Not Just Another Pet Picture

March 31, 2008 | By Denise Waggoner | Creative

snowbellymarch07.jpg

Did you know Americans spend $41 billion (not million, BILLION) dollars annually on their pets? It all adds up – day care, walkers, grooming and toys (catnip, bully sticks, organic all natural foods, collars, coats, boots, scarves) the list goes on and on.

In the UK, sales of premium dog and cat foods grew 9.2 percent during 2006 to £655 million and that’s just on food! People love their animals and love spending their hard earned cash on them. I am one of those people.

It’s on my mind today because my most glorious 16lb hunk of burnin’ love cat, Snowbelly, died last week. And I am sad, very, very sad. I bring it up here because the first thing I did after the vet took him away was to look for pictures.

I’ve been taking pictures of my pets for 13 years. In fact, my friends tease me mercilessly about it. But today, I’m glad I did. Part of working through my sadness has been to get out those pictures and celebrate my buddy.

Clearly, I’m not the only one who excessively photographs or shoots their most beloved companions. There are so many websites immortalizing our furry, feathered, scaled friends – it’s clear we’re more than happy to spend that money to shout it out to the world. My three favorites are http://www.youtube.com, http://www.flickr.com and http://wwwlolcats.com – but you probably know all of those. What sites do you go to?

Consumer spending, which includes this consumer, means that we need to continually refresh pet pictures at http://www.gettyimages.com. We just completed a new pet project a couple of months ago. On a bad day, I’ve also been known to search for those new puppies, kittens, dogs, bunnies, chinchillas, ducklings or cats just to have a giggle.

But today, I have a gratuitous picture to celebrate what was my longest running relationship…all hail the great Snowbelly.

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