Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Why We Love Cats and Dogs

I watched a wonderful show on PBS’s Nature series last night called “Why We Love Cats and Dogs.”  (I would have posted the information if I had realized it was going to be on.  You can check your local listings and you may still be able to catch it.)  The program was great.  All kinds of dog and cat owners were interviewed about their pets and what they have meant to them.



The program featured an interview with a woman with six cats.  She said some interesting things about how cats have “timesharing” arrangements, which makes them a little different from dogs.  For instance, a cat may have a favorite place to sleep in the mornings but another cat will sleep in the same spot at night.  Both cats are fine with that arrangement.  Dogs, on the other hand, seem to tend to see things a little more in terms of territory.  If a dog has a favorite spot then that place is his all the time.  There are probably exceptions.  With my dogs I know the most coveted spot is up on the pillows on the bed opposite me. This is Billie’s place 90 percent of the time.  She will miss meals to keep her favorite spot.  But all of the dogs seem to think this spot confers some favored status.  (I don’t care where they sleep.  It makes no difference to me.  I like for them all to be in the bedroom so I can make sure they’re okay at night, and I like to cuddle but I can cuddle with whichever dog is next to me.  The dogs have come up with this theory about the pillow spot being special on their own.)  Therefore, whenever Billie gets off the bed, immediately some other dog, usually Blue or Pearl, demands to get up right away to get the pillow spot.  Five minutes later, when Billie comes back, she definitely looks put out to find one of these brats in her spot.  So, I don’t think dogs are into “timesharing” spaces the way that cats are.  Billie will get up on the bed in another spot and stare at the dog who has her place just waiting for them to move.  When she finally gets her place back she will settle down and stay there another 10 hours.  LOL


If the dogs knew the truth they would know that I really prefer the dog that sleeps next to my knees or against my back.  Those are the easiest places to reach when I want to pet somebody.  For me, that’s much more important than the pillow spot that creates discord.  Billie is on the bed in her spot so much that I forget she’s there half the time.  But the dogs think it’s important, probably because it seems to elevate them to the same status I have.


The program had other good segments including how a shelter in Colorado evaluates cat and dog personality and tries to match them with people to reduce returns.  There’s also a great segment where a professional dog trainer/behaviorist visits a park and talks to owners about their dogs.  She is able to identify exactly what kind of relationships owners have with their dogs simply by talking to them and observing their dogs.  According to this trainer there are people who are “Angels” — they go around wanting to rescue dogs, even when they don’t need rescuing.  This can lead to spoiled dogs.  There are “Soulmates” — people who look to their dogs to fill all of their relationship needs.  There are “Buddies” — people who have an easygoing relationship with their dogs and look for low maintenance.  And there are “Masters” and “Observers.”  Masters are people who set a lot of rules and ask for obedience.  Observers are people who let dogs be dogs — and the dogs may get away with a lot.  It was very interesting to hear this dog trainer talk about these dogs, owners and their relationships.  I have no idea which one I would be.


But I thought the best part of the show was an emotional story about a German Shepherd named Jerry.  Jerry’s owners lived their whole lives around the dog.  So, when he had to have one of his front legs removed because of cancer they decided to sell their house and business, buy an RV and spend all of Jerry’s remaining life traveling with him around the country.  Jerry loved life and he loved to play and he certainly enriched his owners’ lives.  You can’t watch Jerry’s story without a few tears.


If you get a chance to watch “Why We Love Cats and Dogs” I definitely recommend it.


February 20, 2009 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , ,

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