Why We Love Cats and Dogs
Introduction

Some people are cat people, some are dog people.  But regardless of which camp they fall into, most people are simply crazy about their pets.  The connections people form with their cats and dogs are often the longest, strongest relationships in their lives.  They are our soul mates, our best friends, sometimes even our surrogate children.  What makes these creatures such key members of our families?

Perhaps it’s because our furry friends have long provided us with comfort, camaraderie, and unconditional love. Cats and dogs are our unending source of kisses, cuddles, slobber, claws, and laughs. Watch as NATURE shares the stories of pet owners and their beloved animals. From a very special dog named Jerry, to a cat that saved a man’s life, Why We Love Cats and Dogs presents a portrait of some of the most powerful and remarkable connections we experience as humans—the unbreakable bonds with our pets.

Four-time Emmy Award winner, filmmaker and director Ellen Goosenberg Kent kept the 10-month production of NATURE’s Why We Love Cats and Dogs on the right track. Ellen brings a strong visual sense to the art of storytelling and was able to illuminate the dynamic human-pet relationship, revealing how dogs and cats share our emotions in many significant ways.

Photo by Joe Sinnot © EBC

  • Jerry Dawg

    Bless you Nature for doing this show! Thanks for sharing the wonderful bond people share with their dogs … and cats too, I suppose. ;-)

  • Vicki T

    I am really excited about this show. And, yes, Jerry G. Dawg, cats form wonderful bonds with people, too! Silly dawg! Love, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Mom (Vicki)

  • Erin Utz

    I was wondering, on this site under “browse nature” – by Animal, where the CAT choice is? Octopus, squid, cheetah, but NO cat? What happened???

  • lori anne chlebovec

    i am excited about this show as i am a cat lover myself i was very saddened by how many cats were euthanized in ontario alone 1200 cats in thunder bay alone! there needs to be something done about this epidemic? Cats make great pets!

  • Dan Frazier

    The only thing worse than a cat is probably a rat.

  • Sandi VanAusdal

    Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.
    — John Muir, American naturalist

  • Chris

    Dan Frazier, rats make great pets too! It might be just what you need.

  • MaryAlice

    It’s true — the bond between pet owner and pet can be very strong. My cat Sake died on Monday due to a vet’s misjudgement. It is painful. But I will have another pet, at some point, I know. The rewards are huge.

  • sarah

    pets can be the most important part of a persons life.they give us comfort, unconditional love and they are always there for us!

  • Melanie

    I adopted a collie from a resuce group and am now wondering WHY I waited so long! He is a great & loving addition to my cat family, and loves them all!

  • katy adel

    people that talk bad about animals are worse then rats

  • Joyce Meyers

    Dan Frazier, I’d rather help a cat out any day and not you. You sound mean spirited.

  • Ang Ranae

    We have 2 dogs, 2 cats, a rabbit, and a rat. Although the rat has to leave when my daughter leaves for college this fall. The our pup tends to pick on the cats more than our 3 year old Aussie Shep/Lab mix, who is also my medical alert dog. Pets are the best!

  • Loralee Cooley

    As a dog lover since I was 3 (I’m now 66), I can attest to the delight, sadness, and genuine wonder that comes from having a pet. (And I grew up with rabbits and cats, as well).

    My husband and I currently have our 3rd & 4th Standard Poodles—mother and daughter—that we found on http://www.petfinder.com, and they are the most important members of our family. GO POODLES!

  • kathy

    Dan Frazier -you should be ashamed of yourself…
    an ANIMAL LOVER does not discriminate – you might
    be partial to dogs, but a true animal person LOVES
    EVERY species…

  • Roberta Pliner

    What do you mean, some people are dog people and some people are cat people, much less illustrating your false premise with a photograph of a man with a dog and a woman with a cat? 63 percent of all American households have one or more pets, of which the vast,
    overwhelming majority are dogs and cats. Note, please, dogs AND cats. I am a woman who has had dogs AND cats most of my life (usually two or three of each, not counting litters). Due to my activism in animal legislation and other animal-related activities, I have friends and acquaintances all over the country, plus I live in the middle of Manhattan.
    Almost everyone I know has dogs AND cats. The few exceptions that I know are people who currently have either dogs or cats, but who have in the past had both and expect to do so again. As further evidence that most pet owners mix it up, there are 74.4 million
    owned dogs in the U.S. and 84 million owned cats. There wouldn’t begin to be enough homes to go around for all those dogs and cats if most people who owned them didn’t own BOTH dogs and cats. I really think your show needs some serious reconsideration. I’m sure, if I watch it, I will be one of millions of viewers to feel insulted by the idea that I am ONLY a cat person or ONLY a dog person. That’s just not who I am and not who most pet owners are.

