Why do people keep pets/dogs in the city?

First off, I’ll readily admit that I don’t like pets. I said pets, not animals (I like animals well enough), I just don’t like the idea of people owning animals.

That being said, let me also admit that I really dont understand people who own pets. They say things like “my dog gives me unconditional love,” love being an active emotion which I refuse ascribe to beings other than humans (and not humans qualify either.)

Now, cats are relatively self sufficient and house happy. Dogs on the other hand, usually seem to like the out doors, at least for pooping/peeing purposes. Dogs also seem to enjoy playing outdoors and such. This being said, I dont understand why people own dogs in the city. I presume they leave their dogs in the house/apt all day while the people are at work. Then if they have time the dog might go out for a run later. I dont understand why, if this person loves the dog sooooo much why they would leave the dog locked up all day.

I also dont understand why people own dogs in the city if they refuse to take them to the park to pee/poop. There is a apt I walk by every weekday, where pee is frozen to the sidewalk presumably because the person doesnt want to take their dog around the block to the park. I suppose the dog could have poor blatter control. But this last graph is more a grumble about people’s lack of responsibility in regard to their pets.

I feel sorry for you.

Not about keeping dogs in the city- I agree with you there.

But the part about refusing to believe that an animal is not capable of love.
If you dismiss a dog’s demonstration of love as instinct to be submissive to the alpha dog or what have you, then you can also argue that a human’s love is no more than a biological necessity as well.

I feel sorry for you because when a person loves an animal, there is something in your mind that is opened, that can’t be reached any other way.

Human love is so complicated and murky, mixed with so many other undesirable things.

The bond between a person and a dog (or maybe a cat, but I don’t understand cat-love myself, yet some people do) is much, much purer and simple.
But this really wasn’t what your post was about so I’ll leave you alone.

Sorry, thats: (and not all humans qualify either.)

and, Turpentine, no need to feel sorry for me. It doesn’t bother me except when it interferes with my ability to understand and thus communicate with other humans.

racerx, I agree with you about people having dogs in the city. It just seems cruel to me, keeping a dog locked up all day. I don’t understand why people get dogs if they aren’t going to be around to play with them & take care of them. My parents have a dog, but he has 3 acres of Georgia pine forest to run through & my mom’s home most of the time. Seems unfair that not every dog gets to have those advantages.

I don’t agree with you about pets in general, though. Maybe Primus & Chloe (my feline friends) only are nice to me because I put the Cat Chow in their dishes, but for me it’s enough that I love them. They don’t have to love me back. They are beautiful & cuddly & fun to play with & that’s all they need to be. I don’t need to ascribe human emotions to them in order to enjoy them. BTW, don’t you think it’s weird when people refer to themselves as their pet’s “mommy” or “daddy”?

I didnt even want to get into how this annoys me because I’ll end up looking like a jerk. But, yeah, I hate it when people consider their pets their children. I was working at a hotel once and a lady lost her cat and she freaked out. And started yelling at me saying, “My cat is like a child to me. . .” I just don’t place animals on the same plane as people. I cant do it. I just dont consider their life as important as a human life.

I totally understand that I am in the minority when I freely admit that I dont like pets and dont understand pet owners. I’m glad everyone enjoys their little furry friends.

I think it’s important to remember there is not just one reason why people keep dogs in the city.

Maybe they moved to the city, and wanted to keep their beloved pet, and make as many accomodations as they can to make the pet happy and comfortable.

Maybe the dog was rescued by a shelter, and adopted by a person with a small apartment, and a lot of love for an abandoned dog. Most shelters are very good about making sure new pet owners have enough room for their pet, if not exactly 3 acres of forest.

My aunt and uncle have a dog that is an “outside” dog, he sleeps in the dog house, and has the run of their property. I’m sure he’s a very happy dog, but my neighbor’s dog is happy in a different way, since he is allowed to jump in bed with the kids, and gets almost constant human attention.

I agree that some people are just awful pet owners, and it makes me sad to see their dogs. Keeping a large dog in a small apartment without walking it is a sign of bad pet ownership. But that’s not exclusive to people who live in the city. Bad pet owners are everywhere. I’d much rather see a well-kept dog in the city than a neglected animal in the country.

racerx, I’m with you. As an animal lover, I love to see animals free of confinement. Recall William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” an early, angry, animal-rights poem:

As an urban dweller, I had always been against keeping dogs in the home. But on my first visit to the Colorado Rockies, I saw how well dogs fit in with the mountain people’s life, and how “together” they looked running in the open air. That is how dogs were naturally meant to be, to fulfill the entelechy of their doghood. NOT cooped up in a city apartment.

