Some pairings are just meant to be: peanut butter and chocolate, yin and yang, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. So it was only a matter of time before the stars in the universe lined up and suggested the collaboration between New York Timesbest selling author Bradley Trevor Greive and award-winning photographer Rachael Hale.Teaming up on their first collaborative effort, Greive and Hale explain once and for all Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats. Now, before all you cat lovers find your fur standing on end, Greive is quick to stress that he is simply “prodog, not anticat. The purpose of this book is not to criticize cats or their owners, but to champion the many exceptional virtues unique to dogs.”
What are these unique attributes that make canine companions superior to their feline fiends? (Oops, we meant friends.) Consider the following:
* Dogs are social. Cats are sociopaths.
* Dogs match up to people. People must match up to cats.
* Dogs teach us patience. Cats test our patience.
* Dogs give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting.
The bottom line is this: Dogs want love. Cats want fish.
Although Greive admits that there is something to be said for “soft, warm, and sleepy” (a.k.a. cats) as captured in Hale’s cuddly feline photographs, he concludes that dogs would be the only ones with character enough to admit this fact, thereby once again positioning themselves as the superior pet, confidant, admirer, and friend.
First of all, let me just say that I love BOTH dogs and cats. But I guess dogs are still my preferred choice for mostly the same reasons as those highlighted in this book. One of my earliest childhood memories which I can still recall rather vividly (and there isn’t very many that I can actually recall), was that of my dad asking me out of the blue one evening, if I wanted a dog. I answered yes, I think so, without actually having thought much about it before, nor after. But soon after, the next thing I recall is that of opening the door one day and seeing a black Cocker Spaniel mix pup running excitedly up the stairs to our flat. And ever since that day, I have almost always had the presence of a dog or two in my life. I was then, four.
No doubt cats can be very adorable and loving too, when and if they choose to be. I love looking at sleeping cats, and marvel at the kind of sleeping positions they effortlessly get themselves into. It never fails to put a smile on my face.
This book is truly a visual treat to delight oneself in, regardless of which species you prefer. 🙂
Reading this book has also reminded me of another “pro-doggy” book which I bought many many moons ago. Mad’s How To Be A Successful Dog is a fun and delightful read that is accompanied by equally fun illustrations. One particular section highlighting the difference between the nature of a dog and a cat, had somehow managed to have stuck with me even after all these years since I first read it. The narrator is supposed to be an older dog imparting words of wisdom to a younger dog.
“Just like the Big Apple, we dogs are excitable, vitriolic entities. We’re emotional, visceral, and like the traffic at Columbus Circle, we always seem to be dashing around in ten different directions.
Watch one of your older brothers some time as he greets his master by rolling over, wagging his tail like a runaway pendulum, and panting so hard you think his heart is going to explode. He seems to be saying ‘Oh boy, am I glad to see you again! I though you’d never come back (pant pant)! Wow, you haven’t changed a bit (wag wag)! You’re still my beloved master and I’ll always love you and be loyal to you until the day I die (roll roll)! Only, please for the love of God, don’t ever leave me like that again! (wag wag… pant pant). Ever…. ever… You promise??? (And that’s when his master has just come back from taking the garbage out).
As for cats, well as I said, now you’re dealing with Los Angeles. The key expression here is ‘mellow and laid back’. Nothing ever excites or fazes the cat. All a cat does all day is sidle and slink. He’s so indifferent and nonchalant he can make you sick. Watch him greet his master some time. You can almost hear him saying, ‘Hey man, what’s happening? (sidle sidle)… You’re lookin’ good, baby (slink slink)… I’m cool, you know what I mean? (sidle sidle)… Anyway, you have a nice day, ya hear? (slink slink)’. (And that’s during an earthquake).