Dog, cat or neither
January 17, 2011 5:28 AM Subscribe
My wife and I want to get a pet. I've always considered myself a dog person, my wife's open to think about a cat, but I wonder if we're really pet people at all.
posted by Sir Cholmondeley to Pets & Animals (37 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
First, our demographics: Middle-aged (well, I'm mid-fifties, wife is late forties), no kids or grandkids. We own a home with a fenced yard.
We had a pug for 14 years, and while we were definitely attached to the dog, there were times that it was pretty inconvenient. Like when we'd be out for the day we'd always be aware that we'd have to be back home in reasonable time to feed the dog or let her out. If we went on vacation we'd always board her at a quality kennel, but the odds were pretty good that she'd get stressed out and come home with some digestive problems.
That dog died 6 years ago, and we're thinking it would be nice to have a pet around the house again. We considered another pug, but have decided that a dog that's a little more laid back would be better. We stumbled upon our local greyhound rescue organization, and we really like what we see so far. While you might expect otherwise, retired racers are really mellow animals, and their owners use phrases like "couch potatoes" to describe them. The other side of the coin is that they are a larger breed, and require the same level of commitment to be there for them as any other dog.
The other possibility is a cat. My wife lived around cats as a kid, though she never had one of her own. I've never had one, nor have I found them terribly endearing. You could say I'm a dog person. In terms of practicality, though, we think that a cat might fit our lifestyle better. Because they tend to be very independent, if need be you can leave them alone for the day with food, water and a clean litter box and they wouldn't be the worse for wear. From what we know, there really is no "training" a cat. The big unknown is if we (okay, mostly I) could live with a cat's personality.
Of course the third option is no pet at all. While we really like the companionship of a pet, we understand the responsibility, and sometimes wonder if we should just remain petless.
The bottom line for me is can a dog person really learn to like cats, or should we just start naming our dust bunnies?