🐾It’s National Dog Day🐾
I am definitely a dog person. I’ve lived my entire life with dogs. I wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t have a dog in my life somewhere. I have had a couple of cats join the mix, and a few birds spent some time with my family as well. Yet, my connection to the dogs in my life was far more profound.
Psychology Today posted an interesting article detailing the differences between Dog People and Cat People that I wanted to share. According to their studies:
🐕 74% of their test group preferred dogs to cats
🐕Dog people were generally about 15 percent more extroverted and 13 percent more agreeable than cat people
🐕Dog people were 11 percent more conscientious than cat people
🐕Being married, living in a house, and having children living in the home, are all factors that are more likely for dog owners than cat owners.
🐕Of the people who grew up in a house with cats as pets, 47 percent were likely to have cats today, while only 11 percent of people whose childhood years were spent in a house with a dog have only a cat as a pet.
🐕People who own only cats tend to be relatively introverted (low on extroversion) and also reasonably cool (low in warmth or agreeableness)
🐕The general pattern that comes out of both studies is that dog owners are more social, interactive and accepting and cat owners (who own cats exclusively) are more introverted, self-contained and less sociable
Now, as a lifelong dog person, I can’t say the findings of this study are shocking. I fall into just about every dog person trait. However, I am certain that there are exceptions to the general mold formed in this study. I guess in my case, the dog person label applies.
I love how a dog seeks me out for company…though being stared at in the bathroom is a bit of overkill. Having dogs with me during my childhood gave me companionship, and comfort during some very dark times. Taking care of their needs taught me great lessons in responsibility. And cleaning up dog poop taught me that there will always be unexpected and unpleasant events in our lives. In fact, my dogs taught me a great deal:
My Cocker Spaniel Misty taught me that sometimes you have to go to great lengths in order to get your point across. How? We lived in Michigan when we added Misty to our family. At his time, my mother decided that she was too hairy to be an indoor dog, so she was relegated to the outdoors most of the time. It was her refusal to go into her doghouse to escape the cold that finally convinced my mom to bring her in. (And she never left.)
My Boston Terrier Huey taught me that holding on to my childhood was important. He developed a habit of sucking a stuffed animal in the same manner that he nursed as a puppy. When he was upset, tired, or bored he would find his toy, and settle onto the floor and nurse. This was the same dog that got into violent dog fights with the other male dog in the house. One fight was so bad that my brother lost a piece of his finger trying to separate them. Huey was my gentle giant. He was large for a Boston Terrier, but a lover to the core. He was my comfort during breakups, my friend when I was lonely and in some ways my first child. He developed lymphoma in his late life, and eventually lost his battle. His passing devastated me, and taught me how to deal with grief in a whole new way. Around that same time I had adopted another Boston Terrier, Chloe, who was just a puppy when Huey passed. She is one of the reasons that I made it through his emotional passing. A puppy requires a whole different set of skills and non stop attention. Whether it was getting into a box of rat poison that my landlord left out, or breaking free from her leash and running through a busy intersection to get some chicken wings from the park, she kept my life full of adventure. She communicated her needs more clearly than any animal I have ever encountered. During her days with Huey, he would occasionally look at me as if to question my sanity in adding her to the mix, given her panache for dramatic events. Most notably when he had his stomach pumped and it was determined that he had not partaken in the rat poison tomfoolery. His look of irritation and annoyance was priceless when the vet brought him back to me after that trip.
Chloe has since passed, as have her two puppies. In fact, I’ve said hello and good bye to 4 other dogs since Huey passed. Each one taught me something, and each one will forever be treasured in my heart. In every one of my dogs lives we had joy, and pain. We have far more happy memories than unhappy, which is the way it should be. My dogs taught me how to enjoy life by celebrating the small triumphs as much as I do the big ones.
I now have a beautiful two year old boy who calls me mommy. He lights up my life and teaches me more about myself than I ever thought possible. I show him pictures of all the dogs that have passed through our home, as well as teach him how to love and care for our newest edition Sugar. My dog and my son fill our home with life and entertainment. I celebrate Dog Day everyday. So today, on National Dog Day I appreciate all of our canine friends who enrich our homes. Today is definitely one for the dogs – and that’s fine with me.