Bend is top dog according to Dog Fancy magazine. That is: Bend is the most dog-friendly city in the U.S.
The magazine chose Bend based on a number of factors, including outdoor recreation, downtown accessibility and pet-friendly businesses.
And the people here said Monday it’s no shock to them.
“Not at all,” said Bend Pet Express Manager Chris Abernathy. “Working here, seeing the type of people, the clientele, the amazing amount of people with dogs, it doesn’t come as that big of a surprise to me. They just want the best for their dogs. They want to spoil them and treat them the best.”
It’s not just the people who love their pets, but the city as well.
“They cater to dogs and have them (dog parks) all over the city," resident Sandi Claussen said. "And there are trails everywhere, the dogs can run with their owners. And there’s even backcountry hiking trails everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
And Bend resident Erin Martino said downtown also treats the dogs well.
“Lots of businesses have dog bowls that sit out -- when people walk by, their dog can get a drink of water," she said. "I don’t know any other towns that do that.”
Abernathy said in addition to Bend’s outdoor culture, the city may embrace dogs because of the large retired population.
“A lot of it, I find, is older retired couples," Abernathy said. "Their children have left, and they want to spoil a new family, so they get dogs.”