Finding out what’s great about dogs

Emily Bauman, Staff Reporter

I can remember when I was little having a family dog. His name was Casper, he was black and white and we got him as a puppy. He wasn’t a nice dog, he bit and barked, and since then, I’ve never liked dogs. I’m a cat person. I don’t like to be around dogs and I would never dream of spending time with them ever again. Until last week, when I was asked to immerse myself into the life of a dog lover.

For the weekend I took care of a family member’s pet, Bailey, a little white dog who was described to me as having lots of energy and lots of love. My responsibilities were to make sure the dog was fed, walk her at least once a day and let her outside to use the bathroom and keep her entertained all day long.

According to the ASCPA, more than 44% of families in the United States own dogs. In addition to that 44% are the families who have rescued dogs or inherited puppies and not have registered them with a veterinarian. If almost half of the citizens own dogs, there must be something so great about dogs I’m missing.

Compared to taking care of my cat, this seemed like overkill. I feed her three times a day, usually when I eat, and change her litter box once a week. Other than that, I leave her alone and we both do our own things.

Although it might seem like dogs are a lot of work to me, according to Pawshake Dog Blog, owners confess to spending 1-3 hours on pets every day and others report feeling guilty for leaving dogs alone.

When I walked in and let Bailey out of her kennel, it was crazy. She jumped, sniffed, but thankfully, never really barked. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of dogs barking or jumping on me.

After the initial greeting, we both just laid on the couch and watched TV. She slept and I relaxed, and it reminded me of something my cat and I would do.

Then a time came where she just wanted to run and play which made me want to run and hide.

I let her outside and that burned off some of her energy. According to, dogs need about 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity every day, and I can guarantee that she got more than that.

After that, Bailey decided to show me exactly why I don’t like dogs. First, she wouldn’t go the food dish and I couldn’t get her to eat. Then she wouldn’t go outside and I couldn’t get her to go to the bathroom.

Already frustrated by Bailey’s orneriness, I put her collar on and opened the door to see pouring rain; I felt my heart drop. I didn’t want to go outside in the rain and mud and I could already see the dirty paw prints that would soon cover the house. Bailey didn’t care and ran right out dragging me along with her.

When Bailey’s family returned Sunday night, I was more than happy to hand off the leash and dog treats and get out of there. Watching a dog for the weekend was tiring and a lot of work that I wasn’t necessarily ready for.

Depending on the type of dog, the experience will change, there are over 300 types of dogs after all. But my own experience with Bailey enforced my thinking that I’m more of a cat person.  

After a long weekend of dog sitting, I realized that the time, energy and care that it took to own a dog just isn’t for me. However, I understand why people love dogs so much. They are caring, energetic, and loving.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of pet you have, as long as you can love it, care for it and share your life with it. For me, its cats and for others it’s dogs.