Looking back, I can’t recall ever not loving animals. As a child, I was not a dog lover or a cat lover; I was an animal lover. Thankfully, I grew up with parents who were equally enamored by the animal kingdom and who allowed me to fill our house with a menagerie of gerbils, parakeets, hamsters, guinea pigs, and iguanas. Finally, when I was 16, I wore them down with my revolving door of animal rescue and they allowed me to get what I always really wanted: a dog.
Truly, I melt at the knees over dogs. But the decision to love dogs wasn’t a decision against loving cats—it was simply what was in my DNA. My mother is severely allergic to cats, so that made the decision easy. Still, as a dog fan, I can honestly say that to know a cat is to love one. I challenge anyone who says they dislike cats to spend some time around the hundreds of newborn, adoptable kittens in our Kitten Nursery and we’ll surely change your mind. Adopt your first cat and you’ll quickly learn that one-sided animal alliances aren’t always that easy to keep.
That’s the idea behind the cover story of this issue of San Diego Pets Magazine. You may think you’ve made a choice between a cat or a dog—or even a fish, reptile, rodent, or bird—but really your pet chose you. Animals enter our lives in a way that we don’t even consciously realize. Sure, there are practical reasons why we end up with one pet over another—allergies, space, or time constraints—but so much about pet ownership is decided not by our minds, but by our hearts—and there’s nothing practical about that.
Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO
San Diego Humane Society