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10 Reasons Why I Am a Dog Person

Updated on December 22, 2012
Our chocolate lab, Zoey.
Our chocolate lab, Zoey. | Source

Growing up, I never owned a dog. Our family always had cats, and I was happy with that. While I wasn't exactly afraid of dogs, I never felt very comfortable around them. I considered myself to be a "cat person" and figured that I would always prefer cats to dogs.

After my husband and I got married, we had two cats, and they were great pets - full of personality, playful and very affectionate. One of them went on to live for 17 happy years, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

A couple of years after our kids were born, my husband started talking about the idea of getting a dog. We still had our two cats, but he thought a dog would be a great addition to our family. I wasn't so sure. I just envisioned more work and didn't really see a lot of potential benefits to owning a dog.

I resisted the idea of getting a dog, and stalled for as long as I could. However, I was doomed the day we went to "just look at" some chocolate lab puppies at a breeder's house. There's not much in this world that is cuter than pudgy little labrador retriever puppies running around, and of course I fell in love with them. It wasn't long before we had one of our own - a male named Jake.

We only had Jake for a few years when he escaped our yard one rainy night shortly after we had moved to a new house. Tragically, he was hit by a car and killed. His death was a huge loss to our family, and I came to realize how much I had loved him. While we didn't rush out to replace him, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would get another dog.

We now have two dogs - a four year old chocolate lab and a one year old Australian Shepherd. We have raised them both from puppies, and they have become an important part of our family life.

Here are what I consider to be the benefits of dog ownership, and why I now consider myself a dog person:

Dogs help keep you active

Dogs need to be active. Some breeds require A LOT of exercise and activity in order to prevent boredom and keep them out of trouble. They can help give you that extra motivation you need to go for a walk or hike, and they can make it much more fun.

Dogs can help you feel safe

While I've never been terribly anxious or paranoid when I'm home alone, having two dogs in the house makes me feel safe and protected.

I also know that burglars would likely think twice about breaking in when they hear the barking of our two "guard dogs."

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Zoey fetching a stick from the ocean in PEI.Our Australian Shepherd, Maggie, playing frisbee in the lake.Contemplating a jump into the lake.Our dogs never get tired of being in the lake.Zoey in the lake at a cottage.Dogs taking turns jumping off the dock at the cottage.Our dog Maggie jumping off the dock into the lake.Splashing around in the lake.Zoey walking in the waves of Lake Huron.Swimming in the lake all day is a great way to tire the dogs out!
Zoey fetching a stick from the ocean in PEI.
Zoey fetching a stick from the ocean in PEI. | Source
Our Australian Shepherd, Maggie, playing frisbee in the lake.
Our Australian Shepherd, Maggie, playing frisbee in the lake. | Source
Contemplating a jump into the lake.
Contemplating a jump into the lake. | Source
Our dogs never get tired of being in the lake.
Our dogs never get tired of being in the lake. | Source
Zoey in the lake at a cottage.
Zoey in the lake at a cottage. | Source
Dogs taking turns jumping off the dock at the cottage.
Dogs taking turns jumping off the dock at the cottage. | Source
Our dog Maggie jumping off the dock into the lake.
Our dog Maggie jumping off the dock into the lake. | Source
Splashing around in the lake.
Splashing around in the lake. | Source
Zoey walking in the waves of Lake Huron.
Zoey walking in the waves of Lake Huron. | Source
Swimming in the lake all day is a great way to tire the dogs out!
Swimming in the lake all day is a great way to tire the dogs out! | Source

Dogs love water

I could watch our dogs swim in the lake all day. There's such joy in a dog when it swims or splashes around that you can't help but share their happiness.

Our family loves vacationing at cottages on the water, and I'm so happy that our dogs are able to enjoy these trips with us.

Dogs are social

Dogs love to meet other dogs and other people. They are a great ice-breaker. I'm happily married, so I have no need to use dogs to meet men.

However, I have been able to strike up conversations with neighbours and complete strangers while walking our dogs without feeling weird about it, or running out of things to talk about.

Dogs like car rides

While I'm sure that there could be people whose cat, rabbit or hamster loves to go on a car ride, I think these are quite rare. All of the cats I have ever owned have hated going anywhere in the car, and a ten minute drive to the vet was always torture for all involved.

On the other hand, our dogs will happily accompany us on any trip. Whether it's a five minute drive to run an errand, a twenty minute drive to visit a friend's farm or go to the beach, or a drive halfway across the country on a family vacation, they are always up for any adventure.

