Pets can celebrate Father’s Day, too

Like many men across the country, Ed, my husband of multiple decades, will be blessed with Father’s Day cards. He will get three — one from his human child, Jordan, and two from his furry children — Pip, our cat, and Teddy, our dog.

Jordan’s card is usually a playful reminder of her dad’s endearing qualities — his barbeque brisket; his hand-to-chest routine as he moans about the price of something; his hugs.

Pip’s card always describes what Ed does for him — breakfast and walks in the backyard, to name two things. The card usually has a simple but direct meaning: “DO MORE.”

Teddy’s card tends to be sweet and funny, demonstrating his boundless love with words like “lick, lick, lick” and “kiss, kiss, kiss” on the front and inside.

This year Father’s Day arrives on June 18.

Not sure pets were considered, but Father’s Day traces its roots to 1970, when Congress passed Joint Resolution 187, which called on citizens to “offer public and private expressions of the abiding love and gratitude they bear for their fathers.” Two years later, President Richard Nixon signed the resolution into law.

Finally, fathers had their day, only about 60 years after mothers got theirs.

Nowadays we celebrate fathers with food and spirits, and gifts. In 2022, according to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $20 billion on Father’s Day gifts, the most popular being greeting cards, clothing, gift cards and electronics.

In our house, it’s mainly about the cards.

It doesn’t surprise me that Teddy’s Father’s Day cards, at least the ones I pick for him to give his dad, are more demonstrative of his feelings than Jordan’s or Pip’s.

Since we adopted him as a 9-month-old pup, Teddy’s human of choice has always been Ed.

While Jordan’s love for her dad has never diminished, their relationship has changed to one based upon mutual respect.

Pip? Whether I like it or not, the cat’s go-to human is me. That relationship, like Jordan’s with her dad, remains strong. When he wants something, I’m his go-to-human. When he doesn’t want anything, I’m not sure what I am.

When it comes to food on Father’s Day, it’s all about the three kids. Jordan is old enough to get her own, although she’s also good at absconding with our leftovers.

Pip goes to whichever human gives him a treat, then he looks at the rest of us. If we don’t have anything, he doesn’t head in my direction, but rather anywhere that grabs his interest.

As for Teddy, if Jordan or I are offering a treat and Ed isn’t, the pooch takes it, gives us a few licks, rubs and tail wags of “thanks,” then heads to Ed.

Finally, the gifts. Again, it’s mostly about the furry ones. They love walks with their dad and a game of tag, particularity if he’s chasing them.

Alas, Ed knows his only hope of getting a good gift on Father’s Day rests with Jordan. Luckily for him, she usually comes through.


Gift ideas for Dad that he’ll use and love:

1. Apple Air Tag

2. Bees Knees Spicy Honey

3. Allbirds Men’s Tree Dasher 2

4. Ticarve Cleaning Gel

5. The Skylight Frame


Karin Spicer is a member of The Dog Writers Association of America. She lives in Greene County with her family and two furry pets who inspire her. She can be reached at

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