  • Katie

    I am also very excited about the upcomming show. And to Dan Frazier, rats are great pets and my cat could kick your dogs but any day!

  • Katie

    Just to let everyone know i am also a big dog lover too. I got my yellow lab off of the interstate and she loves everyone includeing my cats that were all rescues as well.

  • Maggie Little

    Katie and Joyce – get a grip – Dan was being humorous! I have had cats, dogs and rats – and they were all great and got along. My cat and rat would play “fetch.”

  • Susan

    Maggie Little said that “Dan was being humorous!” Really? Just how would Ms. Little know his mindset? He sounded grossly ignorant and mean-spirited, hardly “humorous.” Shame on him and anyone who defends his “humor.” Cats outnumber dogs in American households for a reason. They are just as loving, loyal and affectionate as any dog, more so than many. It’s past time the silly stereotypes and ignorant old wives’ tales surrounding cats are abandoned once and for all. Those who still believe them are sadly misinformed and woefully undereducated.

  • Louise

    My older daughter has had as many as 50 cats in her life, maybe more and when in the Keys in FL, she had 26 at once, all coming in and out the open windows all day long and all over the yards. My younger daughter has had cats and dogs and now she has only 3 dogs left out of the last litter of 8 german shepherds/wolf mixes. Beautiful and loving, wonderful dogs she won’t part with as we love them like children almost.

  • JeanneT

    Is anyone aware whether the show includes info on scientific research about the animal-human bond? Or is it mostly touching pet stories?

  • maggie little

    Susan – wow you really get upset easily. I didn’t say anything offensive about animals. You must belong to PETA

  • Nathan Sady

    EF was having a little fun, hardly speaking where any cat would here. I doubt he has one, or he had one dragging in rats consistently. The song make it real – ‘I hate the love of that stinkin’ mut’ (I’ll bite my tongue) is a statement of being fed up with problems our own stupidity walks us into, more then a dislike of dogs.

    Of the 63% of pets, a large part of the percentage is transitory. That is different people make the same mistakes as those before them, whether a poorly thought choice or out of wickedness. At least I hope people who throw animals out or have them taken away would know better then to have them again. However, in our won way of allowing problems to stem so we each learn our lesson at someone else’s expense (at times a dour proposition) As we are aware, many have been plucked from shelters.

    DF may have an allergy or a sense of humor, but but likely hasn’t owned a cat only to leave it out on cold nights or travel w/out some arrangement . Being a pet owners’ doesn’t mean he/she, for whatever reason, will not always make good choices. On some level we hope to find answers by looking at a pet vs human suffering. A part of the same discussion that, right or wrong, will continue beyond an ability to correct the differences needed to span generation.

    Thanks for the reminder of the February 15 show, I will now look forward to.

  • Matt H

    I am curious as to what Dan Frazier has to say to these cat lovers…

  • anneh

    My prayers are with the owners of the dog who had cancer. I know your pain. It is so difficult to say goodbye.

  • Derilyn

    Watching Jerry’s story is tough, having gone thru the same with two of my Dalmatians.Seeing the devotion from his “folks” is incredible and shows the love our pets, who are family members, bring to our lifes.

  • amelia

    I have had both dogs and cats.they are very good furry friends. my prayers goes out to the owners of jerry. bye

  • Daryl Lamkey

    Thank you, PBS, for producing this excellent episode! I’m a cat person – that said, I love all animals, including dogs, birds, dolphins, heck, even lizards! It is the pets we surround ourselves with that bring out the best of our nature.

    My thoughts are with Jerry and his humans!

