Dear Good Enough Guy,
My boyfriend Rick wants us to get a dog but I am more of a cat person and would love to get one now that we have moved in together.
However Rick is totally opposed to the idea and says guys don’t do cats. He says they’re unfriendly and mean – whereas dogs are loyal and great companions.
I suggested getting one of each but Rick thinks it’s a recipe for disaster.
What do you suggest Will!
It’s funny you should ask this question, as this is a battle that is raging in my own home as we speak. And, to me, this is not just a cat vs. dog argument; this is a battle of function versus fashion… beauty versus capability… in short, what makes a pet worth having.
Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I didn’t grow up with the luxury of buying pretty things that don‘t serve a purpose, and I still don’t do it today. I don’t drive a Lexus; I drive a four-wheel drive, extended cab, open-bed Chevy truck. “Why?” Because it can do all the jobs I need it to do. I collect power tools. “Why?” Because they do the jobs I need them to do. And I have a dog AND a cat. “Why?” I honestly can’t answer that.
I rescued my dog, “Buck” from a shelter when he was a puppy, and he’s been trying to pay me back every since. He’s fairly smart, eager to please, and tries harder than any dog I’ve ever seen to do the things that are asked of him. The only problem is that he isn’t very good at anything. He’s part Labrador, part Husky, and I’m pretty sure there’s some bunny rabbit mixed in. Buck might have made a fine hunting dog, as long as you didn’t fire a gun around him; he’s scared of thunder and loud noises. He’d make a fine guard dog – if the burglar tripped over him as he slept by the door. A protector? Sure, if he wasn’t scared of our cat. A watch dog? Maybe if we installed a security camera and a monitor for him to watch, like when he watches TV (which he’s great at!)
So why do I keep him? Because he LOVES me (well, me and the whole family… but mostly me.) When I walk in the door, it doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had or what kind of day Buck has had; he’s there to greet me with a wagging tail and a sloppy, dog kisses. When I’m sick, my wife has to drag him from my bed, and even then he never goes more than a foot or two from my side. When I talk to him (that’s right… call me what you want… I talk to my dog), he LISTENS… and even though he may not understand my words, I know he understands the tone of my voice, and I never have to worry about what I said being thrown back in my face, or repeated to anyone. And try as you might, a person can only stay so upset when they’re petting a dog. Something about scratching behind his ears and watching those big old eyes (one blue and one brown) roll back in his head; it just calms my heart.
On the other hand, we have “cat”, which we also saved from a shelter and gave to my daughter’s for her birthday. Cat’s actual name is “Angel” which is absurd both because the cat is one of the purest forms of evil I’ve ever known and because naming a cat is like befriending a brick. Cat barely tolerates my daughter, ignores the rest of the family, and hates Buck with a passion second only to her passion for killing rodents. But that is where I lose my argument.
A cat only has one real job; catching mice. And, at that task, ours is unmatched. Last year, we moved into an older house on a couple of acres, and so far two field mice were foolish enough to wander into “mouse hell.” I will not go into detail as to the twisted things Cat did to them, but when other mice gather around little camp fires and tell horror stories, “The House on Wolf Avenue” will be a favorite. After her last grisly encounter, I actually started calling her “Meowlzebub”. She does her job with deathly accuracy, but that’s all she does.
So, what does all of this say? It says that a dog is a pack animal, and you and your boyfriend are forming a pack. If you get a dog, he will love you, try to please you, give you his undivided attention and try desperately to get all of yours. In short, he will give his all. There are even stories of dogs giving their lives for their families, and I believe that this is more the rule than the exception. I fully believe that my dog would try to save my life if he could.
Or you can get a furry, mouse trap that poops in a box of sand.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.