THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS
By Sonja Stone
Cats are useless. There, I said it. Let the hate mail begin.
|Sleek and beautiful: Raja and Raven, my Dobermans
CONDITIONS OF COHABITATION
I know I’m about to make a lot of enemies, but here’s my feeling about pets: If an animal is going to live in my home, eat my food, drink my water, and breathe my oxygen, it needs to be willing AND ABLE to kill for me.
I know, I know. Everyone thinks either:
a) their kitty-cat would defend them to the death if he could, or
b) their kitty-cat could defend them, if he were so inclined.
For an animal to share my living quarters, it must meet BOTH of these requirements. Consistently.
Before you unsubscribe to our blog, let me say that I’m mostly kidding about the useless-cat thing. My dad has a cat, my sister has cats, my friends have cats. One of my friends willed her cat to me (I beg you, pray for her continued good health). My personal experience with cats is this: when you want to snuggle, they’re nowhere to be seen. When you want to be left alone, you get shedding hairs in your nose and cat ass in your face. And don’t get me started on the anus-trailing icicles from the Christmas tree.
But, oh, my Dobermans. Love at first sight.
|Raja and Raven, brother and sister
Though often portrayed in novels and movies as violent aggressors, Dobermans make excellent family dogs. We chose Dobermans to join our pack for several reasons. First, I wanted a protective breed. I adore German Shepherds, but it’s 120 degrees during a Phoenix summer, and I was concerned about long-haired dogs (though I know Shepherds live here and certainly thrive). Second, Dobermans are known to be loyal, intelligent, alert, and gentle (despite their reputation).
Dobermans have a long history of military service. As soldiers in WWI & WWII, they’ve served as sentries, scouts, messengers, and protectors. On Guam, a life-sized memorial honors the service and sacrifice of Doberman soldiers.
THE CARE AND KEEPING OF A HAPPY DOG
(AKA, HOW NOT TO RAISE A NEUROTIC DOBERMAN)
As puppies, Dobermans require socialization. We took ours to our neighborhood Home Depot (in case you’re wondering why we didn’t go to the park, very young pups shouldn’t be around the feces of other dogs until fully vaccinated). Dobermans are affectionate and energetic; this is not a breed to lock outside in the yard all day. (I’m not sure that’s okay with any breed, but hey. You do you.) They require training and loving discipline, frequent exercise, and lots of attention. I work from home, so Raja and Raven have plenty of company.
Our dogs respond to commands issued in several foreign languages. They are courteous to guests, and have only exhibited threatening behavior on one occasion. We’d ordered a pizza for dinner, and rather than come to the front door (which, I might add, was well-lit), our delivery guy chose to open the side gate leading to the darkened back yard and enter the walled space behind the house. (Everyone in Phoenix has block walls around their property. You think fences make good neighbors? Try an eight-foot wall.) Raven, the more protective of the two, guarded the kitchen, barking fiercely at the back door. This poor guy stood outside frozen with fear until we figured out why she was so upset.
|Me and my babies
WHY WOULDN’T YOU?
Before you judge me for those spiky collars, let me explain. My puppies are eager hunters, and we have more rabbits in our neighborhood than the Teletubbies. My dogs are well-trained; it’s not that they’ll break free and chase down the bunnies. But they will pull the leash so hard that while wearing flat nylon collars, they bruise their little tracheas. The silver collar actually disperses the force exerted against it, so the throat avoids injury.
To me, owning a Doberman is like carrying a knife. I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. And come on, if they’re good enough for the United States Marine Corps…
P.S. Is anyone surprised that I chose a breed known as “devil dogs”?
Okay, I’m braced for your pro-cat arguments. Leave your
hate mail pet story in the comment section below!