I'm more a dog person, probably because they're more intelligent. This has been found through numerous behavioral studies, …and there's also that brain-size thing that dogs have going for them.
"I've found them to be free-thinking and inquisitive, like atheists."
I think this is just an illusion, mistaking an evolved solitary nature and a lack of social communicative abilities to an objectivist thought process (think …Ayn Rand atheists…)
"Dogs seem to be more accepting, more willing to go along."
Dogs have evolved complex social interactions and are able to process these inter-species, …like humans, cats …no.
…there's that too.
I've never care for cats that much. It's not that I dislike them, I've just never warmed to them the way I did with dogs.
The difference for me is that dogs being pack oriented have that sense of wanting to be part of the family, whereas cats (at least the ones I've had experience with) seem to act more as their own family within the same house. My wife and I have always had Chow Chows since we've been married (we currently have two) and we now have a Landseer Newfoundland.
Here's something I don't think a pet cat would do....Our very first chow probably saved my wife's and my daughters life. One night we were out in the backyard when our dog came running up behind my (pregnant) wife and grabbed something and started shaking it. Then we heard something smack off of the tree next to him. When we turned around and shined the flashlight at the tree, there was a rattlesnake laying there. He hadn't killed it, but he had stunned it enough that it gave me time to get a hoe and finish it off. It wasn't a full grown adult, but it was still around 18" long. How he didn't get bit, we don't know.
Spend any time around a loyal "smart" dog and you stop thinking of them as pets, and instead feel privileged and honored to have them as trusted friends.
Meh, friends behave entirely differently than offspring... I find dogs are more like offspring, something I never wanted. My cats have been as friendly as my dogs.
Nice emoticon :)
A friend of mine took his family fishing by the river. Their little daughter fell in and their golden retriever jumped in and fished her out. Cats do seem less likely to save you in such a situation.
There have been cats in my life that meant a lot to me, but it's a different kind of relationship.
Well, lets inbreed a cat til it has webbed paws and is 5 times larger, then we'll see :)
Cats with nasty behaviours are but a result of owners who refuse to learn cat language. Once you know cat language, you can get a cat to do anything a dog does, and cats have saved lives too... they just don't have the physique to jump out of helis and rescue drowning people...
Dogs are often good mirrors of those they live with.
Guvnah, the dog I'm pictured with, lived at a house I used to share with a recording engineer I used to work with. Beautiful house on a lake in the wilderness of Val des Monts in western Quebec.
Smartest dog I've ever met, and probably the most well adjusted room-mate I've ever experienced.
Friends who had dogs with behaviour problems used to drop their dogs off for a week or two. Brent (my house-mate) and I would only feed them, let them in the house at night and out in the morning. They spent all the rest of their time with "Guv". After a week or two, they would lose their bad habits and transcend them.
The best dog-trainers in the world are mostly ...other dogs.
I have a cat and a dog and appreciate their idiosyncratic strengths. Both are very affectionate intelligent animals, but if I had to choose it would be the dog for the following reason.
If I was shrunk to a smaller size on par with each animal, I would expect my dog to lick me and want to play most of the time. He would still have good memories of me as a larger person. He might get too rough and accidentally hurt me. I would expect my cat at some point to decide to torture me to death very slowly. Have you ever seen that insane look a cat suddenly gets in its eyes before it decides to grab you and kick very hard with its back legs? All those years of affectionate petting and feeding of my cat would be forgotten by my cute little kitty. And she would be purring while deconstructing me.