I'm an animal lover. I have four cats (at one point, we had seven! two mommas had kittens, of course). Both dogs and cats can be a real handful. We don't have enough space for a dog at this point, but I would love to add a new member to our family.
Puppies can get very excited -- that's the only warning I would advise about. Small kids can sometimes "bombard" pets, and when they get stressed out, they can lash out. I find that cats can handle young kids a bit better -- if only because they tend to go off to be by themselves when people are bothering them.