According to the Web site www.petplace.com, dog owners with certain characteristics tend to gravitate toward certain breeds of dogs. Owners of Yorkies such as the O'Hairs' pet Stokely, the site said, are fastidious and organized; they are independent and enjoy spirited debates. They are neat about their homes and personal appearances -- a bad hair day can ruin an entire day.
"Oh, wow," O'Hair said. "How about that? That's dead-on."
The site's description of those who have poodles, such as the O'Hairs' Lexie, said they are sincere, compassionate people who love passionately and will always help those in need. They also "take great pride in their appearance and keep themselves and their homes very clean. They enjoy traveling and fancy restaurants."
"That's very true," O'Hair said.
Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray doesn't own a dog now, but her family always had them when she was growing up.
"We had Cocker Spaniels and Scottish Terriers," she said.
Murray, who was a social worker for many years before becoming a public servant, was surprised to hear what petplace.com had to say about the owners of Scottish Terriers.
"Scottish Terrier owners are often busy and organized," the site said. "They have good friends and can multi-task quite effectively. They like to keep informed on current events and are usually the first in their group to know things. People tend to confide in them, and they can keep secrets very well."
"Sounds like a social worker," she said.
Murray said she also thought she possessed some of the traits petplace.com said belonged to Cocker Spaniel owners, such as leading busy lives and making quality family time a priority.
Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter has three dogs -- a Labrador Retriever, a Chow mix and a Dachshund -- all of which were rescue animals. He shares some characteristics of each breed, but thought he had the most in common with his Lab.
Labs are known for their fun-loving nature, as well as their compassion and spontaneity. Their owners, petplace.com said, love all sports, especially water sports.
"That's me," Bookwalter said. "I'm an ESPN guy."
Bookwalter admitted he shared the trait of stubbornness with his Dachshund.
A recent article in Forbes magazine also maintained that dog owners have a tendency to select breeds that mirrored their personalities.
"Got a Beagle?" the article said. "You are inquisitive and willing to learn new things. The Beagle is constantly questioning. If you own one of these dogs, chances are you are a curious, willful person who is loyal to friends, tough on enemies and pretty stubborn."
As with most things, outlining common traits for the owners of certain dog breeds is hardly an exact science.
The reason Bookwalter didn't really fit the profile for owners of the breeds of dogs he has was probably because "they found us," he said.
The Forbes article said that even though the economy is sluggish right now, pets are probably not a place where the average American family is going to cut back.
"Pets have become more like family than an animal left in the doghouse in the backyard," said Daisy Okas, assistant vice president of communications for the American Kennel Club. "Just as people are not going to skimp on their children, they are not going to cut back on their dog."
Forbes reported that spending on pet supplies and pet care is expected to reach $10.5 billion by the end of the year, compared with $9.9 billion in 2007.