    And to Dan Frazier, I have a rescued Bengal cat named Captain Jack Sparrow. Come by sometime and I’m sure we could arrange you to be his dinner! On second thought, no, you’d give him an upset stomach…

  • jordan and jacbo

    our baby pitbull, mia, loved this show. she sat in front of the tv the whole time. she was enthralled with the cats!

  • Wilson

    I loved this show….anyone know who the name of the composer was who said he was inspired his cat?

  • DKM

    My cats were asleep near the TV when the mom with all the cats came on…through sleep, one of my cats meowed the reply she usually gives to me when I talk to her, and the other woke and looked at me. That lady sure knows how to talk to cats! (I’m a man, by the way.)

  • Nicole

    Thank you for airing such a wonderful show. The bond between humans and their companion animals was so eloquently portrayed.

    I was shocked to learn that 60% of dogs and 70% of cats that were brought to shelters are never adopted and therefore are euthanized.

    I will only adopt from a shelter from now on and encourage others to do so as well!

  • KG Dog & Cat Fan

    This was a powerful show: it sounds trite, but I laughed, I cried. Using my Facebook page I’ve recommended it to all my friends. Jerry’s family are inspiring, as is Jerry. Thank you Nature & PBS for this program.

  • Holly Bee Rose

    I was so touched by Jerry’s story. What selfless, wonderful humans. If people think they were crazy you just don’t get it. I related to so many people on the show. I guess I’m in the “soulmate” category cause I can’t ever imagine my life without animals. Every last one of them that I’ve ever known – not just MY companions. They can teach us much about living life in the moment. They make me more human and I thank them buy trying to do what I can to help them because they are the truly voiceless. They are are our mercy and almost every aspect of our lives involves their exploitation in some way. You can help animals in the everyday choices you make.

    My little buddy, Shyla, I got at the local shelter. She’s my sweet little kitty angel. And there were at least twenty others there just as worthy as she. It haunts me. Like the ones that were older than 13 that had a family its whole life. I had just lost my two of old age within 3 months of each other or, I swear I would have adopted one.

    This trend with ity bity dogs has been horrible but larger dogs and they are in the shelters and deserve homes. PLEASE DON’T BREED – ADOPT! Dog and cat shows of purebreds should be outlawed! They are wonderful and beautiful animals, but it’s tragic when MILLIONS die each year.

  • Sherri A Canadian

    I would like to know how long Jerry went before his people had to let him go. Such a heart wrenching story. We(I) have 3 cats, 3 dogs and 2 parrots. Pets make life worth the work. I also love my kids.

  • Mike

    Hello, program producers and viewers. I just wanted to thank you for this episode of Nature. It was very enlightening with regards to our pets and ourselves. I had gone nearly two decades without having a pet. However, last fall when my mother became ill, I acquired her tomcat because she could no longer take care of him. In our family, depositing an animal at the shelter is never an option, so I became the new person in Buddy’s life. I was not certain how he would take to me or my home since he was relocated over one hundred miles from his previous home. I am happy to report that this great cat isolated for only 24 hours before re-emerged from the upstairs bedrooms. He has been my constant companion ever since. When my mother passed away over Thanksgiving and when I was injuried in December, Buddy was amazingly attentive to me. I had always heard that have an awareness of their person’s emotional status, but this was my first time experiencing the phenomenon personally. I do not have my mom and dad any more, but I have their cat, and he enriches my life every day. Let’s let the dog/cat debate end with the agreement that our pets are blessings to us all.

  • Claire

    Thank you PBS for this marvelous production! I loved the stories, esp. about Jerry’s journey. I loved Sarah Wilson and how she talked to pet owners about their relationship with their pets. You can tell she really loves people & pets–and shares expert advice with humor and good nature. I was really impressed with the quality of the production & the terrific interviews–top-notch all the way. Fun & engaging show.

  • Valerie Smith

    Thank you so much for a wonderful show. It was really charming to see all the wonderful bonds between humans and their pets. Mom and I were especially touched by the segment on Jerry. I was pretty impressed that this couple would just up and get rid of everything and go on a road trip with their dog. I dare say everyone benefited from that trek!

  • paula sotnik-weiss

    This show so accurately explained the bonds among human, canine and feline best friends. The stories just hit home and heart so well. I appreciated the personality analysis of pets related to people. Helped me make sense of many of my “pet relationships”. Thank you!!!

