On dogs, briefly

Dan’s home for four days and brought us a new router, so our own network is functional again. Hooray! This evening, we watched a Nova special about the evolution, genetics, and behavior of dogs, and while we don’t have a dog I found myself saying “aww” every time I saw a cute dog on the screen. Which was a lot of times. I realized a few minutes into the program (and about 45 minutes before they actually said it ON the program) that there are many traits about dogs that are akin to human babies, and probably partly why we find them so lovable. I grew up always having a dog in the family, and always having cats, yet I consider myself more of a cat person than a dog person.

When the show was over, I turned to Dan and said “Having a dog is more like having a baby, and having a cat is more like having a teenager.” Which I think is pretty accurate, and I wonder what that will mean for my future hypothetical parenting techniques and interests. You can leave a cat for a few days as long as it has a litter box, food, and water, and when you come home the cat will either ignore you or berate you for having been gone. You can’t leave a dog for more than about 10 hours because it needs to be walked, access to outdoors so it can pee and poop, and it needs human attention or it will fail to thrive. I like that cats are more independent and that they mostly have “personalities” that don’t necessarily involve loving their human companions unconditionally. But I bet when I have a dog again, I’ll love that dog to pieces.

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One response to “On dogs, briefly

  1. Dogs are pack animals, we rarely leave our big babies for more than a 5 hour stretch and yes, it does have an effect on daily life let alone vacation-planning. Of course some dogs are more independent and purposeful, a herding or livestock guard dog in rural Idaho or farmlands of Namibia will be too busy to get all butt-hurt about their humans. I like having both cat and dogs but your simile is apt.

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