Dogs are excellent companions

Dogs seem to know when you are feeling sick, lonely or sad and do their best to cheer you up. They will keep you company while you're just hanging out or doing work around the house and get really excited when you want to play.

Dogs never make excuses, and they don't hold grudges.

We all could learn a thing or two from dogs about how to be a good friend.

Source
Source

Dogs make you laugh

Dogs do silly things. No matter how down or mad you might be, it's hard not to laugh when you find your dog in the most unlikely place or doing something ridiculous.

I think when you have more than one dog the opportunities for silly antics increases exponentially, and I find myself laughing at one or the other of our dogs many times throughout the day.

Dogs can help relieve stress

Petting a dog or cat has been shown to reduce blood pressure and reduce stress. Having your dog come snuggle with you can brighten your mood and help you forget your troubles.

Of course the extra fresh air and exercise that you may get when you own a dog is also a great way to keep your stress levels down.

Dogs are great family pets

Dogs can teach children a lot of valuable life lessons, like responsibility and empathy.

They can help keep kids active, and give them someone to play with when there are no friends around.

And the #1 reason why I'm now a dog person?

Because I can't imagine ever not having a dog again.

There has definitely been some added work and expenses with having dogs as pets, but the advantages have far outweighed the disadvantages.

Our two dogs have become such an important part of our family, that I can't imagine not having them around.


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    • lisa42 profile image

      lisa42 4 years ago from Sacramento

      Great hub, and I loved the photos! I, too, grew up with cats and didn't get my first dog until my senior year in high school. Now I can't imagine not having a dog. We lost one of ours to cancer about a year ago and just last week got our remaining dog a new friend - a Chinese sharpei rescue dog. The dogs immediately bonded, but the cats still aren't sure they agree with our decision to add another canine to the family. :-)

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      What is life without dogs to provide company. Seems like I will have to have my second dog next year. Two dogs are better than one. If a person is not around, the two can provide company to each other.

      Thank you for writing an awesome hub.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I never had pets while growing up, so in adulthood, I have made up for it. At one point I had 4 dogs, and 5 cats. I now have 1 dog and seven cats. (The other 4 dogs have passed on).

      Great hub, and I agree. I can't imagine my life without the amusement of a dog! UP +

    • brackenb profile image

      brackenb 4 years ago

      dogs are indeed great company - my terrier is my constant companion and I often find mysef chatting to him. So sorry at your loss of Jake but your other dogs look lovely.

    • Suzie ONeill profile image

      Suzie ONeill 4 years ago from Lost in La La Land

      I agree with your completely on every point you made in this hub. I love dogs. I had a wonderful dog that helped me through some really rough life patches. When he died, I was devastated. I mourned him for 8 years. A week ago, I finally opened my heart to a little black lab puppy named Loki. While I still miss my other dog, little Loki has been an absolute joy. I loved the part where you talked about dogs making us laugh. Loki has made me giggle so much the past week. She's such a sweet, silly little goof ball!

      Thank you for sharing your story!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I am definitely a dog person! I have a spoiled Miniature Schnauzer. Labs are wonderful dogs. If I ever get another dog, it will be a Lab. I just published a Hub about why people have pets. Our Hubs are so similar! Read mine when you have some time. This one is great. Your dogs are precious. I'll vote this UP, etc.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks everyone. It seems like there are a lot of us "dog people" on HubPages!

      lisa42 and Suzie ONeill: I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It really is heartbreaking to lose a loyal companion. I'm glad to hear that you have both found new dogs to bring you joy.

      Mary, I will definitely have to read your hub! Thanks for letting me know about it.

      brackenb - I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one that chats with my dogs when nobody's around.

      Suhail - I wasn't really sure about getting a second dog, but it has worked out very well. The dogs do keep each other busy by playing together, and I think it's definitely helped our older dog keep in shape. I'm sure your dog would love a friend to keep him company when you're not around :)

      Wow cloverleaffarm - you definitely have made up for not having pets when you were younger! I'm not sure I could handle that many pets at once, but it might be fun to try!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      When I was young, I read an article in that old large sized version of 'Life' magazine (of early 1980s) in which this photographer would go all across the USA with 4-5 different coloured giant balloons, put them in different locations and take pictures. So for example, he had those 5 balloons placed on a stretch on a nature trail in one of the pictures. I was impressed. I told my mom and dad that one day I will have 4-5 dogs and I will take landscape and nature pictures with them in the foreground. My dad laughed and said that I would need lot of money and commitment and that I needed to start from right then.

      I don't have 4-5 dogs, but I do have 1 boy to start building my team on. I hope to be reaching that goal of my life in next 5 years.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      What wonderful photos and 10 excellent reasons for having a dog, I lost my dog a few years ago, he was such a loyal friend and companion - I still miss him!

