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blog: A dog for a cat person

JoAnn Chaney
Vail CO, Colorado

I have always been a cat person. Cats are independent and distant, and require little attention or care. Give a cat a ball of string and some catnip, and they’re perfectly content.

Throw in a warm spot in the sun on top of that, and you’ve got a friend for life. (Cats aren’t the perfect pet, of course. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up with a ball of fur curled up directly on my face. Nevermind that I’d supply them with a clean litter box and the best cat food”these cats would still try to smother me in my sleep. Devilish, murderous little monsters.)



Years ago, I couldn’t imagine that I would ever own a dog. They looked like too much work, with all the walking and grooming and ball throwing. And when I would see the people who dressed their dogs in little sweaters or Halloween costumes, I would snigger from my high horse. A cat would never allow you to dress them in some ridiculous costume.



I had always had cats as pets (and was well on my way to becoming the neighborhood’s crazy cat lady), and then I met my husband. A man who is deathly allergic to cats. So I had to decide: a husband or my cats? True love won out, but it also didn’t help the cats that they had been trying to kill me every night.

Over the past six years, our family has been petless (except for the occasional goldfish, but we all now where those things end up. Flush.). Then we moved to Vail Valley, where it seems like everyone owns a dog. And my husband, who was raised as the All-American boy that always had a faithful canine by his side, began to itch to become a dog owner again.



“Every kid should own a dog.” He argued.

“I saw an article that said that dog owners are happier people who live longer.” He pointed out.

“Look at how happy those families look walking their dog.” He told me.

After many scornful comments and withering looks, I finally gave in.

Some debate and research ensued, and we ended up with our new pet. An English Bulldog. That’s right. We have a fat, snorting, wheezing dog that would rather lay on the couch than go for a walk.

And you know what? I love being a dog owner. Don’t tell anyone.

Our dog’s name is Cass, and she thinks that she is human. She wrestles on the floor with my five year old, and patiently waits for my baby to feed her Cheerios. There has been some trial and error”like the time I tried to take Cass for a walk and she stubbornly refused to walk more than two blocks. I ended up carrying the dog in one arm and push my stroller with the other, while ignoring the amused laughs of the people driving by. And don’t even get me started about house-training. I have stories that would test anyone’s gag reflex. But I’ll save those tales for another time.

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included a photo of my beloved dog.

Cass has decided that she’s a human baby, and has taken every pacifier in the house by force.

I’ve decided that I’m a dog person now. (I’ve decided that a slobbery tongue is ten times better than a feline plotting my demise.) So if you see me out walking (or carrying) my stubborn dog, please don’t rub my past follies in my face. And if my dog happens to be wearing a cute little pink knit sweater, just laugh at me behind my back.


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