Chart of the day: small dogs

Interesting post from Wonkblog on the rise of small dogs.  The numbers are pretty amazing.  Here’s the key chart:



Wonkblog explains this all as a function of urbanization, but there’s no way that’s near enough to account for this very substantial shift:

Why are America’s pet lovers choosing to raise smaller and smaller dogs?

The clearest reason is likely tied to the national migration to urban areas. Almost 80 percent of the country now lives in cities and their surrounding areas,  where space is harder to come by. It’s of little coincidence that big dogs are much more popular in the south, where land is more plentiful.

“Smaller homes and apartments are helping drive the growing popularity of smaller dogs,” Damian Shore, an analyst at market-research firm Euromonitor, told Quartz last year.

Maybe in part, but I don’t need to do any googling to tell you that the rate of urbanization is absolutely nowhere near the change in preference for smaller dogs.  Clearly, there’s cultural factors at play.

And here’s where I risk offending my readers by sharing my bias against small dogs.  I think a lot of people just naturally think smaller dogs are better for smaller living space, but that’s simply not true.  In my experience, smaller dogs are far more likely to be hyper-active and barky.  The smaller your home, the more annoying that is.  That matters more than the fact that a Labrador takes up a couple more square feet when they’re lying down.  In fact, my current dog, Bennie (about 45 pound Golden mix), is by far my least favorite because he seems to have too much of the small dog personality (actually, he lies around the house peacefully, but he’s so annoying outside around other people and dogs).  Anyway, this is one trend I will not be joining.  Kim, in fact, would love for us to have a Great Dane some day (personally, I’m a little scared of the volume of poop coming out of dog that big).

Photo of the day

Well, it’s a snow day here and everything is shut down in central NC.  This photo from the Telegraph’s photos of the week seemed quite appropriate (alas, the snow here today is way too wet and sticky for good sledding):

Charlie Perkins gets a ride on a sledge from his father, David, as they speed down a snow-covered street in Roanoke, Va. A winter storm blasted parts of the Mid-Atlantic and the South on Tuesday, creating treacherous road conditions and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Charlie Perkins gets a ride on a sledge from his father, David, as they speed down a snow-covered street in Roanoke, VirginiaPicture: AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Don Petersen


How the EPA is causing mental illness

Nice piece from Alec MacGillis on how Obama has taken so much executive action on environmental issues because Congressional Republicans are so amazingly divorced from reality on the matter.  MacGillis uses examples from a recent hearing with the EPA director where the questioning was pretty much incoherent, paranoid rantings about the climate change hoax, etc.  My favorite, though, was on coal regulation:

2. Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia told McCarthy that she was, effectively, responsible for an epidemic of mental illness. “I keep seeing the EPA putting in another regulation on top of another regulation,” he said. “What it’s led, by these overregulation in rural America, it’s led to people, their well-being, their mental health, is all being affected by it. I think we’re having some depression in areas around the county because of the threats of regulation and what it’s doing to jobs … I really believe it’s directly attributed to the regulatory body with it (sic).” [emphasis mine] No mention of the other factors that are putting pressure on the coal industry in his district, such as thenatural gas boom happening very nearby.

Just, wow.  I don’t doubt that the EPA may go too far on occasion in it’s mission to keep our air and water clean, but the cause of mental illness in West Virginians who are always just wondering what regulation is next?!  My, oh, my.  With nuts like this trying to determine our environmental policy, MacGillis is right– is it any wonder Obama is doing all he can through executive authority.

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