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Gerson Cano

PET CULTURE IN AMERICA

One of the other new experiences for me during my American journey is to see how much local people love their pets and how fascinated are they by animals. I’ve never had a dog or a pet, nor did my family so it took me some time to get used to this part of American culture because in California you can see dogs or cats literally everywhere. I heard that the number of pets in the United States has risen drastically in the last decade.

What I also find really interesting that Americans usually spend a pretty big portion of their income on their animals, pet-related products and services . There are pet stores almost on every corner. I even heard about a pet-daycare or pet spas that are becoming more popular, especially in Los Angeles.

Recently I’ve also started experiencing what is it like to live with animals because my landlords are huge pet lovers too. Currently they have four dogs and two rabbits but they’re already planning to extend their pet family. My apartment is located in their backyard so the dogs are always very excited when they see me coming home or going to work and are jumping all over me. In the very beginning I have to admit it was pretty stressful for me but I got used to it and now I really enjoy living with pets too. The only negative is that the backyard is always full of dog poop so I have to be very careful where I step with my feet. Also, I need to wash my clothes more frequently, especially when it’s after the rain and the dogs are jumping on me haha.

One of my favorite things to do is to go for a morning walk in Santa Monica and see all these people walking their dogs and drinking coffee or running. Everybody is very friendly and has such a positive energy. It’s always nice to see strangers on the streets talking about their dogs. I also noticed that people want to spend with their pets as much time as possible, going for example grocery shopping with them, hiking or to the beach.

Before I started my American adventure I haven’t even been able to imagine what it could be like to work for a dog-friendly office. I remember how surprised I was when I received my first job offer from KFA Architecture in Santa Monica saying that the company is dog-friendly. I didn’t know what to expect because in Europe it’s not common at all. Then when I started working here I saw my colleagues bringing their dogs to work staying all day with them. After a year I can’t imagine a more relaxing working environment then when I see my co-worker’s dog sleeping next to my desk. Hopefully it will become more popular also in Europe soon.

Matej Strbka

Intern at KFASanta Monica

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