Racerx, there’s a loooooong distance between being upset that your cat is lost, and considering their life as important as human life. I’ve had close friends and relatives die, and I’ve had pets die. Both are painful in varying degrees, and having a human loved one die is much more painful. However, it’s faulty logic to state that because one doesn’t place animals on the same plane as people that it’s not painful at all when they die. It’s not AS painful, but a litte grief and sadness are par for the course.

You folks are forgetting a very good reason for having a pet in the city. There is nothing quite like walking a cute dog in the park to help you meet women.

A friend of mine even named his dog “Bait”. :smiley:

But I never said that you can not feel loss for you pet. While I don’t fully understand it, I will respect it. My problem, and maybe this is a line that we all must draw, is when I degrade a human being because of emotions regarding a pet. That line about human life vs. animal life isnt just regarding medical testing, it goes into how much would you make a human suffer because of your pet.

Jomo Mojo thanks for the poem and insight.

racerx, just so you know that you’re not alone, I agree with every word you’ve written.

Not all dogs are suited to running through open fields all day, chasing rabbits and butterflies. The Shih Tzu I had growing up would have been miffed, to say the least, at being forced to be outside for more than a few minutes. She much preferred snuggling up on the bed and chewing on her little crocheted rabbit.

Dogs are domesticated animals, not wild ones. I don’t agree that dogs should be kept outside at all times. I can’t imagine that our dog (border collie/lab mix) would be happier sleeping outside in a cold doghouse than she is sleeping on her soft warm bed in our heated house. She gets plenty of outdoor time in our backyard (large, fenced), but she always seems pretty happy to come in and lie by the fire.

That said, there’s a lot of room for common sense when choosing a pet when you have limited space and little or no yard. Our dog wouldn’t do well without a yard, but my friend’s toy poodle couldn’t care less if grass existed or not.

I volunteer for a group that does dog and cat adoptions. We screen adopters very carefully, and make sure that each animal goes into a home that is appropriate for its station in life. Some of the best adopters happen to be apartment dwellers. Maybe not for big, active dogs, but for little Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, and Pomeranians. Part of the reason they’re good homes is that they are forced to cater to the needs of their pets. Also, they have to keep the dogs inside with them. Say what you will, dogs are pack animals. Their humans are the leaders of the pack. If they are kept outside while their leaders are in, that separates them from the pack, and causes them stress. Their social requirements are not being met, which means that, by dog standards, they don’t have a very good life. Not to mention the fact that, in Arizona at least, keeping a dog outside all day during the summer is downright cruel.

Cats should never go outside. Which makes them admirable city pets.

I agree with C3. Lots of dogs are suited for city life. Toy dogs- malteses, yorkies, toy poodles, pomeranians. Dogs that are used to the city. Dogs like retrievers and german shepherds- there’s a place where you draw the line. Some dogs would be miserable in an apartment. Others can live perfectly comfortably. Really it depends.

And the work thing- people in rural or suburban towns work, too. Getting a dog is tough no matter where you live because there’s the problem of what the dog is going to do while you’re at work. I don’t think its confined to cities.

So in conclusion, while there are considerations you have to take when acquiring a canine companion in urban areas, there are considerations you have to take no matter where you live.

No. Those dogs are not suited for ANY kind of life. All existing specimens should be sterilized so that this plague of human existence is eliminated in the foreseeable future. God, I hate those little dogs. They are the most annoying creatures in the world, even worse than telemarketers. I just want to vomit every time I see one.

Uh, I think this statement says more about you, Stella, than dogs.

Having said that, I know we’ve all encountered annoying dogs. I would hazard to say those instances are due to the dog owners, not the dogs.

I have three cats. You can tell me till you’re blue in the face they don’t really have love for me and my family, but I’ll never believe you. They are amazing. One time, when our newborn daughter was crying from gas pains (we assume), our cat Theo jumped into her crib, put his head on her feet and began to purr. My wife wondered why Baby Clucky quit crying and checked. She discovered Theo in the crib, purring away, and immediately took him from the crib. Baby Clucky then resumed crying. The purring calmed her. Theo was being a good cat. It was unbelievable.

