Cover Miss Beasley's ears, because this might disturb her: pets simply are not affordable any longer. Dogs, cats—run free! And good luck out there.

The average household in the U.S. spent $655 on routine doctor and surgical visits for dogs last year, up 47% from a decade ago, according to the American Pet Products Association. Expenditures for cats soared 73% over the same time frame-on pace with human health-care cost increases.

I mean, we'll definitely pick up a pack of Milkbones and break you guys off some when we see you out there, but from here on out, you're on your own. This is what you've always wanted, isn't it? This is a celebration. Salud. And hey, if you find a job with health insurance, come back around. We'll talk.

[WSJ, photo via Miz Fiat/Flickr]