Penny and I are best buddies now for sure.

How Penny Turned Me Into a Dog Lover

Hi, I’m Savanna! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my spunky Chihuahua mix, Penny.

Cat person vs. dog person is something that has left many people divided over the years. It seems like no matter how much we try to change the other party’s opinion, they won’t budge. You may wonder how to turn people into dog lovers that are very adamantly cat people, or you may not even bother because you feel like you’re fighting an impossible battle.

But what if I told you that it can be done? I’m living proof that someone that was once solely a cat person is now a dog lover. Don’t get me wrong, I still love cats, but I have a newfound appreciation for dogs and the wonderful companions they make.

If you’ve been following along with me weekly this far, you may remember my first article in which I said that I was pretty indifferent to dogs. I didn’t outright hate them, but I wasn’t really comfortable around them with the exception of my family’s dog Beauty, and later their dog Ellie Mae. I wasn’t keen on big dogs particularly, especially ones that jumped on me. I’m only 5’ 3”, so big dogs in particular were kind of intimidating.

All of that changed when I brought Penny into my home. Keep reading to see how Penny turned me into a dog lover, and what I think the secret is to turning other people into dog lovers too.

Becoming a Dog Lover Didn’t Happen Overnight

Let me be clear: I loved Penny from the first time I saw her fall asleep as a puppy. She looked so sweet just laying there. But when we first brought Penny home, I had no idea how to take care of a dog. I’d only ever had cats and fish that were my responsibility, so I was definitely a little uncomfortable and nervous about taking care of her.

How could you not love dogs when you see something like this?
How could you not love dogs when you see something like this?

She was so tiny, after all, and I’d especially never been around a dog that small. All three of our cats were bigger than she was. My first few days were spent watching her every minute, trying to make sure she didn’t get into anything she wasn’t supposed to and that the cats didn’t hurt her.

My daughter was also only about 7 years old at the time, so I spent a lot of time making sure she knew how to handle a dog and making sure she didn’t accidentally hurt Penny. And this was before I started working from home, so everyone was gone from the house most of the day. We had to start crate training Penny almost immediately. It was a little nerve-wracking since I didn’t have a lot of experience.

Plus I was surprised about how much care and attention dogs actually need. With cats, you can just feed them, clean their litter box, and they pretty much do their own thing. They’ll get attention from you when they decide they all of a sudden love you again. But with Penny, I had to feed her, take her outside every so often, play with her, keep her from chewing on things, etc., etc. And dogs love you all the time. She was always wanting attention, pets, and to be with me constantly (and she still does).

Of course I loved Penny, and I quickly fell in love with her spunky and spitfire personality. But I still didn’t really think I was a dog person. I was just a Penny person.

I Slowly Turned Into a Dog Person

As we settled into our routine and I got more comfortable with taking care of a dog, I started to understand dogs as a whole more and more. I began to understand their quirks and why they do some of the things they do.

It was certainly a different experience than taking care of cats, but in some ways, it seemed even more rewarding. I could see my bond with Penny forming and growing, and when I saw other dogs out in public, I actually started getting excited. I wanted to pet every single one of them.

I would wave at dogs at the park, and sometimes the owner would wave back. I wanted to say, “I’m sorry ma’am, I was not actually waving at you.” But I didn’t want to seem rude because I was afraid they wouldn’t let me pet their dog! I even got super excited to see an Anatolian Shepherd at a fall festival we went to, a dog I normally would have avoided just because of their size alone, and it turned out that we got along really well.

My Anatolian Shepherd friend
My Anatolian Shepherd friend

Anyway, there’s just something about the seemingly unconditional love that dogs give. You can’t help but love them once you get comfortable around them. And there’s nothing like seeing your dog get super excited to see you when you come home. It’s as if they haven’t seen you in months, even if you’ve only been gone a few hours.

I now find myself not wanting to go anywhere without Penny. I have conversations with her knowing good and well she has no idea what I’m saying (I usually have to supply both sides of the conversation). With all the crazy antics she gets up to, how could I not love her?

So How Do You Turn Someone Into a Dog Lover?

I’m fully convinced that the best way to turn someone into a dog lover is to get them a dog! Or at the very least, convince them to spend more time around dogs. Provided they don’t have a genuine fear of dogs or a dog allergy, if you can get them on board with being around dogs more or even owning one of their own, they are sure to quickly fall in love with dogs. Most dogs are just loveable goofballs, after all.

Hi I'm Penny the branch manager.
Hi I’m Penny the branch manager.

There are tons of opportunities for people to volunteer at animal shelters or foster a dog while they wait for their fur-ever home. And if someone is ready for a dog of their own, there are amazing dogs in shelters just waiting on someone to care for them forever.

Realistically though, some people will never be dog lovers, and that’s okay! There are people that are adamant dog lovers, people that are adamant cat lovers, and then there are people like me that love both. All it took was me getting a dog of my own to realize it, and three years later, I find myself loving her more and more every day.

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