      Thank you for a lovely hub and voted up.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Arren123 profile image

      Arren123 4 years ago from UK

      Lovely hub Kathy, I always had a dog until I got divorced, last one being a chocolate lab, he was so much, but really a good dog. Since I've been divorced I looked at getting another dog, but with working the shift I do it wouldn't be fair on the dog. If and if I make enough online to give up working then yes I will be getting a dog. Voted up and beautiful, lovely photos :)

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I've had a lot of pets, but I never had a dog. I have a friend who had always been afraid of dogs and suddenly she changed, and adopted one. So when I saw your hub I became interested in reading it. I found all the advantages of owning a dog very interesting and enlightening. This is definitely a useful and well written article for anyone who never had a dog and is considering becoming a dog owner. Voted up.

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Glenn! I have a friend in a similar situation. It's amazing how your perspective and feelings can change after becoming a dog owner.

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Kevin - I'm sorry for not responding sooner. Somehow I missed your comment. Thanks for your lovely feedback. I can understand why you don't have a dog right now, but I hope your online work pays off enough so that you can have one again someday!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      If you told me two years ago that I was a dog person, I wouldn't have believed you, but I have a dog now and I am a dog person. They truly are wonderful for all the reasons you mentioned.

    • Keith Ham profile image

      Keith Ham 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, Ontario

      I don't really like Dogs to be honest, but I don't hate them at all. I'm just not a pet person.

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Isn't it funny how dogs have a way of winning people over? I always figured you either liked dogs or you didn't, but now I realize it's not that simple. Apparently it's never too late to become a dog person, and I'm glad I discovered this first hand. Thanks for stopping by!

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Keith, I can certainly appreciate that. The world wouldn't be very interesting if we all liked the same things anyway, now would it?

    • Heather63 profile image

      Heather Adams 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Sweet dogs! My family had a collie when I was little and I still have a soft spot for them. After that we had cats, like you. My husband and I broke down and got a rescue dog - an English setter who has turned out to be smart, a little rebellious when on the hunt for a squirrel, and a great companion. I enjoyed your piece, and agree!

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Heather. Your rescue dog sounds like a great pet, and I can just imagine that he might not listen very well while chasing squirrels! Our dogs are a bit rebellious at times too - especially when there's a puddle or lake nearby! I often say "you're lucky you're cute..."

    • FrugalFatCouple profile image

      FrugalFatCouple 4 years ago from California

      We rescued a little border terrier last year and he is the bright spot in our day. Gobbi - named after a famous magician helps get us out for walks daily and teaches us what life is all about. Treats and naps!!

    • savingkathy profile image
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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It sounds like he is teaching you important life lessons! Dogs sure do seem to have their priorities right. We should probably follow their lead more often! Love the name - it's very unusual and full of personality!

    • profile image

      Barbara Boswell Brunner 4 years ago

      Dogs are amazing creatures. Rescue dogs in particular can give back so much love. I have had nine over many years and wrote a book about it. Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber. They will always be in my heart.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      They really are amazing, aren't they? I love the title of your book - it's very clever. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love this hub! Zoey is just beautiful, as is your Australian Shepherd. Sadie has had 2 litters and it was so hard to get rid of all the puppies, they were so cute! I always had a favorite from each litter and wanted to keep them, but I finally let them go. We had Sadie spade after her last litter, I just couldn't take giving up those puppies any longer! It always seemed kind of cruel to her too. Voting this up, awesome and sharing! :)

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Sheila. We have never had a dog that's had a litter of puppies. I know that between my kids, my husband and I we would find it too difficult to give them up!

    • brandrocker profile image

      brandrocker 4 years ago

      Nice hub! I have lost my COCO recently... Now I feel more than ever before the value they add to your life - most faithful friend ever!!!

    • Fiddleman profile image

      Robert Elias Ballard 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

      Great hub and everyone should have at least one dog.

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Fiddleman. I know some people that probably shouldn't have a dog, but I agree that they can add a lot to many people's lives.

      brandrocker - I'm sorry to hear that you lost your dog recently. They certainly do become wonderful companions, and we sure miss them when they're gone.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      You've presented great reasons for having a dog, and I think that dogs make life so much better. I can't imagine living without one. Right now my husband and I have an Old English Sheepdog that I adore. She goes with us everywhere. Voting this up!

    • savingkathy profile image
      Author

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you! I've always liked English Sheepdogs - they seem like they would be great pets. It's great that she's able to go places with you.

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