I’ve never called myself a dog person, as in cat vs. dog. Both have their strong and weak points, and as with everything else, I tend to go on an individual basis. I’ve known nasty dogs and cats, and sweet dogs and cats. Growing up, we had a couple of dogs. One very vivid memory I have is when Dad brought home a little 3 month old Golden Retriever pup. She was the family dog, but my responsibility, which was so cool to an animal-loving eleven-year-old. I remember the day we took her in for her first vet visit to get her shots, and sitting in Dad’s old green Dodge truck beside him while he filled out her registration paper. He asked what we should name her. Princess Sandy of Patrick, I said, and he laughed and wrote it down on the paper, and Sandy it was. I remember the vet prescribed heart worm pills, and Dad showed me how to put them way back on her tongue and rub her throat to get her to swallow them. That was my job, too.
Other than Sandy, who we had for several years, we had mostly cats and the occasional hamster. Maybe I’m a hamster person? I do like hamsters. They’re cute and soft and don’t smell or chew up your shoes or furniture or pee on your house and make it stink.
I did have a point, here. I rode my new bike over to feed this morning, and one of our neighbors has this huge, ill-tempered Golden Retriever who jumps out and snarls at you when you go by. In addition to this untrained menace, they have recently acquired two additional puppies who are learning adeptly from Lucky (the retriever) how to also be societal menaces. The little black one ran out at me and followed me up the road, snapping his teeth at me every time I looked at him. I snapped back. And I said loud enough for the neighbors to hear, “You threaten me, dog, and I will eat you alive.” People should control their pets. If you can’t keep them from threatening people off their own property, you don’t deserve to have a pet. I will be getting some pepper spray.
Blue, on the other hand, may be my favorite pet ever… well, perhaps second to Sully. It depends on the day you ask me. Blue is smart and obedient. He’s loyal. He’s quiet. Sometimes I wonder if he’d have been the same dog with the same traits had he grown up with someone else. I am very firm with him. When it comes to pets, whether it’s a horse or a dog, the fun goes out of the animal when they don’t listen and become more work than enjoyment. I keep him tied in my yard because the one thing I don’t know how to teach him is to stay at home, and I don’t want him pooping in other people’s yards or being hit by a car. He’s my responsibility, and if I can’t control him, I don’t deserve to have him.
I realize I’m unique in these views, because we live in a world where animals are better treated than people. That’s a whole ‘nother post, for a whole ‘nother day, though. I will say this, I get more compliments on my animals when I’m out with them, both Sully and Blue, because they do what I tell them and they are, largely, a joy to be around.
Cats… well… my cat is pretty well-trained, too, but we’re not often seen together. She spends her days as a house cat, but I’ve taught her the bathroom is outside. She also knows that if I catch her on a counter or table top, she gets smacked. But she’s a cat. She sleeps to the beat of her own drummer, and I’m okay with that. Most of the time.