  • Norma Hewitt

    I was really looking forward to this program and it would have been great except the music was so doggone loud (no pun intended) I couldn’t hear half of what was being said, and I have excellent hearing. I hope this problem can be corrected in the future. Other than that the program was top drawer.

  • Julie B

    Jerry’s story is the saddest I have ever seen on Nature! To think that these people gave up everything to be with him every second! His story is priceless and I cant even share it with anyone as I begin to cry! I can only imagine the what Jerry’s people have learned on this journey. I am blessed with 2 cats and one Keeshound they too are the center of my busy life and I can’t imagine life with out them. I would never be able to afford to give up everything as Jerry’s family did so I am envious of them. I don’t want to know what happens to Jerry I just want to imagine him running and playing forever! After losing my friend recently, my cat who was 18 years old I can understand. She was with me through all types of events always with a sunny attitude and a soft purr to make me feel better! When an animal gets to the end of their life tell you when they are ready to leave. Though that doesn’t make it any easier. When people say to me that they are only animals, you are being silly, then I say, and what are you an alien! thank you Nature but next time warn us as I didn’t have enough tissues!!!

  • Carrie R

    I’m an equal opportunity pet lover – 3 cats and a Cocker Spaniel who has been my awesome co-pilot for 13 years. Nature, thank you so much for doing this episode!

  • Xian

    We… Sweetpea, my lab-pit mix (who recently received scary news from our vet), Q, Jack Russell terror!, and Lucky Barnett, our token feline rescued from a life of “relations” with her dad, brothers and uncles at the horse barn, shared some couch time watching this touching show.

    Canine, feline, human, who cares. It’s all about the love. More love can only make the world a better place.

    PBS, thanks again for your quality programming.

  • robert konarski

    I just recently lost my Australian Shepard Ozzie to cancer. Then my father passed away, still trying to decide what hurts more

  • sue vetter

    this is the tv show i told you about

  • Laura Mossey

    I loved the “Why We Love Cats & Dogs” episode but wish to find out the name of the Colorado Animal adoption Shelter who uses the (MYM – Meet Your Match program). If someone could help provide the name of this place it would be most appreciated!!!!

  • Alicia Dufresne

    Fabulous show. May only regret is I didn’t tape it. We do have 1 cat that is Lord and Master over the two humans, two other cats and one large dog who live here.

  • Mike

    i care for 20 cats and 3 dogs, i have sacrificed my life to care for them, i have lost my business, i have taken my german shepard 1000 miles away to a vet to save his life,and they did save his life, bottem line, i will never turn my back on my animals. i think it is a terrible crime to put any animal to sleep just because there is no one to adopt him or her. we look to animals for companionship, and they provide more than their share, and when its inconvenient, they are abandoned.

  • John

    Thanks for showing this great show! It was really enjoyable.

  • Laura

    Just a couple answers to your questions: the composer in the program who was inspired by his cat is Kenneth A. Jacobs; the Meet Your Match program took place at the Boulder Valley Humane society in Boulder, Colorado. And for those of you interested in Jerry’s full story – go to our interview with Jerry’s owner Rene on this site.

  • Linda

    When will the show air again. Friends from work told me about the show.

  • Michelle

    That was a beautiful program.I lost my cat last year and it was too quiet so, I adopted another cat two days later. I am glad I rescued my cat from my local animal shelter. More people should consider adopting a pet.
    Jerry’s story made me cry. Pets are a bigger part of our lives than we think,they are family to most. They don’t tell our secrets and love us no matter what.

  • Mary Beth

    What a great show ! Does anyone know how to find the cratoon referred to that asked a dog what time it is, and he says Now, now , now…? I loved Jerry’s story although it was gut wrenching. I feel we should never have to apologize for how much we love our pets. It’s a good thing!

  • Sarah Anne

    So how do i know if i am a runner up in the contest ?

  • NATURE Online

    If you’re a winner or runner up in the contest, we will contact you through Flickr Mail. Be sure to use a valid email address that you check regularly when you sign up for a Flickr account.

  • Skip Radtke

    Good TV viewing. I have been struggling with trying to save my Yellow Lab’s leg. (He got struck by a car). I could not amputate or put him to sleep. Did not know why I was so attached to him as I have had Labs all of my adult life. He is special and I could not let him go. Program helps explain mm position. Guess I am a “Buddy” with a bit of most other classifications thrown in.

