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Why a dog, not a cat?

For me it would be cat allergic reactions, but for others..?


Cats don't need walks, so it shoots the outdoor joy requirement aspect.

Maybe if you're housebound a cat would suffice.

Me, I'm a dog person. Even when he's a bit bad and bitey, I love him anyway. My husband reminded me, "We all bite in our own way" Ouch.


Oh, I miss Penny!

Scheherazade H.

Even if I didn't have cat allergies (thanks mom and dad!) I would still be a dog person. They somehow have more character about them and in a way are a lot less selfish than cats.


a touching post about your love for your dog. i think most pet owners could say the same about their own pets--birds, cats, potbelly pigs. (i had to smile, though, thinking you could replace the word 'dog' with 'kid' for most of it. my husband and i have a running joke that you can always identify the dog people who don't have kids.)

having said that, though, i really don't think dogs or other animals are "selfish" or that they consciously "love their bodies"--they're just doing what instinct tells them. humans tend to attribute to their actions motives or descriptions they would use in talking about humans acting the same way. maybe sometimes it works (like "dogs and cats and lions and bears love to play"), but on the whole, these animals are not searching for self-betterment or concerned about their reputations. they don't seek to live the examined life and prosper emotionally. they just are what they are.

and speaking of happiness, i meant to respond to your previous post about the limited number of people you know who are happy. i have realized the same thing in my circles, and it's kind of sad. i think the common thread among most of those people is that they have lived lives untrue to their inner voices. they've made choices or they care too much about other people's ideas about who they should be/what they should do/who they should marry/what they should wear, etc.

when you do that, you can only keep it up for so long before your inner voice catches up with you, and by then it seems too late to start anew. but it's not. it's never too late to give voice to your inner self. i've long believed that, and i'm one of the happiest people i know. it's not that i've never had bad days or suffered tragedy, it's just that i have a realistic assessment of what is within my control, and i also realize that i am the only one i have to face in the mirror, day in and day out.

my overall demeanor is that of a person content with the path she's on. and i don't even have a dog!


I think cat people aren't comfortable with the peeing and pooping and vomiting aspect. They're fussier. They like to believe the world is very tidy. It's not, and that fussiness is a liability, because life involves lots of stupidity and good-natured, oblivious mess-making. Cat people don't want to look at that. Dog people can deal with it, and they know that the slobber is a by-product of love.


with all due respect to your mom, depression isn't the sort of thing that's cured by owning a pet.

I've suffered from depression for 13 years now and all those years I had a dog (or three). If your mom's logic really held, I wouldn't have depression because I have a dog.

Depression is a serious disease and not something to be brushed off. And if your aunt did get a dog without getting the depression treated, the dog would suffer even more than your aunt.


"I think cat people aren't comfortable with the peeing and pooping and vomiting aspect."

Hah. My wife has a himalayan purebred cat that pees on the floor, occasionally craps in the bathtub, and coughs up hairballs (ie vomits) regularly. And cats actually smell much worse than dogs.
They do give the superficial appearance of fastidiousness, which is probably what endears them to cat people.


I had to weigh in on this one. I had a cat growing up and she was my best friend. We played together, chased each other, she slept on my bed, she purred to make BOTH of us feel better. When we had to have her put to sleep (I was 19), I would not let her go through that door alone, and I held her emaciated sick little body until her eyes closed. It was devastating.

I've been cat-less for the past 9 years. My most recent significant other was a cat-basher. "Cats are stuck up." "Cats aren't as loving as dogs." "Cats are stupid." He had me convinced that if I liked cats, I was a loser, a lonely cat-lady. After I got cancer, the boyfriend left. I was very depressed, and told myself that the minute I moved into a pet-friendly place and had the time for a dog, I'd get a dog. Dogs are for happy people. Dogs make you happy. Dogs are fun-loving and goofy. I refused to consider getting a cat because it was in my head that if I was a single woman with cats, I'd be a lonely, depressed loser. I feared that most men disliked cats and that I'd never find someone again if I had cats.

Recently, I chucked all that mess and decided that I would get not one but two cats. Not having time, space nor energy for the needs of a dog was no reason to remain without a pet. I went to the humane shelter where I found Scout and Atticus, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I did. They are house-trained (but I'm well aware that there will be hairballs from time to time, and stinky litter pans to clean regularly); they cuddle with me and with each other; they run and chase each other through the house and playfully chase everything that has the slightest bit of movement (and they aren't kittens - one is over a year old and the other is three years old). We have a game we play on the steps - I throw a little foam ball up the steps and they chase it as it bounces down. We can do this for hours. They go outside for brief bird-watching/chasing sessions, and then they come back in to sleep the day away.

Every cat is different; some are more stand-offish, but in my experience that has a lot more to do with the cat-owner and how the cat is treated. My cats come running when they hear the garage door open and they greet me at the door with great purrs and chatter.

