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imrainmaker's avatar

Do you have a pet?

Asked by imrainmaker (8365points) January 27th, 2016 from iPhone

Cat / dog or both? And how many? Have you observed any change in your own behaviour before / after having pet? If so what was it?

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22 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have always had at least one cat and often a dog. I now have one cat and two dogs. Yeah, we can’t just go and do whatever whenever we want unless we plan ahead. If it’s overnight we have to board them at the vets. We also spend a lot of money on them. In many ways it’s just like having a kid, except I wouldn’t make a kid go outside to crap.

zenvelo's avatar

Wow, only dogs and cats can be pets? Many of us have other types of pets.

My son has had a goldfish for almost nine years now. He won it at the school fair, it has moved four times. Fred is still going strong.

imrainmaker's avatar

Yeah..you are right..not just dogs/cats..others too can be pets..was referring to most common ones…nothing against others..))

ragingloli's avatar

I have some humans chained up in my dungeon.
And they have pets of their own. Lice, intestinal parasites, rats and flesh eating cockroaches.

longgone's avatar

I have two Labradors, eleven and almost one. My old girl is a special dog – she’s gentle, and calm, and very sweet. She has way more friends than I do, and she’s helped a bunch of people get over their fear of dogs. I got her as a teen, and training her became my project. She helped me gain a ton of confidence.

My new dog is still very much a puppy. He has about fifty new ideas every day, and he tries all of them out at least once. Some are good – some are not. He’s a lot of fun, though, and very cuddly. He’s more adventurous than my old girl, and more sensitive. I’ve been more active since I got him.

Fortunately, the two get along great. They play wild games every day, and the little one is very polite in not biting too hard or taking advantage of how easily he could push my old girl over.

thorninmud's avatar

I have a dog (Pit bull mix) and a cat (um, cat mix).

We’ve almost always had pets, so your before/after question is hard to answer. But I can say that I’ve never had this much dog before. No animal has ever loomed so large in my life.

The behavioral changes have been mutual. I recall, with no small measure of ironic amusement, reading the dog training manuals and articles describing how to shape the dog’s behavior to conform to mine, as if it was up to him to do all of the accommodation. That was not how things actually worked. At all.

In practice, I’ve changed at least as much as he has. And that has been wonderful. I’ve had to set aside my will enough to understand better what it’s like to be him. Whatever vague notions I had of teaching him to be more like a human got flipped around; he has taught me how to be more like a dog.

Tea_Gryphon's avatar

I have two cats (Ramona and Abby) a fish (Leelee), and a guinea pig (Giovanni). I grew up my entire life having a lot of animals in the house (we were active in fostering animals up for adoption and volunteering at the pound and shelters).

There was a short time when I moved out onto my own for the first time that I didn’t have any animals because I wanted to settle in my transition. It was very weird and I noticed I felt down a lot. I eventually got a kitten from someone who advertised in the newspaper and I instantly felt a lot better. Animals definitely lift your spirits!

canidmajor's avatar

At the moment I only have two dogs. I have had, throughout my life, multiple combos of dogs and cats, I have never been without, so I don’t know what that’s like. I figure that I accommodate myself as much to them, as they do to me, in fact the 3½ month old puppy is currently dropping spitty toys on my lap to coax me to play, so away I go to romp with a fuzzy pup!

dxs's avatar

I have a pet rock. My behavior hasn’t changed much, and neither has his. I mean, he’s way older than me.

Cruiser's avatar

I have been a happier since we finally got a dog. We also have a turtle that made my then 10 yr old very happy and we got a rabbit 10 years ago that made my other then 10 yr old extremely happy.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

One cat, one dog. Each is extremely sweet and affectionate.

Animals certainly cause work and create messes, but I’m always very happy when I have some in my life. I really can’t imagine an existence without animal companions.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Yes, the starlet in the avatar pic. She has helped lift the huge cloud of depression over me and my husband. She has brought laughter into our lives.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@ZEPHYRA Your little starlet is lovely.

Yes, an animal companion can change us in profound ways. I once had my own life saved by a dog. I’d miscarried twins at the end of their 4th month; all I could do was cry, and I was vaguely disappointed when I woke up each morning.

