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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: Pets

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February 1, 2013 at 6:00 AM

In Seattle, it’s cats, dogs and kids — in that order

Phineas grew up in Ballard and now resides in Belltown (Photo: Adrian Lambert)

Seattle has more dogs than children.  We’ve practically become famous for it.  OK, not as famous as we are for coffee or rain, but still.  The nation has certainly taken notice.  Our canine-to-kid ratio has been written about in USA TodayThe New York Times — even the National Post of Canada.

It’s not just out-of-towners. Seattleites find it fascinating that we have more dogs than kids, too.  The fact has reverberated through the local media since at least 1997, when The Seattle Times first noted that the scales had tipped in favor of dogs here. And it shows no signs of abating; just last year, public radio station KPLU devoted a segment to the phenomenon.  Seems like we never tire of talking about it.

But it’s high time we stopped. I’m calling for a moratorium on the more-dogs-than-kids thing.  Why? Let me explain.


Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: animals, cats, Dogs

November 27, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Seattle’s top dog names for 2012

Lucy, a pit bull-boxer mix, was born and raised in Seattle — and she has the city’s top name, too. (Photo: Alvin Mangosing)

Shout “Lucy!” in a crowded Seattle dog park and risk being stampeded.

Yes, Lucy is far and away the No. 1 moniker for our canine pals here in Seattle.  Analysis of the city’s dog license database reveals that one out of every 83 dogs in town answers to Lucy.

It’s not just here.  Lucy is also among the top names nationwide, according to  In fact, if you compare the names that are most popular in the U.S. with those that are most popular in Seattle, you see a lot of overlap. There is, however, one big exception.  Rocky is the fourth most-popular handle for male pups nationally, but somehow it’s just never caught on here.  Rocky only ranks 33rd in Seattle.

Like everywhere else in the country, human names for dogs are “in” and the old classics are “out.” For example, Seattle has 540 licensed pooches called Lucy, but only 45 named Rex, five going by Rover and — can you believe it? — just two lonely Fidos.  I hope those two have found each other and are commiserating in a doggie daycare somewhere.


Comments | More in Public Records | Topics: animals, Dogs, Pets