And the guy I'm dating right now? He loves them.


And additionally, I don't mind messiness and NO one would call me a tidy, fastidious person. My house is much sloppier with the cats, because their little toys are all over the place, they drag food all over, and just because they don't slobber as much doesn't mean they don't show love by licking me.


ha! unlike in the cartoons, cats and dogs can co-exist in the same world, as can cat owners and dog owners.

i only wish some dog owners were as fastidious as you, scheherazade--then i wouldn't have to run around all the poop they leave on the running trails. it washes down to the ocean, making it unsafe for surfing and other water sports we wish to enjoy.

and you don't know poop and vomit until you have kids. almost every childless person i know is disgusted by it; no parent i know is. kids get sick, they have it coming out of both ends, and the last thing you think about is how you're going to clean the carpet.


Hmm. Thanks. I hope there are more parts to your advice. I like dogs -- really I do -- but I don't think I want one of my own. I'm going to have to look for something else.

Sandy & Tricia

We love our dog and our two cats equally and fortunately they love each other and the cats are exceptional in that they tolerate us and allow us equal space on the sofa.


I adore both cats and dogs. I find cats easier, because I am ill and therefore I don't owe the animal my continual attention. I can feel at ease with just sitting with her and she's contented and purring.

Cats respond as much to affection as dogs do. The difference is, cats have a bit more independence about them in other aspects, but if you respond to that cat, it will respond back. If you don't? The cat will eventually shut off.

Example, my cat used to wait for me everyday on the window till I got home. This was her highlight and she was so happy when I came in the door, her tail would shake uncontrollably and the purring would go on and on. I'd pick her up and respond to her, which kept that alive.

She slept on my bed at night, she was everything to me. She had her moody moments, which made her even more interesting to me. Or her wish to be left alone times.

Cats have been part of my life, part of my upbringing and I've had a dog also. I loved both. My cat developed a habit of hiding and waiting for me to walk past before ambusing me. She would shoot out and wrap herself around my ankle and kick and bite (playing). Now this was not just kitten stage, she kept this up till adulthood, even up to age 13. It was funny, though at times unnerving and she copped it a few times for going overboard.

Cats have wonderful personalities. They are not "cold" or boring or aloof. Very much loving animals and brought me great joy in my life and great amusement at watching them play. They are wonderfully made and are rather captivating mysterious animals.

miss amy

this completely sums up most of my reason for getting my dog, and every day i'm finding new reasons to be thankful for it. just this morning my alarm went off and i was grumbly about having to go to work and when i reached over to turn it off i had to reach over my dog. who was sleeping perfectly on his side of the bed with his head on the pillow next to mine. i just smiled and rubbed his belly and so far today has been just amazing and i owe it all to waking up next to the cutest little man ever.


I loved this post. Permission to link it in a future blog?


I really enjoyed reading this article. Having a dog, when you are completely ready for the challenge, is a wonderful thing. I too feel suspicious of people who don't like dogs or can't find the beauty the animal world beholds.


Having a dog will make you happy because you will love it, and it will die. You will see that life can be lived simply and fully in whatever time there is and you will learn that though you will always grieve for your loss, it would have been worse never to have loved.

Somewhere there is an infinite beach and a person of infinite love an patience throwing a ball for Jimmy, whose tail never stopped wagging until it did.


I really like your post. i have a dog, she is a cocker spaniel named Savita, and she makes me happy all the days. We have moved to many houses in the past months, but she teach me that be with her on the road, is better than any home. One more thing... dogs love if you took them in before sleep, i put on savita a blanket all the nights..


What a lovely article. It certainly made me smile. Thankyou :-).

Dog Stair

Nice post. I hope there are more parts to your advice. I like dogs -- really I do -- but I don't think I want one of my own.Thanks!!


I find it disconcerting that the cat people feel the need to defend their animal choice. I am a dog person because I just understand dogs better but if a fuzzy cat brings out the happy in you, does it really matter which animal you choose? I know cats that have very doggy personalities and dogs that are standoffish and rude. I think you should get your fuzz therapy wherever you like. Cats or dogs, rabbits, ferrets or rodents, find the happiness that only a pet can bring.


We received a dog as a gift... it's true that giving animals as gifts is a *terrible* idea, but I gotta admit it turned out to be a great gift. That dog is now 5, and we also have his brother. Left to my own devices I might not have any dogs. And I can't imagine that. If you think you don't want a dog... think again. You might not realize it now, but after a year or so of dog ownership, you'll look back and wonder why you didn't get one sooner.


cats suck end of story

dog health

Hi you made the most interesting post for prospective dog owners. After reading this I am planning to own one dog. They give you unconditional love and thus inspires you to pass on the same to others!

- Mathew J.

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