I was a committed cat person, but due to some interesting circumstances, I now have two dogs. I would never have considered getting a dog before for the following reasons:
Dogs smell bad. Dogs have to be walked every day to do their business and exercise, which must be a pain in the butt. Dogs seem to get very depressed when their ‘person’ isn’t nearby. Dogs tear things up and destroy the house. I’ve found that though I was right about some of these things, I was wrong about others.
#1 Dogs smell bad. I hate to say it, but this is 100% true. Dogs use scent as a form of communication- for example, if doggy A went prowling around on the beach and found a dead fish, he would roll in it, paying special attention to the shoulder region, really grinding away at that dead fish so he could have the full benefit of its unique aroma. Then he would bring this lovely scent back to the pack (or in this case, back to the apartment) to brag to the others. My dogs seem very dejected when I wash their carefully chosen perfume off. My cat, on the other hand, wouldn’t be caught dead smelling like a dead fish.
#2 Dogs have to be walked every day, to do their business and for exercise (TRUE) which is a pain in the butt (FALSE!). I used to watch my dog having friends with pity. We’d be at a pub or hanging out at someone’s house when they’d sigh, get up, and say ‘well, I’ve got to go let my dog out or he’ll pee on the floor’ and off they’d go, leaving a fun night behind them. What I didn’t understand was that they wanted to get home to their dog. I’ve only had my dogs for five months, and I’ll tell you right now- after 8 hours away, I miss those mangy little mutts. Also, sometimes it’s downright handy to have an excuse to get out of a boring social situation.
I thought I would hate having to walk my dog all the time- but I love it! I know my neighbors, and it gives me more exercise and time outside. Before I had my dogs, I never went for walks. Now I do at least twice a day, and it’s one of the healthiest, most relaxing habits that I have. Sometimes we need a reason to do what’s good for us. I’m glad I have two. My cat, however, never gets me out of the house. In fact, she seems to send me subliminal messages convincing me to stay in.
#3 Dogs seem to be very depressed when their ‘person’ isn’t nearby. True. This was probably my biggest reason for not wanting a dog. Most people love the warm welcome they get from their dog after they’ve been gone all day, but I found it depressing. If the dog was so happy to see them come home, weren’t they depressed all day while the person was gone? This troubled me for the first month that I had a dog. I would be out all day, busy, while she was home all day, sleeping. Then when I came home, she wanted to play. I’ve found the perfect solution, which is…drum roll, please.TWO DOGS! Ever since I got my second dog, we all seem to be on the same wave-length when it comes to activity level. For more information on how two dogs are better than one, please click here.
#4 Dogs tear things up and destroy the house. This one seems to be true for the first month. I’ve come home to my fair share of destroyed slippers. A good number of my personal items bare canine teeth marks. But I found that after the first month, we reached a compromise- my dog had a better sense of what I didn’t want her to chew on, and I have a better sense of what not to leave within her reach. I say a month because that’s how long I think it takes for a new pet and pet owner to reach some understanding. But it’s probably not a coincidence that my stuff stopped getting chewed up right around the time that I got my second dog. Once again, two dogs seem to be better than one. I’m pretty sure that my two dogs play and chew on each other all day while I’m gone.
So there you have it- some of the common misconceptions that cat people have about dogs, and whether or not they’re true.