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Pets  

In a world in which women come and go, friends and family move or move on, there are few things of which we can be certain – one of these is that pets are a good thing. There’s no need to get fancy here – cats and dogs will do just fine, and will supply an amazing amount of pleasure and satisfaction for a modicum of care and expense. While most men are already well aware of the canine virtues – steadfastness, loyalty, that old head out the window joie de vivre – and these are all true, give some thought to the felines more often associated with the ladies. Cats have some important advantages over dogs, as follows:

– They don’t need to be walked, and can thus be left alone for much longer periods of time, including whole weekends if absolutely necessary.

– They’re much smaller than the fine manly dogs, such as golden retrievers and labs, so they‘re more compatible with smaller apartments.

– Whereas lap dogs are properly left to women, a cat that jumps into your lap is a manly pleasure.

– If you have any doubts about the manliness of cats, all you need to know is that Pat Tilman, a true hero and the manliest of men, was a cat lover.

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The greatest advantage of dogs over cats is that while cats hate to travel, and will often whine for the entire duration of a trip, dogs love a good car ride. Also, dogs tend to be more openly and universally affectionate. I’ve never met an unfriendly golden retriever, but cats, regardless of breed, tend to be quite variable – some are aloof, some are quite affectionate, so you need to be careful when you choose a cat. Dogs are like easy women; great when they’re with you, but they’ll leave the bar with just about anyone. Cat love isn’t easy and has to be earned, but, as with a wife, if you make a good choice, and do your part, your efforts will be well rewarded.

Don’t pay for your pet; your local animal shelter is a great source for a dog or cat; most of the animals have ended up there because their owners are moving, or they don’t have time to take care of them, but there is usually nothing wrong with a shelter dog – in fact, if anything, they tend to be more affectionate and grateful. Don’t worry about purebreds or pedigrees – that stuff is for sissies; mixed breeds tend to be less temperamental and full of love. Do a little research on the Internet or in a bookstore on the kinds of pet that is best for you, then head for the shelter – it will be one of the best decisions you ever make.

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While I love pets, you should consider that not everyone will share your feelings; pet etiquette consists of the following:

– Clean up after your dog if you walk it through the neighborhood; neighbors may love your dog but there is no reason why their lawn should serve as the public toilet.

– Don’t keep a barking dog in a apartment or neighborhood where it will disturb your neighbors.

– A surprising number of people – including potential guests to your home – are allergic to cats and dogs. You may want to let people know about your pet before they arrive, so that if they are allergic you can keep Fluffie in a separate room for the duration of the visit.

More like a child than a woman, pets are completely dependent on you. It is a matter of morals, not manners, to make sure that you address your pets needs for food, water, exercise, veterinary care, and human company. Pets, especially dogs, prosper when around people, and do not like to feel abandoned. An animal is a living thing, like a child, that feels pleasure and pain. If you don’t treat your pet right, not only will the pet suffer, but so will your reputation – other pet lovers hate to see a animal neglected or mistreated. A gentleman is always most concerned with those who are dependent on him, and nothing is more dependent than Fido.

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