February 12, 2007

Katz and Dogs

I had a really bad dream last night. I dreamt that I gave away my cats. Maggie and JoJo are my babies, so I woke up a little distraught that'd I'd been cruel enough, even in a dream, to give them away.

If you're a dog or cat lover, I don't have to explain anything. If you're not, well, too bad for you. This article in Slate was timely for me this morning - a guy named Jon Katz is writing about why he loves his dogs so much. It's actually a more in-depth look at the sociological reasons behind it. It's interesting. I love cats, I don't mind dogs.

Katz tells a story of a woman who dumped a guy because he didn't like her dog. I don't blame her. I find people that love animals are more relaxed and approachable than those that don't. I wouldn't date a guy who hated animals, and I can't imagine my sons not growing up with our girls. They bring a nice balance to the house, and make you focus on something other than yourself.

You've probably heard a lot recently about why humans respond differently to certain animals. Animals that have both eyes facing forward resemble our own faces somewhat, animals that use paws like hands are another point of similarity. The penguin craze is explained by many of their human-like emotions, the mating and bonding. Rumour has it that meerkats will be the next big deal, as they're furry and cute and live in families. They also rip each other to pieces, perform amazing feats of incest and kick family members out of the nest, but I digress.

People that love their dogs and cats can go on and on about them. And on. But when a bond is based on loyalty and devotion - and one that is strong both ways - it's easy to see why. With Valentine's Day this week, there are the predictable pieces about love in the paper. A recent study says people value smarts and fidelity over looks and hot sex. It's funny - those first two things you can only ascertain after you've gotten over the latter two. Show me a guy who walks into a bar an demands to be introduced to the smartest woman in the place.

Maybe we love our pets so much because we get right to the two things that matter most, without all the people baggage and heartache. That, and they can't open the cans by themselves.


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