Ask the grumpies: Have you ever liked a dog?

Leah asks:

You both seem to be cat people. Are there any dogs in your lives that you love/have loved?

#1:  @#$#@ NO.  Sorry, dogs.

#2:  Sure.  My grandma used to have a ginormous loving dog that I used to ride as a toddler when we went over to visit.  I think puppies are absolutely adorbs and love to play with them.  I was also the recognized alpha in the family for my sister’s dog because nobody else bothered to train her.  She was an adorable puppy but only behaved when I was around.  Personally I prefer cats because they’re so much less work and their spit seems more hygienic or at least there’s less of it.

Tell us about your dog experiences!


21 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Have you ever liked a dog?”

  1. moom Says:

    I hate dogs. I think I am a reincarnated bear. The best way to make sure a bear doesn’t come back somewhere is to chase him with a dog.

  2. xykademiqz Says:

    I had Siamese cats growing up and I loved them. Cats are pretty self-sufficient and it’s super comfy/pleasant sleeping with a cat. I don’t hate dogs, and I have met/cuddled with some lovely/adorable/playful ones, but I have never felt the desire to own one. I wish dog owners understood that many people are really scared of dogs, and with good reason: many are large animals with strong jaws and big teeth. When I am with kids outside encountering a person with a dog, I don’t want to think whether that’s a responsible pet owner who’s trained and not abused their dog — I just want us to be safe and take a wide berth in avoiding the dog. Also, the expense is considerable and it’s another being you have to make sure is fed, healthy, getting exercise, etc. But pets in general are out for my family (neither DH nor I are heartbroken about it, to be honest), because my eldest son is quite allergic to pet dander. I wish pets weren’t so ubiquitous, because antihistamines are now part of my son’s routine whenever he goes to visit his girlfriend or any of his friends. Middle Boy fantasizes about growing up, moving out, and owning several dogs; I think he’ll be a great pet owner.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I agree with you on wondering whether some random dog has a responsible owner or not…. French bulldogs are awfully cute, but it’s a bit sad how we’ve over-engineered bulldogs so they can’t even give birth naturally anymore. Cute, though. Too snorty to live with though.

  3. monsterzero Says:

    I am a cat person but I do love dogs, and we will get one as soon as we buy a house (which will have a fenced yard).

    I once lived with someone who refused to get her two dogs fixed. I offered to at least take the boy in and pay for it myself, but no. They were littermates but they went ahead and had puppies anyway. Chicken was really cheap, so while the mom was pregnant, we fed her a couple pounds a day, and she had eleven puppies. Eleven.

    One day two months later, our landlord drove by and saw thirteen dogs in the yard, so we got an eviction notice. Good times…

  4. Linda Says:

    Isn’t there a theory that some people are infected with a parasite they picked up from their cat that makes them more attracted to cats? Hmmm…

    I’ve had cats and I’ve had dogs. I like dogs better. I grew up with dogs (no cats) so maybe that has something to do with it. I like the “extra work” involved with dogs. Walking the dog gets me outside and out of my office chair or couch. I don’t like cleaning litter boxes and I really don’t like the scent of cat pee. (As for dog poop, I have a scooper and bags that are a barrier between me and the waste, which makes clean up less icky.)

    Besides being my exercise motivational coach, my dog has another job: alert me when there is action outside the house. She does that pretty well, so I’m rarely surprised when someone comes to door and I can keep tabs on stuff I I need to know about (deliveries, people hanging out in my front yard or near my car, etc.) The dog’s alert bark is very scary sounding, so it works just like a ($$$) home alarm system to keep away nefarious people. I’m not sure that a cat would do the same.

    My dog is a warm presence on a cold night. She has her own bed and pretty much sleeps in it, but I get some snuggle time from her before lights out and that makes me happy.

    However, I’m considering fostering cats now that I have my own house. I’ve been volunteering with a local animal rescue group and they often need foster homes for rescued pets. My dog does NOT like other dogs, so fostering dogs is out. I know that I can get her to accept a cat, however, because for a couple years I did have one and she was OK with it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think it’s supposed to cause anger issues, but I’m not really remembering the NPR story that well.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I hate hate hate hate other people’s dogs barking (SO LOUD) when you dare to impinge on their territory by becoming visible 20 feet away. If they are your next door neighbor, you will never ever get any peace. Ugh.

      • Linda Says:

        Yeah, barking dogs can be a problem in tight quarters like apartments and condos. I adopted a dog several years ago (before getting my current dog) who seemed perfect in every way: impeccable house manners, fully trained, sweet with other dogs, etc. BUT she barked like crazy at any disturbance like things moving near the house, loud noises, etc. I think she was given up at the shelter because the people weren’t in a house and the neighbors complained. I trained her to bark less, and since I was in a house it didn’t bother any neighbors. My current dog only barks at stuff close to the house. And I’m in an actual non-attached dwelling so no one is complaining.

  5. contingentcassandra Says:

    Another cat person here. I, too, like their ease and relative independence. I haven’t cohabited with a cat for a while, though; the last one died several years ago, and some combination of emotional fatigue and fear of vet bills (what is possible, as well as what is expected, in the way of pet medical care has increased exponentially over my adult lifetime) has kept me from finding another, yet. I probably will at some point; I do enjoy the low-key companionship, and the cuddles (of course cats decide when and whether to be cuddly, so there are no guarantees).

