My Pets are Crazy and I am Their Owner

Someone close to me once (well, many times) made the joke, “pets and their owners” (meaning, I was crazy, so my pets are too. This is not really far from the truth).

My cat thinks she is a dog. She snuggles, she HAS to sleep in my armpit (don’t ask) and she is constantly seeking attention.

Someone apparently forgot to tell her she is a cat. I also got her when she was five years old, so she figured out pretty quickly I was a soft touch. Little furry terrorist.

The dog, however, thinks she’s a cat (well, I guess, all things being equal, this works itself out). She doesn’t climb on the furniture – I don’t think it has occurred to her that a) she could and b) I wouldn’t complain. She comes over for “pets” on her terms, which usually means five minutes, you can scratch my ears, and I’m over you. I’ll be on the floor if you need me.

I live with these little furry conundrums and I wouldn’t trade it for the world – there’s never a dull moment in my household.

Also, the one thing they agree on, is that they are complete and total beggars:

Just look at them. This is the only time they work together. If they actually start holding meetings I am doomed.

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Why I Love My Dog

So, about three months ago I added a dog to my family. Pixel, the cat, was less than enthused about this, but she seems to be coming around. Then again, she’s a cat. And a calico cat, at that. Time will tell.

Anyway. I had been toying with the idea of getting a dog for a long time. I never did, because I was in a long term relationship with someone who liked to travel, and I just could not board a dog as easily as I could get a sitter for the cat. So, the idea sat on the back burner.

Then I ended that relationship. I spent probably nine months toying with the idea of getting a dog. I was really worried about the cat; I did not want to “ruin her life” so to speak, but she had been raised with dogs (I got her when she was five) so I thought she’d eventually come around.

I did extensive Internet research on dog-cat relations as well as what breed of dog would be good for me, as I live in an apartment and would have to walk the dog vs. letting it out into a yard.

I settled on a Shiba Inu. Turns out, they are “dogs for cat people”. Well, COUNT ME IN!!!

I found an awesome rescue in my area: Shiba Scout Rescue. They raise funds to buy Shibas from puppy mills to adopt out to individuals. What a worthy cause. I sent in an application, was approved for a home visit, and subsequently ran into some life events that prevented me from getting a dog. I had to beg off. I was sad about that.

Probably three months later, I got a fat raise at work, things were going well, and I applied again. I got a home visit from two dogs: Buta and Keiko. Buta was VERY shy, and I was afraid the cat would just eat her lunch. Keiko, however, walked in like, “Oh, so this is my house? I’m going to sleep here? This is the cat? The cat is interesting. Is this the bathroom? Oh, wow!” Yeah, she just kind of moved herself in.

And now, she lives here.

Look at this cutie:

She LOVES snow. Crazy dog.

At first I had a bit of “buyer’s remorse” thinking, “OMG I have to walk this dog (I live in an apartment) three times a day, it’s going to be a trainwreck, OMG, what have I signed on for?” But, I’m a big believer in fulfilling your commitments, so NO WAY was I going to just throw up my hands, declare her too much work, and walk off. NO WAY.

And we worked it out. Now, three months later, I can’t imagine my life without her. Even the cat has (mostly) gotten on board. She is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog I know (I wish I could take credit, but it’s 90% her) and I am madly in love with her.

Shibas really are “dogs for cat people”. Mine is happy to be in the same room as me, comes up for the occasional ear scritchie, and goes to lay down in the room. The cat is more of a dog than my dog. Keiko loves her crate and has no problem going in there when I leave the house or at bedtime. She loves her morning walks (and I have to say, I have benefitted from this as well, having explored WAY more of downtown Loveland than I ever would have on my own) and she’s really a great addition to the family.

Just look at this face. I defy you to refuse her anything:

I love this dog. And people, I know the puppies in the pet store are really, REALLY cute, but don’t buy them. You are perpetuating the horrible existence my dog had as a breeder in a puppy mill, confined to a crate and shoving out litter after litter. It’s wrong. It won’t stop until we stop funding it.

Please, please, PLEASE, adopt from a shelter or a rescue. And PLEASE, spay or neuter your pet.