I have grown up around dogs all of my life. Ever since I can remember, my family and I have always had a dog as a family pet. My grandmother, whom I spent a lot of time with growing up, has always had at least two dogs at a time. Usually, it is assumed that what you are surrounded with will be your preference. To assume that I would love dogs more than their feline counterpart just because I have always had a dog would be an incorrect assumption. Before I go off on a tangent about my love for cats over dogs, I would like to point out that I am not 100 percent anti-dog. I currently have a chocolate lab who is quite possibly the sweetest, most loyal dog my family and I have ever had. We’ve even had a pit-mix who was very sweet, but quite rambunctious. This leads me to my first point as to why I prefer cats over dogs. I was about five years old when I got my first cat. One of my grandmothers adopted my first kitten for me after seeing my reaction to the fluffy, orange darling caught behind the bars of his cage. My kitten was so calm. Sure, he was a kitten and wanted to play, but he was never rambunctious or constantly in my face trying to dominate me. Cats are submissive and docile while dogs are dominant. Furthermore, cats are independent. As a woman who strives for independence, I can appreciate their want and need to be independent. Cat owners do not have to worry about coming home after a certain period of being gone because they need to let their furry family members outside. Even outdoor cats often have litter boxes inside of their owner’s home. Dogs require much more attention than cats do. I’ve seen many people have to work their daily schedule around their dog’s bathroom routine. I fell victim to this when I had to dog-sit three dogs. I couldn’t be gone for too long because they would either use the bathroom in the house or eat things they weren’t supposed to. I was more than happy to return home to my five-month-old, low-maintenance kitten, Genevieve. Some people may argue that cats are not interactive enough for them. I would argue that they just haven’t found the right cat. All of the cats that I have encountered have wanted attention and went about it in their own way to get it. Most people do not know that when a cat meows, they are usually doing it to get a human’s attention. Cats usually do not meow to interact with one another. A cat’s meow is equivalent to a dog’s bark. They are just looking for your attention. Love on them! While I recognize that some people will not admit their love for cats out of fear of being called a “crazy cat person,” I don’t mind it. After all, I think I am high maintenance enough. A low-maintenance pet is what’s best for me.
Cat lovers: those who want something cute and cuddly but don’t want to work for it. Cat lovers remind me of those people who want a relationship, but don’t want to spend the money or the time on their significant other.
I want to point out that I don’t hate cats. I do think that they may have been sent to Earth by their alien counterparts, but I don’t hate them. I’ve encountered numerous cats in my lifetime that have played with me and wanted love and attention. Although rare, they do exist.
That being said, I have never once in my life encountered a cat that loved me as much as my dog. At the end of the day, my dog is the one being who never judges me, never wants to leave my side and never stops loving me. My dog knows when I’m sad and licks the tears from my face until they don’t fall anymore.
A smile spreads across his face as he runs to my car when it rolls into the driveway. His smile doesn’t disappear until he’s run through my legs multiple times, received a butt scratch and laid on the couch to share a snack and some television. Even then, as he curls up next to me and falls asleep, I can tell he feels completely at ease and at home.
This leads me to my next point: a dog will love you as much as you love him, and sometimes even more. If you put in the work to train him and love him (and let him be a dog), he will respect you, respond to you and give you life. I’ll be the first to say most people are too lazy to have a dog. If you can’t treat him like a family member, you shouldn’t have him. But, if you’re willing to expend the energy to walk him, feed him and pet him, he will be your buddy for life.
Dogs also act as heroes on a daily basis by serving as first responders or in the military. They sniff out bombs and accelerants, search for missing people and track down criminals. Guide dogs and service dogs help the disabled and the elderly navigate their daily lives. When treated correctly, dogs will always help others and put others before themselves. They are the most loyal creatures on the planet. If only most humans were like dogs.
So, if you want a cat because you can’t afford the time to take care of a dog, I applaud you. Don’t get a dog if you can’t give him what he needs. But, if you want a friend for life, endless kisses and an impressive running or fishing partner with an tireless love for adventure, a dog is the companion for you.
(Image: Britani Daley | Marlin Chronicle)