The dog owner double standard: what’s that all about?


If you’ve been reading my blog from start to finish, you may have noticed that the only theme I have (as everything is pretty random on here) is that every post has “what’s that all about?” in bold letters. Typically, it is not in the title and you don’t know when it’s coming. It’s like a Kinder Surprise.

Now, because I feel so passionately about this topic (slight exaggeration) I have placed the WTAA in the title of this post.

Background:

I own a cat. I love him, his name is Turner and he’s perfect.

Actually, he is sitting beside me purring as I type this. Since the day I brought him home, people have considered me cat lady. Not lying – I started to receive porcelain cats from people (I currently have two), cat email forwards, decks of cards with cats on them, cat jokes at my expense, over sized cat wood carvings, abstract cat sculptures, etc, etc. Mind you, I have embraced it a little bit. I do own leopard print, I love vintage fur and I talk about my little guy a lot. HOWEVER, I still believe in the bottom of my heart that I am not a true cat lady. I only have one for g’s-sake.

Purpose:

Why is it, that dog owners can be totally obsessed with their dogs and they do not get labeled something so negative? Dog owners have facebook groups.  Dog owners sit around and talk about their dogs for hours. Dog owners buy CLOTHES for their dogs. Dog owners make twitter accounts for their dogs. Dog owners have photo albums dedicated solely to their dogs. Dog owners set up play dates. Dog owners talk gibberish in public. Dog owners think it’s ok to bring their dogs everywhere. These women and men are not labeled Dog Ladies, or Dog Gents. They just love their dogs.

I do not have a twitter account for my cat (ie. @delphiethedog – sorry C and C).

Conclusion:

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. I intend on having one…one day. However, why is it ok for people to obsess over their dogs and it’s not ok for people to obsess over their cats. What’s that all about? This double standard is quite upsetting for a single girl nearing 30 that has a cat and is terrified of being forever labeled a Cat Lady – “Hello Celibacy, my name is Jen”.

Pets are pets, you either have one or you don’t. It’s when you have too many…that’s the problem.

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7 responses to “The dog owner double standard: what’s that all about?

  1. There is such a double standard! We are crazy cat ladies because we love our kitties. Some people put their dogs in outfits. Not to mention they have to pick up their poo with their hands, now that is crazy.

  2. I think the stereotype comes in part because being a cat person is often associated with being a homebody (which you are not) and it insinuates that the person prefers time indoors with their cat. Dog owners don’t have the same stigma because of the activities that most people do with dogs (walks, hikes, camping, beach, etc.) are all social outdoor activities.
    Although I believe I might be the first person to qualify for ‘crazy dog lady’ as I own two 60 lbs. dogs and live in a one bedroom apartment….

  3. my rant:

    I love this. Your blog makes me feel like I still live with you.

    I do all of the above dog things.

    @delphiethedog is a crazy and wonderful obsession, probably closest to raising a child you can get… but I still know deep in my heart I am a cat lady and I LOVE IT!

    You and I both know that is secretly a secretly a compliment. I like to think that because cats are sophisticated and sexy and independent, and we hopefully share these things. We want to covet cat-like-qualities. IF I were to be considered a dog person I would be a running-shoe wearing, pony-tailed folk-art collecter. eew. I am glad you are a cat-lady… it’s pretty. xo

  4. I think we’re not labeled “Dog lady” or Dog Gents” because we see our dogs as our kids…they need us to feed them, walk them and entertain them. As for cats, you can leave them all day and night with a bowl of food and water and they’re happy. Cats don’t really care if you buy them a new toy or if you even come home or not till 4am. Dogs have feelings where as cats, I feel, just don’t care.

    P.S – Jen…even tho your a Cat lady…i still love you! 🙂

  5. I’m one of those insane dog people and I would not change a thing about it! My furry babies (I have three of them) make each day better than it would be if they weren’t here. Yes, they’re expensive to keep alive. Yes, they require attention and grooming and walks. Yes, they lick your face and might embarrass you in public (try walking three of them to the vet) but it’s all 100% worth it.

  6. This is one handsome cat! Really, he must be the ladykiller among the local feline community. If I were you, I’d shop for an equally gorgeous female, get them together, and eventually get in the business of specializin in selling feline baby supermodels. =)

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