  • Carmen L

    After losing our 2 best friends to cancer (dalmatians), I can empathize with Jerry’s “people”, it’s very, very difficult to see them sick, and even worse to see them suffer. After ours both died, I was made aware of the practice where euthanized animals are actually used a protein source in dog foods….it seemed too ridiculous to be true, so I did some online research by typing “euthanized animals as an ingredient in dog food”…I was horrified to find out IT IS TRUE. Still unable to believe it, I sent an e mail to one of, and probably THE largest pet food manufacturer ~ I wrote that we refuse to feed our pets ANY food which contains euthanized animals as an ingredient, so could they provide me with a GUARANTEE that they do not use euthanized animals in their foods, and if so, which brands in particular did that guarantee apply to? Guess what, their answer was that they are sorry, they do not have a product that “meets my criteria”. I was SICK. The chemicals used to kill dogs/cats get ground into the food, along with diseased and roadkill animals. Our government DOES NOT regulate the pet food industry. And, when we feed our pets disease and poison (not intentionally, of course), it ends up causing diseases such as Jerry’s cancer.I have considerable guilt, and can’t help but wonder if I had known sooner, would both of my dogs still be around, and would they have had a better quality of life? I would soooo like to see PBS, or other pro animal organization help to raise public awareness about this putrid practice. I have to think that most people would do what we do, purchase a higher priced food which will not cause harm to the pets we love.

  • Scott

    It was a great show. I really like the part where my great friend Shirley was talking about cat agility and holding the most beautiful F1 Bengal. Of course I am a little bias since he belongs to me. His name is Rowdy and he lives with me and 6 other beautiful bengals. Thank you Ellen and pbs.

  • Leonardo Rezende

    I was very moved by Jerry’s story. It actually brought me to tears. As a result I started volunteering at a rescue shelter in Queens, NY. Thank you Jerry for the inspiration. You will live forever in our hearts.

  • rudysmom

    I just lost my cat Rudy today. He was the best. He picked us out when we went to the pound 5 years ago. He was 8 years old then and had just days left to live then. He was such a good cat. I cried all day and this show validates me. Thanks

  • Stasia

    We loved this show! Thank GOODNESS there is someone else in the world who gives their dog raspberries on her tummy – now we don’t feel quite so strange! ;) Bless all those wonderful pets and their people. Truly enjoyable.

  • Carol siegel

    I missed the show. Will it be repeated-if so when? i live in the D.C. area

  • solstace1400

    was just online trying to show my mom puppies (i’ve been binging on puppy webcams with htp://ipuppycam.com u have to check it out) and my mom caught this show starting and told me to turn it on. so glad she did, its really great so far. the part about “color matching” was fascinating, i had never heard about that. thank you for airing!!!! i <3 PBS hooray for public broadcasting!!!!

  • solstace1400

    omg Stasia i put raspberries on my dogs tummy too!!! shes a little maltese. love her so much

    i typed that url wrong, sorry… its http://ipuppycam.com if anyone was wondering my bad :p

    oh and im in southern california and the show is on right now!!!

  • Anne Margaret Mayberry

    I come from a famiy of “cat people”, but my world was “unleashed” when my first dog rescued me. Greta was there through the death of my mother, my journey into my thirties, and and other emotional relationships. With her passing, I lost a little bit of my heart, but her spirit will be with me forever.

  • Sam

    Like one of the women in the show, I am also an equal-opportunity pet owner. Although I don’t presently have dogs (due to my living situation wherein I am sharing) I certainly anticipate having at least one dog down the line. I would think more people are smart enough by now to realize that the differences between cats and dogs and the so-called “war between cats and dogs” is ALL MAN-MADE! Animals are able to coexist peacefully with each other which is a LOT MORE than can be said for many humans! The pets in our lives are reflections of ourselves. If you have dogs and cats who are not getting along, it’s time you look at yourself and understand where you’re not getting along in your own life. As for cats being less active, again it’s all the by-product of centuries of thinking about these animals. The animals themselves are not less active or more active. They’re ALL active, intelligent creatures and it’s up to the individual to engage their pets.