My point is that pets can be amazing and provide all kinds of stress benefits. But, if you live in the city, get animals that fit your household. Do some research before you take in a pet. And, be a responsible pet owner.

Yeah so what if I live in the city? This means I’m not allowed to have the enjoyment of sharing my life with a pet?

I recently bought a Great Dane puppy, and I live in a condo in the city. I have a greenway right next to my building and a huge park across the street. I also take him to the suburbs EVERY night to the off leash park so he can run to his heart’s content.

You know what? I’m done justifying myself to you. If this were in the pit I’d tell you to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

I’m struggling to control myself here – many posts here are so annoying I cannot not post. Not that many of you will give a damn…

I live in the city – slam in the middle of downtown. A 25-pound Boston Terror owns me. She stays inside the house (and used to hang out in the APARTMENT) all day. However, I can’t go 8-10 hours without peeing, so I hardly expect my little dog to be able to. So I run home every day on my lunch hour to let her out! She never goes more than 4-5 hours without attention from me or another human. Ever.

I keep a dog “cooped up” in the house for companionship. Anyone who owns a Boston will tell you that breed would be insulted and pissed off if left outside all day. (Anyway, they don’t have much fur on their tummies and would freeze in the winter, roast in these hot Florida summers.) A climate controlled environment, filled with squishy dog beds, squeaky toys and two large cats (for play and company) seems to be the best possible place for my dogzilla (IRL) to spend her day. AND, she gets the added bonus of the nooner pee-break. If I lived 20 minutes outside of town, on 3 acres, I’d never make it home every day to let her out.

Why did I get a dog, if I’m single, live alone and keep the poor thing “cooped up” in the house all day? (Damn dog sleeps in my bed all day. She’s REALLY suffering, folks.) Frankly, because the cat I had at the time seemed bored and lonely and I thought she needed something to play with. Other cats simply would not have boded well for the late Ms. BooKitty, nor was she interested in stupid cat toys (or reindeer games, for that matter). She needed a dog. (And they were the best of friends until BooKitty was brutally murdered at the paws of some stray dogs. Consequently, I have learned to LOCK UP my cats in the house – they are never allowed to see the light of day again. I s’pose they’ll live longer that way.)


People who assign emotions to their pets – and/or who see their pets as children, can be the very same people who are emotionally cut off from humans. I am one of these people. My dog – nor my cats – have never verbally, emotionally, sexually nor physically abused me. (Unlike some humans I know.)

It’s not about unconditional love. It’s about being accepted and treated exactly the same way every day, no matter how much of an asshole I happen to be behaving like. My pets are always happy to see me – probably because I feed them. I am always happy to see them. Probably because they always make me smile no matter how shitty of a mood I came home with on a given day.

I’ve been treated better by my animals than by… well… most of YOU!

Eh, what can I say. I’m one of the board’s looney animal lovers. I have an apartment, and I have five cats, 1 puppy, 2 rats, and 2 birds. All strictly indoor animals. I’m pretty sure they are happy that way. Admittedly, my puppy does come to work with me, because I can’t leave her alone for 14 hours. I know that most people could not bring their dogs to work with them, so maybe I have an unfair advantage.

As for the love I give them…yes, my pets are my children, and I would do anything for them.

Hey Dogzilla, I liked your post because some of these posts were annoying to me as well.

I also changed my mind since my first post.

It really is how much devotion the owner has to the pets, not the location of the home.
I get upset though, at the pitbull dogs (EVERYONE in my neighborhood has a pitbull, it seems) that are yelping and whining from the windows of my apartment building.

I wish people would understand that pets SHOULD be considered one’s children.
You and Cyndar obviously understand that.

But what you said about how people who love animals because they are emotionally cut off from humans in some way-
I dunno.
Maybe a little bit.
But my little ratties- Timmy and Turpentine-
Whether or not it was within me already, they made me love them and this was a wonderful thing because somehow it made me see um…

If I could love a rat, then it showed that I wasn’t as bitter and crusty as I thought I was. And if i could love a rat, maybe someday I could even love a human.
I don’t know if that makes sense, but I appreciate your post.

And Ivar’s, too.

None of your dogs or rats or kitties sound terribly unhappy.