    I have lived with dogs, and am happy to interact with friends’ and family members’ dogs, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never seek one out myself. They’re a bit too high-maintenance, both physically and emotionally, for me. But I’d happily live with a dog that came along with a human I wanted to cohabit with, and could see myself taking one in, temporarily or permanently, if a friend, family member, etc. was unable to care for a dog they loved (actually, I couldn’t do that right now because my apartment complex allows cats but not dogs — due to the difference in toileting procedures, I’m pretty sure — but I would if I lived in a place with different or no rules).

    • Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

      If you get an older cat, you can pick a cuddly one. It’s hard to tell with younger, energetic cats, but a lot of them calm down and mellow out around age 4, and become cuddly even if they weren’t earlier in their lives. If they aren’t cuddly by age 7, they never will be.

      I am completely and utterly a cat person. I have known a few individual dogs I liked, but they have to be very well trained and have very short hair so they don’t have that dog smell. I think the nicest dog I ever knew was a miniature dachsund who was very attached to his person. I know they have back troubles but if I were forced to have a dog that’s probably what I’d have.

      Sir John swings both ways but in terms of what he wants to live with, it’s cats all the way down.

  6. chacha1 Says:

    I like everything with fur. Growing up, we had relays of cats + dogs; I remember three dogs, starting with a black Lab, then a golden retriever, then a yellow Lab. We also had a rabbit at one point, I am told, but this pre-dates my authentic memory. And we had a couple of gerbils for a while. :-)

    My cat when I moved to Atlanta for grad school had to go back and live with my mom in South Georgia because once I was working full-time, the cat’s separation anxiety got out of hand. Then there were a couple of failed adoptions that I still feel bad about (one clawed me up and escaped, one I wasn’t allowed to keep). Then an adoption of an awesome cat who continued to be awesome right up to the cancer, he made it to roughly 8 years. Then the last two adoptees have been/were with us for 14 years and counting.

    We are presently down to one aging cat, and when he dies we will probably be pet-free for a while, because of anticipated moves as much as anything else. If we ever do get the house in the country, I want a dog to go on walks with. But wherever we end up there will be more cats.

  7. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I adore dogs and cats. Can’t have a cat because of allergies but I used to have one and I loved her. But I cannot function well without a dog – they’re my sanity savers and silent therapists. Hugging a dog makes stress better in ways that cannot be duplicated.

    Mine aren’t actually terribly cuddly, but they tolerate my hugging. They’re adorable, loving, protective and watchful, calm and good companions without being needy. Great at alerting us when the baby’s about to start crying, incidentally. And like Linda, I enjoy the act of taking care of them, I always have. I enjoy grooming and bathing them, I have always loved managing their health care which can seem endless if you hate it. Seamus has been an enormous boon for my activity and health – he has to be walked twice a day but is accommodating of my ups and downs and takes anything he’s given whether it’s a 5 minute or 50 minute walk without complaint. He’s helped my health immensely, couldn’t do without him.

    • chacha1 Says:

      My remaining cat is a hugger. :-) He never was much of a lap cat until his cohabitant died, and he doesn’t stay on a lap for long, but he actively asks to be picked up and hugged several times a day. We carry him down the apartment’s public hall to look out the front window, DH carries him down to the car sometimes if he’s forgotten something down there. He rarely gets tired of being carried around before we get tired of carrying him. He is a hunka hunka purring fuzz.

  8. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    #1 is talking about how cute puppies are right now. I wonder at her anti-dog vehemence suggested in this post…

    She just sent me this:

    Maybe puppies are an exception?

    The only problem with puppies is [word that rhymes with dog because I am not ogden nash]
    A puppy becomes a dog

  9. SP Says:

    I was a cat person as a child, but we had both. I like both, but also don’t particularly need a pet. If it weren’t for my husband, I probably wouldn’t have pets, but we have had our dog for almost 1.5 years now (got him as a pup). We spend tons of time on training, but still have plenty of work since he’s pretty young and of the high energy variety. I usually assume that people don’t like my dog, even if they are dog people. There is a huge difference between loving your french bulldog and loving a lab… My husband loves having a dog, and to be fair, he takes on a bit more of the training/work aspects – but it is a team effort.

    He is absolutely our motivational exercise coach, and the cuddles/love improves quality of life. Finding care for him when we go out of town is the biggest annoyance. We can only leave him alone for so long in general, so our life revolves around that.

    Puppies are adorable, but a huge headache and TONS of work. Well, I’m mostly thinking of MY puppy, who admittedly is of a known high energy breed. But he was literally all we did for the first 9 months of owning him. I like having a dog better than a puppy. A puppy is fun to visit.

    So, I guess I am a dog person, but I get that many people are not. However – if you come to stay in my house, you are not allowed to make constant rude comments about my dog. (My BIL is extremely rude, this is just one of many examples. Feel free to stay in a hotel if you hate dogs!)

  10. J Liedl Says:

    I’m equal opportunity in enthusing about cats and dogs. We had cats from a very early age but I wore down my parents when I was ten so that we finally got our first dog. Inky was an amazing companion and a typical example of the smart, energetic border collie. Since then, I’ve co-owned many dogs with my spouse. Currently we have one: our high-maintenance Rottweiler, Xena. She might well be our last dog because she’s much more work than all of our other dogs put together (she’s very bonded to me, extremely high-energy but also very anxious and needy). Cats are much easier to manage and we currently have two. I suspect we’ll have cats as pets until we can’t manage that some day in the far distant future.

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