractor, and they love it.
And what about space, what about other planets, and even the stars? Oh yes, I’m sure of it. Our pets will go there too.
Alexis Glynn Latner writes speculative fiction and belong to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She also works at the Rice University Library in Houston, Texas and teaches creative writing through Rice University’s School of Continuing Studies. When not taking flights of the mind – i.e., working on books and stories – her favorite activity is flying sailplanes. She has a private pilot glider rating. The sky always beckons. Find out more about Alexis on her website.
I’d like to thank Alexis for stopping by to share her thoughts about the mobility of pets! I did not know they used cats to study migration patterns. Very cool.
What about you? Did you know this about your pets? Ever bought ear protection for your dog? Are you, like Carrie Fisher, wishing there were more Pets in Space?
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