The perks of owning a puppy: A (wo)man’s best friend


By Meghan Pignataro

I have two dogs and they are my life. When I say they are my life, I mean that in every way possible. I obsess over them way more than I should, I have hundreds of photos of them stored in my phone, I’ll play with them for hours and never get sick of them, and I talk about them constantly as if they are real people.

After loving dogs for all of my life, I never even considered getting another type of pet. I do not even remotely understand why anyone would ever choose anything different.

It’s bad enough pet owners choose animals other than dogs, but what’s even worse is when people choose animals that are boring, sneaky and creepy. Like cats.

No, I have never owned a cat before – nor do I ever want to.

After watching my aunt’s cats for a few days, it confirmed my belief: dogs make much better pets than those ferocious felines.

When I walked into my aunt’s house, I looked around trying to find where the cats were. For nearly 20 minutes I had no idea if they were even in the house. I went into the kitchen and prepared their foul-smelling food and within seconds they creepily appeared.

They hopped on the table, with such good manners, ate the food and then ran off being their selfish, independent selves.

They barely acknowledged I was there.

On the contrary, the moment I walk inside my house, my dogs come running full speed up to me, licking my face and wagging their tails. They are overly excited and follow me around for at least 20 minutes. Knowing my presence makes them so excited is heartwarming.

Based on their excitement, it’s clear dogs form a close bond and connection with their owners. They form a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Dogs will be there for you unconditionally; they will not judge you and they will be there to cheer you up.

They can sense when you are upset or feeling down and they will instantly try to comfort you. They listen to you, tilt their head and raise their ears as if they are actually communicating with you.

Cats, on the other hand, only care about the food they are waiting to eat. If anything, they will rub against your leg for a quick second showing an ounce of affection. How exciting.

In addition to forming a close connection, dogs are much easier to train and are able to follow commands.

My dogs know how to give you their paw, sit, jump and stop. They learned these basic commands within weeks after I brought them home. When I say a command, they know exactly what to do.

While dogs learn to follow commands, they also act as a great form of security. They have the ability to sense danger and know how and when to help people.

The moment my dogs see an unfamiliar person, they bark until my family becomes alert. Not a playful kind of bark. Instead, it’s a loud, alarming bark that makes me question who is there. Cats, on the other hand, do nothing.

I happened to glance outside of my aunt’s window and saw a tall man wandering around the backyard late at night. The cats were absolutely no help. If it were my dogs they would have alerted me the moment they saw the stranger and probably would have scared him away by their barks.

In addition to being a form of security, dogs can also guarantee to boost your activity rate. Studies have shown that having a dog can lead to a more active lifestyle.

According to a study of 1,000 adults conducted by Mars Petcare pet food company, 44 percent of dog owners age 65 and older exercise on a weekly basis because of their dog. In addition, 25 percent of adults with children and dogs visit parks and outdoor spaces regularly because of their dog.

My dogs force me to be active. I am constantly taking my dogs to the beach or taking them for a walk. When they get in playful moods I chase them throughout the house or run around the backyard until they, or I, get tired out.

Furthermore, dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some weigh as much as 100 pounds, others as low as 10 pounds. Cats are generally the same size, just different color. They generally have the same appearance, unlike dogs who have their own unique characteristics.

Whether big or small, dogs are also well suited for children. They know how to be gentle with kids rather than hissing at or scratching them.

When I was seven, and clearly unaware of how nasty cats could be, I thought they would be playful like dogs. Wrong.

Before I could even reach to pick up a cat, his paw fiercely snatched out and dug into my hand, leaving me with a tiger-like scratch.

Needless to say, I never wanted to pick up a cat again.

Although many households do have cats – which I don’t know why – dogs undoubtedly make better pets. They are loveable creatures that give you their heart if you give them yours.

John Grogan, in the 2008 movie “Marley and Me,” said it best about his Labrador Retriever:

“Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

Now that’s a love that will last a lifetime.

Campus Chronicle
Add a comment