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Dr. Curtis Welch was worried: Multiple online destinations cover this story. For one example, see Christopher Klein’s “The Sled Dog Relay That Inspired the Iditarod” for the History channel’s website at (, originally published on March 10, 2014, and updated August 31, 2018.


More than half of US households own pets: See the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “U.S. pet ownership statistics” at

By some estimates, 12 percent of adults with children under the age of eighteen adopted pets because of the pandemic: See Packaged Fact’s “U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2020-2021: The COVID-19 Impact (June 2020 Update),” published June 22, 2020, Pub ID: LA15558259,

A growing body of evidence links dogs to good health: See the Center for Disease Control’s “Healthy Pets, Healthy People” page at Also see: Maria Cohut, “Dogs: Our Best Friends in Sickness and in Health,” for Medical News Today at


dog ownership is linked to a 24 percent reduced risk of dying from anything: Mwenya Mubanga, et al., “Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 12, no. 10 (2019). doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.005342.


In 2014, Scottish scientists calculated that owning a dog, particularly later in your life, can turn back the aging clock: See Zhiqiang Feng, et al., “Dog Ownership and Physical Activity in Later Life: A Cross-sectional Observational Study,” Preventive Medicine 66 (September 2014): 101–6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.06.004. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

dogs in fact introduced Darwin to the systematic study of nature: See Dr. David Allan Feller’s thesis “Heir of the Dog: Canine Influences on Charles Darwin’s Theories of Natural Selection,” May 2005, University of Hawaii Library,


Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs: See T. W. Lewis, et al., “Longevity and Mortality in Kennel Club Registered Dog Breeds in the UK in 2014,” Canine Genet Epidemiol 5, no. 10 (2018).


In 2020, historical geographers who analyze the changing relationship between humans and animals: See Eric Tourigny, “Do All Dogs Go to Heaven? Tracking Human-animal Relationships through the Archaeological Survey of Pet Cemeteries,” Antiquity 94, no. 378 (2020): 1614–29.

New York made it legal for pets to be buried with their owners in human cemeteries
: See Sarah Maslin Nir, “Eternal Rest, With Your Pet at Your Side,” New York Times, October 7, 2016, Section A, Page 20.


One in three Pugs cannot walk properly: See Cecilia Rohdin, et al., “High Prevalence of Gait Abnormalities in Pugs,” Vet Record 182, no. 6 (February 2018): 167. DOI: 10.1136/vr.104510. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Seven out of ten Dobermans carry one or both genes for dilated cardiomyopathy: See Theresa-Bernadette Mausberg, et al., “A Locus on Chromosome 5 Is Associated with Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Doberman Pinschers,” PLoS One 6, no. 5 (2011): e20042. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020042. Epub 2011 May 20.

respecting dogs as models of human aging
: See Jessica M. Hoffman, et al., “The Companion Dog as a Model for Human Aging and Mortality,” Aging Cell 17, no. 3 (June 2018): e12737. doi: 10.1111/acel.12737. Epub 2018 Feb 19.


Veterinary medicine is as much as twenty years behind human medicine: See William Grimes, “Vets and Physicians Find Research Parallels,” New York Times, September 11, 2012, Section D, Page 1.

The One Health initiative isn’t new but has become more important: See