  • George

    God Bless all of you good folks who love their cats, dogs, birds, etc. I’m sure most of you agree they little non-human folks are not ‘pets’ but companions. We don’t ‘own’ them: we are their trustees. I have learned so much from my cat Sally Roo about unconditional love and sacrifice. She had thyroid tumors last year, treated with radioactive iodine. I pray every day she and I have another ten years (she’s going on 14), but I know that’s wishful. My soulmate, love her heart and soul.

  • Colleen James

    When will this show air again? I missed most of it the first time.

  • MonaLisa

    I missed it too. Is there a DVD? Thank God that we take care of these angels contrary to other countries.

  • Susan M

    This was a great program and I have recommended it to many folks. I have had great relationships with dogs, cats, horses and even birds. I think it most tragic that so many human animals have not yet realized how very interconnected we are to all of the animal kingdom. I have found all animals are sensitive — even the ones with scales that I must admit it is harder to relate to at times. However, like us humans, there are rogues in all species. Most of the domesticated “rogues” however, seem to be the product of people who are ignorant of what depth there really is to other species besides their own. Having worked with humane groups, often the question is asked, “How could someone do this to their pet?!” My response has always been, “Have you seen what they do to their children?!” We humans have not evolved very far and seem to foster our dark side too well. We have much to learn about compassion and our domesticated furry/feathered friends are patient teachers, if we just give them a chance.

  • Marcie S.

    I think America gives cats a bad name, not all cats are mean, I play hide-go-seek with my cat, I dress him in male baby t-shirts, he poses for me to take photos, his famous shot is laying on his back waiting for belly rub. He is so handsome, gold and white tabby with tiger stripes, he lets all the neighbor pet him. We talk to each other in (gu-gu ga-ga) baby talk. He taps me wakes me in the morning, and takes me to the ktichen look up where I keep his food, sometimes he climbs up and get it himself If I dont get up. I am a sickly person, he is so precious to me, I dont have the energy to walk a dog in all types of weather. Not all cats are mean, a mean its all about the breed, and temperment of the animal, cats, or dog. I plan to get him a cat stroller and takes him for rides, and walks in the park. Its so funny my family would hear us both talking to each other, they cant believe he answers back, or if I call him he anwser in the next room, when I say come! he comes to me amazing. He is extremely smart whenever I am going out once I put my coat on, or take up the keys he goes to the door. He would put his mouth under the door, and cry for me, the neighbors would hear him bawling louder and louder, I left the radio on all day, plus window half open, he has free roam of the place. I treasure this pet, he has help me through my health storms, hate to leave him to go to the hospital, have friends who loves cats to take care of him until, the best thing is when we reunite, he follows me everywhere cant go in the bathroom, he would climb up and turn the nob with his paw, he dont want to let me out of his sight. I would get a dog later on when my health is stable, hate to see people mistreat animals, dogs, or cats. My first pet was a puppy who was near, and dear to me. I am writing to say give a cat a fair chance as well as whats given to a dog, seems to me America favors more for dogs. Everyone has their own liking, but the three cats I ever own we develop such a bond they all become human-like, the love& passion that is given to them they respond back the same. Yes indeed! I am passionate for cats, all cats. God bless all the Pet Parents who adopt,and become caregivers to them. Good Job!

  • Taina

    I absolutely loved this show. My sister and I have two dogs and 11 birds, and they mean the world to us.
    The bond that we have with our pets is incomparable. Everyday we learn something from them. The story about Jerry brought tears to my eyes. It is very upsetting to hear how in some countries animals are being abused, and there are no laws to protect them. Thank you pbs, for showing how special our pets are, and how important they are in our lives. PBS would you please air this show again. 100% animal lover!

  • Mario

    Excellent show! Marvellous cats!

  • Vince Miller

    Does anyone know the name of that guitar piece that was playing at the end while the pet owners were talking? Or who it is by, or if it available commercially?

