Dogs and cats living together can be total chaos. I recently adopted a new puppy we named Hella, a week after my older dog Athena had passed away. When I say puppy I mean technically sixteen months is still considered a puppy for a German Shepherd. Although, actions speak louder than words when you come home after your routine of dropping kids off at school, and then going for your morning walk; only to return to a few items lovingly chewed to pieces. Puppies no matter what their age need structure, and toys because not only are they still teething; they do become bored and lonely, and boy does my pup get bored. It is unfortunate that my older dog Isis, who is also a German Shepherd, is way passed the playful antics she once had as a puppy, and she is not very good at entertaining her new young friend. It is also to be as unfortunate for the new tenant of the house that the cats do not humor her either.
Hella is a sweet and curious pup when it comes to the six cats who believe they run the house. Isis has already accepted defeat in this department, and does her best to avoid them at all cost; due to the fact the cats have attacked her like a pride of lions. Poor Hella has not learned to leave the cats alone, but she doesn’t try to chase them or hurt them. The cats who are in constant puffy growling mode, seem to be ready for an attack, and I feel as though Hella is on a losing battlefield unaware of a possible ambush. Luckily, the dogs don’t have to ever be alone in the house with the cats, I do not allow for them to be unsupervised, and that is more for the dogs protection than the cats. I wish they would get along in the sense that they all know their station in the house; what they think doesn’t matter because I am alpha in this house, and not them. I know once the newness of the strange dog in the cats habitat will eventually not be a big deal, but until then I will keep cats and dogs separated when I can not keep a supervising eye on them.
Whether it be cats or dogs, both can become a small wrecking crew. Cats are from my personal experience may tear up anything they can get their claws into. Curtains, clothing, area rugs, and not to exclude door frames or furniture, can easily become the enemy of those sharp talons cats hide in their soft tiny little paws. Aside from using most things as a scratching post, or using the curtains to shimmy their way down from a faulty window jump; cats are technically not the most destructive in comparison to dogs. When dogs, or especially puppies become bored, lonely, or restless they tend to get into anything and everything. If an object is not put away where a pup cannot get to it, you can bet they will find a way to get their mouth around it. I can not tell you how many objects in the past few days that I have thrown away because a very bored Hella has destroyed them. I have no room to fault her when decorative candles, or a misplaced hairbrush are right there within her muzzles grasp. Scolding them is a wasted effort on our part as humans, dogs do not understand yelling at them or fussing at them. I choose to have quiet conversation with my dogs, and even if they don’t understand what I am saying; I still speak to them in a soothing regular tone of voice as I would to my own children when they get into mischief. Hella may not understand how all of the house rules work now, but she will get older, and her chewing phase will grow out of her as will her puppiness.
The age old debate between who’s better, cats or dogs is simply ones own opinion, and not a debate at all. We love our fur-babies, big or small, cat or dog, they each have their own personality within; both fitting for who we are as individuals. One thing is for certain, we can’t always live with them, but we can’t live without them. Love your pets while you can, let them be your inspiration to be a better human, and always dream big.