Posted by: Peaceful Social Worker | March 21, 2012

It’s a dog’s life……

 

….especially when that dog lives in my house. You get raw meat, premium kibble, toys to play with, two cats to harrass and play with….and more. Life is good for our resident dog! No wonder he is always smiling and wagging his tail!

I used to think I was a cat person. I’ve lived with cats all my life. I think I have only lived cat-free for about two years out of my entire life. I still cannot imagine a house without at least one cat. Each cat has his/her own personality. Their personality usually reflects their homelife…..if they get interaction, they are personable. If not, they are aloof….but then, maybe I have picked the personable cats, so don’t really know what creates an aloof cat…..

Felix

“Felix the cat, the wonderful wonderful cat” was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. The Garfield and Morris the Cat came a long……(I’m sure I am aging myself here…..) I mean Snoopy was cool, but he was a dog…… 

We had two elderly cats who made the trek west in the car with my husband. They both died on Canada Day weekend in 2000. We had to put one down, and then the other died the next day. Probably of old man grief. They had been together all their 18 years of life. Our house was empty. Petless. Catless. Sad. Then along came Tanner.

Tanner

Tanner came to us as a four month old, “foster dog” in July 2000. She was a lab/shepherd cross who took her job as fierce and loyal protector very seriously.  She was friendly and smart, and loved long walks. She was playful and energetic until the day before she died unexpectedly on our livingroom floor in April 2010. She likely had a stroke or a heart attack. It was a sad, sad day in our house. She did die a good death though, and we did not have to make that horrible decision to take her to the vet to be put down.

I started walking dogs at our local SPCA to get my dog fix….yes, I seem to have become a dog person. Maybe. I had resisted volunteering for animal shelters because I was afraid I would want to take every animal home with me. I learned I was strong. I could walk dogs, and leave them there. I could visit with the cats and cuddle them, then leave. I found that walking the dogs was a wonderful stress reliever. It was also a wonderful way to get some extra exercise. Yes, there were days it was sad. Then there were days when you learned that this or that dog got adopted by a good family. I met many great dogs in my walks. Sometimes people seem to think that shelter dogs are castaways, and not as valuable as others. Well, that simply isn’t true. They may have “issues”, but most will be able to become lovable and wonderful family pets.

In July, I met a collie/retriever cross name “Tzatsiki”. He adopted me when we met. I have to say, the feeling was pretty darned mutual. He was smart, friendly, and loved his walks. He had the most friends at the shelter. You see, the shelter staff check the dogs to see who gets along with whom, and puts the list beside each dog. Tzatsiki, had the longest list.  He came home with us a couple of weeks later, and now enjoys a spoiled life in our house. He has been a great addition to the house.

Now we live in a house with two cats and the dog. Life is never dull with them around. The cats provide vibrating, purring cuddles. They help make the bed. They check the temperature of the bath water. They teach us how to play and to mellow out. They show us the most comfortable places to relax. The dog is the fitness trainer who ensures I get outside every day for a walk. He also teaches me to play and just chill. His sense of joy and delight with the world seems to never end some days. He has lots of energy….and thankfully, an off-switch. I guess I will never be either a dog or a cat person. I mean, how can anyone decide?

I have become a stronger advocate for animal shelters. So many wonderful animals end up there. Sadly, in some places, they are euthanized if they stick around too long.  Please support your local shelter. If you are looking for a pet, consider checking there first. If you need some extra walking time, and some de-stressing time, go take a dog for a walk, or go cuddle cats. They will appreciate it, and you will feel better.

 

P.S. My female cat is currently on my lap and is providing editorial support. 🙂

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Responses

  1. Love this post! It really is hard to decide, but all in all, think i am a cat person..dogs seem too needy to me sometimes..cats do need you but they seem content to let you decide…
    I wish I lived closer to a shelter, I too would volunteer…

    • Thanks. I have been known to say that I like having both cats and dogs, but if I could only have one or the other, I’d take a cat. I’m not so sure now. Mr H (the dog) gets me out walking. He has joined us camping and on errands. I suppose I could get a cat used to that too. For now, I am glad I do not have to decide! 😀


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