Pets are better listeners than husbands.

That's the results of a poll conducted by Associated Press-Petside.com.

According to 1,112 pet owners, randomly surveyed, one-third of married women who own pets say the animals listen better than their spouses. Eighteen percent of pet-owning married men say the animals listen better than their wives.

No one asked the pets who listens to them.

What's even more startling is that 5 percent of pet owners have taken an animal to a veterinarian or pet psychologist because it seemed depressed.

There are pet psychologists?

I can just imagine that conversation at home when the child tells Mom and Dad they want to go to college to become a pet psychologist.

I know I would send my child to a psychologist to see what was wrong with them.

Do they have little couches for them to lie on and tell the doctor what's wrong?

A pet psychologist or veterinary behaviorist claim pets, like humans, have anxieties.

One woman says her pet doesn't like storms. That seems like a common problem for humans and pets. I never thought to send my pet to a professional or to medicate it.

My dog doesn't like storms, but I just tell her to lie down. That doesn't cost me a cent.

In the poll, one woman says she talks to her cats, dogs and horses to complain about her husband.

I wonder if they have the same complaints about the guy?

Another man says it's a toss-up whether he'll discuss his problems with his wife or a crayfish his daughter brought home. He said "absolutely" the crayfish is a better listener than his wife, but the crayfish doesn't offer much feedback.

Another guy surveyed claims his dog is better to talk to because it doesn't offer an opinion. Sounds like he wants someone or some thing that agrees with him.

I love pets, grew up with them, and we have a dog and a cat at home.

They are like family the family members who use a litter box and the backyard.

They are like family members who sleep on the floor and eat from bowls on the floor.

They are the same family members who shed.

I think pets are great, and could not imagine not having a companion around the house. They do offer comfort, and offer unconditional love. They require very little, making few demands other than food, water, shelter and respect.

Seems pretty simple and something we should be willing to give them. Heck, seems like something all mankind should come to expect from one another.

My wife and I raised our kids, who love pets and probably will have them when they get on with their adult lives.

We do talk to our pets, and, I guess, they talk to us.

But I do not seek their counsel, nor do I think they listen all that well.

To my knowledge, my wife does not talk to them about me. But then again, maybe I'm just not paying attention.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.