Originally Posted by cat father
I grew up with dogs---first a Collie-Cocker Spaniel mix, and then a purebred Siberian Husky---and although they were sometimes affectionate, they had a lot of flaws. Both of them would knock things over, beg for food, pester guests, and be typical loud dogs. The former was also very grouchy and would eat out of the garbage and later vomit on the floor.
My cat, on the other hand, whom I adopted last year, is clean, well-mannered, low maintenance, and doesn't have a bad smell. She does rub up against people's legs, but she doesn't jump on them like our Siberian Husky did. She also greets me whenever I come home, and will lick my face. She has all of the pros of dogs and none of their cons, in my opinion.
I don't see what others see in loud, perpetually foul-smelling, helpless creatures that always seem to be getting into trouble. Some breeds seem to be okay, but most dogs seem to have a lot of flaws.
Each to his own I suppose. I could go on about my step-daughter's cat who would hiss at my dog for eating out of his own food bowl and who peed wherever she pleased - including in my husband's tool box. Should I also mention how she clawed up the wooden banister near our front door? I could also go on about visiting friends who let their cat explore kitchen countertops and dining room tables after having its poo-poo paws in the litter box but as I said: each to his own.
This post is the classic reason why I spend a lot of time on dog forums doing my best to educate owners as to how to help their dogs become treasured members of the family. So many dogs are obtained as cute puppies and dumped at shelters when they are nine months or a year old because the owners cannot or will not take proper care of them. And by that I include training. Over and over I hear people say that they hope that dogs will "outgrow" the nipping phase or that they are eliminating indoors out of "spite" and that they "know they have done wrong." Dogs can become wonderful family companions, but most need us to communicate to them what we expect and they need it done in their language. They do not train themselves and they will not tell you if they are ill and need medical attention. If anything they try to hide it. I figure if I can help one
person understand their dog better and solve whatever training, nutritional or health problem they have by getting rid of silly misconceptions, that is one less dog that ends up at the shelter when it's no longer a cute puppy.
Dogs are opportunists and do what they get rewarded for. If they beg for food at the table and someone gives it to them, guess what? You've just taught your dog an easy way to score human food. If your dogs were eating out of the garbage, someone was neglecting
them by not taking proper care of them. There are dangers in garbage that dogs do not understand. When one of my dogs thought she was going to be a garbage dog I solved the problem: a spray or two of Lysol in the trash every day made it unappetizing and broke her of the habit.
If a dog smells bad and you do nothing, again, this is neglect. A foul smell can be the result of a poor diet (feed your dog the good stuff and not the cheap supermarket kibble), bacteria in the coat (BATHE your dog with the appropriate shampoo!), an ear infection (take the dog to the VET), or a dental problem such as an abcessed tooth (the VET).
I have two dogs and a cat and I enjoy them all for what they are. My cat by the way begs at the table - I've rewarded him for it by giving him a little egg or cheese. He's figured out that I am the soft touch and not daddy.
All three of my critters put a smile on my face many times a day. They are not perfect but neither am I. Far from being helpless, my pets do a lot for me. My dogs make sure I don't work too hard and do their part to convince me to go out and play or get some fresh air. My cat is not very affectionate but that's fine with me. I enjoy his personality. He greets me when I come home and makes sure I know that he is famished and needs a treat. And he's never peed where he wasn't supposed to or even scratched anything that wasn't intended for him to scratch.
Both of my dogs are certified Therapy Dogs and I visit a local county nursing home and adult day services facility once a month with them. They put a smile on many peoples' faces that don't have much to smile about.
I don't see how anyone could describe dogs as "helpless" when there are dogs like Faith, the service dog who saved her epileptic owner's life when her medication failed to work by
1) speed dialing 911
2) barking into the receiver
3) unlocking the door when the paramedics arrivedhttp://www.privateline.com/mt_dailynotes/2004/10/
As much as I love cats, I don't think there is one of them who could beat that.
I find that dogs are more work and consume more time, but to me it's worth it. Not everyone is willing or able to put the time and training commitment in that most dogs require and that's fine. But to judge all dogs by those critters who have the misfortune to be owned by people who don't know how to care for them properly is doing them a disservice.