My brother knows me as nobody else does, and he told me that I had to get a dog. I chose Callie (RIP, sweetheart) at my local shelter, and my brother paid the adoption fee. Instantly, I was laughing all day long, and waking up was fun; Callie always rested her head on the edge of the bed to awaken me.

Mariah's avatar

I have 14 pets!

No, I’m not a crazy cat lady. I have fish! 3 guppies, 5 cory catfish, 5 neon tetras, and a ghost shrimp.

Keeping fish is more of a responsibility than many people realize. They can die very easily due to small changes in the water like temperature, pH, etc. I monitor all of this but have still lost a few fish. They’re just very delicate creatures.

Aquarism is proving to be a new favorite hobby of mine. I look forward to a time when I’m not renting anymore and can go all out and get a giant aquarium. Right now I’m making do with 15 gallons. I just recently started growing live plants in there too, which is a whole other dimension of the hobby. It’s really fun.

As for how it’s affected me, besides what I just said about enjoying the hobby….you’ll laugh, but I have frequent stress dreams about screwing something up and killing my fish. Their lives are very much in my hands and I do feel the responsibility of that. I love the little guys. Losing the few that I’ve lost so far hurt.

Here’s a picture of my three guppies. One of the neon tetras is lurking in the corner too, and there’s a very blurry albino cory cat just under the heater. The plant in the pic is a fake and has been removed now that I’m keeping real ones.

I do long for a furry friend – the fish don’t much like it when I try to cuddle them :) I had cats growing up that I was extremely fond of. Again….once I’m not renting anymore, that’s a goal. The time isn’t right quite yet.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Mariah Cats are very low-maintenance – feed regularly, clean and refill the litterbox about 1X per week, and hug and cuddle as needed. Cats never need to be walked at 1:00 am during the dead of winter!

Your little piscine friends are very pretty, and they must feel right at home among us jellyfish.

Mariah's avatar

Oh I know! My kitties growing up were wonderful. My landlords just aren’t keen on us having animals in the house (the fish being an exception).

Mimishu1995's avatar

A pool full of fish. I doubt if any of them even knows I’m their owner.

Mariah's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Right? They’re such unappreciative little bastards. They flee in terror from my hand when I reach in to do maintenance of any kind. I wish they could understand – this is the hand of god that’s keeping you alive!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

My mom was scared of dogs, all of her life. Terrified of dogs.

She got Alzheimers while in her 70’s. Most weekends I’d pick her up from the retirement home where she lived, and bring her back to our house.
We had two labs. Hyperactive labs. But when Mom was around, one would lay at her feet, and the smaller one would lay on the couch with her head in Mom’s lap. They’d lay that way for hours. Mom would absentmindedly pet Diamond’s head, and Asa would keep her feet warm.
I think she felt safe, protected and warm when the dogs were with her.

When Mom wasn’t around, however, they ate things and ran. They ate our back yard. They ate all of our shoes. They ate the grill and the porch swing. I still marvel at how still they would stay, and for how long, when Mom was there.

My Dakota dog has been helping small children get over their fear of dogs since 2006.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Dutchess_III What beautiful pictures of your dog and the little ones. Dutchess is the dog’s name, right?

That’s so interesting about your Mom, but such changes aren’t unusual for Alzheimer’s patients. I think that A.D. can simply make people forget their old fears, neuroses, bigotries, and grudges. I’ve seen vile racists become tolerant, and OCD sufferers lose their crippling fixations.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, she was initially afraid. My biggest amazement was the change in the dogs when mom was around.

lugerruger's avatar

I have had at least two dogs throughout my whole life. I have owned a total of 8 dogs. We now own 1 Rottweiler and 2 English mastiffs. We have had fish in the past and birds. We once had a kitten, but he was too young to be separated from his mother so we had to give him away to someone who could look after him properly. I have rescued two birds, one was returned to the wild and the other sadly died. We also once had two birds that killed each other on the first night of owning them. We also had a few rabbits once, but I don’t remember them at all.
We’ve had some bad experiences with pets, but I really do think that despite every problem, they do improve your life extremely. Dogs have helped me through my toughest times, so yes, they have very positively effected my life.

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