Since 2002, August 26 has been observed as National Dog Day. While I prefer cats, I have owned several dogs in my lifetime. I was a little boy when my grandpa gave me my first dog. My parents at first kept it hidden in a shed. You see, my other grandpa disliked dogs. The secret didn't last long but lo and behold my dog Brownie and my dog-hating grandpa wound up best of friends.

Here's a few fun facts regarding dogs. The American Pet Product Association estimates Americans will spend more than $62 billion on their dogs this year. What makes this number so staggering is that just 20 years ago we only spent $21 billion on our four-legged friends.

Just over 54 percent of American households have dogs. We spend an average $1,641 a year on our dogs. The most popular breed is the Labrador retriever. They live an average of 15 years.

To emphasize the importance of having your dog fixed, did you realize that if you put a male and female dog together that aren't spayed or neutered, it's believed you'd have about 66,000 dogs in six years. Of course the puppies would have puppies and the puppies' puppies would have puppies, and so on.

Humans and dogs are the only creatures with a prostate.

Here's a picture of our old mutts. Stanley on the left was picked up by my daughter during the Blooming Prairie citywide garage sale. His mother was a St. Bernard and I guess his dad may have been a black lab. A nice dog but extremely protective of his territory and not too fond of other dogs. Marley on the right came from the Humane Society. She's an example of a cute little puppy becoming a big adult dog and hence her owners gave her up. She's getting old and her eyesight is failing. She sticks to me like glue and has a compulsive licking problem.

Happy National Dog Day.

Town Square Media