Man’s Best Friend

Household pets, especially dogs, are playing an increasingly large role in Californians’ lives.


Wikimedia Commons

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States.

Mercedes Mikhailov, Staff Writer

It’s estimated that around 78 million dogs are owned as pets in the United States alone, not to mention service dogs, guard dogs, and unclaimed pets. With that being said, there was recently a ban on walking dogs in the capital of Ira, which could have many potential effects if it were to reach the United States, including the significant impact our furry friends have on us and our mental health.

Most people, no matter where they are from, can relate to the joy of having and caring for a pet. We begin our story in the pet-loving Reynoso household in Redwood City.

“[My pets] are a huge part of my daily life,” described Sharon Reynoso Mikhailov, a 57-year-old mother of three and a dog owner. “Sprinkles wakes up with me. She’s my friend. She keeps me going.”

In her eyes, her dog is more than just a pet.

“We exercise together,” Reynoso continued. “She looks forward to that time with me. She’s just a huge part of my life.”

The recent ban on dog-walking in Tehran, the capital of Iran, raised some eyebrows and speculation within California’s pet-owning community.Californians love their animals, especially dogs. Dogs have a vital role in a lot of people’s lives. They’re not just pets; they are members of the family. But Reynoso isn’t the only person that feels this way. Tatiana Constantini, a junior at Woodside High School and a dog-lover, shares her connection to dogs and her personal response to the recent ban on dog walking.

“It would make a lot of people sad if dogs were banned in California,” Constantini stated. “I think emotional support dogs are important because people sometimes need a companion.”

Constantini claims that overall mental health would decline if the ban on dog-walking were to come into our community.

“They are like a best friend to humans, you know,” Constantini explained. “They’re like a huge company to them.”

Similar to Constantini, Susie Kettleson, a Bay Area animal activist and student, describes the many things dogs may aid with, especially service and emotional support dogs.

“I think it would affect a lot of people, because I see how a lot of kids love animals, and they love their dogs,” Kettleson said. “Some people have it as therapy for them to cope. Other dogs know how to prevent illnesses and everything, so I think that would be really bad if that got taken away from them.”

With pets, especially dogs, being such a valued part of many families, we continue to explore the relationship between man and man’s best friend.