  • Starr Manning

    I saw the PBS show last evening. Absolutely wonderful, heartwarming as well as a tear jerker! Jerry reminded me so much of our rescue, Roscoe, the wonderful golden retriever. We always take our 4 leggers everywhere with us. We bought an old minnie winnie so they can go camping with us. we were in FL on vacation 2 1/2 yrs ago when Roscoe started bleeding internally. Our vet at home located an emergency vet that saved Roscoe’s life but also mentioned the ugly cancer word. We started Roscoe on chemo when we returned home. Unbeknownst to us the cancer had spread and the chemo was unable to stop it. I know Jerry and Roscoe are together sharing their camping stories . . and their water loving ocean jaunts. We still have Roscoe’s mate, Princess, our black lab mix – - she turns 16 April 15th. A couple of weeks after we made the difficult decision to let Roscoe go . . . we rescued an 8 yr old chocolate lab named Shep. He and Princess are now the best of “buds” and he, too, is now learning how to go camping and enjoying his new pawrents as we have come to claim him as one of our own. Roscoe, Oscar and Ralph’s cremains are at home with us. Our family has been instructed that when the last of our family is gone, all of our cremains are to be mixed together and taken to our favorite beach in FL so we will all be together again.

  • stepinie

    i saw that PBS show last evening. i absolutely loved it.we got married and got a little dog and named him jerry. we were in cl.by and great dog that you guys have thamnks

  • Bloggershrink

    For a nature blogger’s humorous review of their top ten favorite PBS NATURE episodes, check out http://christiannature.blogspot.com/2009/05/nature-10-best-episodes-of-pbs-nature.html

  • Cinderella

    Does anyone know who the man is that was sitting on the sofa giving raspberries on his dogs tummy? He doesn’t know it yet but he’s the man of my dreams.

  • Mike

    Dogs rule!

  • Ken

    Cats Rule!

  • Rich

    To what lengths would you go if your 8-pound, 9-month-old puppy ran away from an unfamiliar place into the wild with bears, coyotes, birds of prey, freezing temperatures, rain? Our family went pretty far and ended up with an amazing story that Random House then bought in two hours. It’s called HUCK and will be out in September. You can see some of the story now at http://www.huckthebook.com . If you want, you can be a Facebook fan of Huck at http://bit.ly/cwaXge. You can follow Huck on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/huckthedog. Take a look at the story and say hi.

  • Tracy Strauss

    What an amazingly moving episode on our relationship with dogs and cats… thank you PBS for inspiring me to continue trying to get my own story about my relationship with my shelter cat Hannah out there. http://thehannahgracebook.wordpress.com

  • Mommy mac

    I will take my cats, dogs, birds (crows are best) opossum, squirrel, lizard and spider over people any time ! I love my husband but he can’t compete with my animals

  • Kayla

    I LOVED the epidode, “Why We Love…”. Thank you so much for producing an ADOPTION-friendly documentary!
    With 6-8 million pets in US shelters (not accounting for all the pets in private rescues) there is ABSOLUTELY no need or excuse to breed or buy. ADOPT, ADOPT, ADOPT & ADOPT!

    -A proud shelter volunteer

  • Luke Howes

    The only reason why I love cats and dogs is because they can be the best friends you ever have! <3

  • James Patton

    @Dan Frazier -
    If I had to save the life of a cat, or you Dan Frazier, I can honestly say I’d pick the cat.
    Most animals are harmless/defenceless, and I would definitely much rather keep a bunch of helpless animals in this world than close minded & closed hearted humans such as yourself.
    Animosity against each other maybe, but aggression towards a pet?? How pathetic.

    I just hope you aren’t the type who are cruel in their aggression.

  • PAtrick & Sandra Carleton

    We just saw the show this afternoon and were wondering the outcome of Jerry and his parents.

  • Karen M Rivera

    Im a cat and dog lover, and have great respect for nature!! I enjoyed the program. Thank you, and bless all people with love for animals nature!!

  • elizabeth c.

    This is so CUTE!!!!!!! I am a *breathes in deeply* dogcatfishbirdantelopegiraffelionsharkcoralandallotheranimalsperson, wow I said a mouthful! I LOVE ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Eliabeth C.

    My neighbor has an ADORABLE little puppy dog and her name is *breathes deeply* LUCY!!!!!! Isn’t that adorable!?!? I LOVE LUCY!!!!!!!!!! :D

  • http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ty-mTQuUoSY Florida Kirouac

    I love animals

  • lee westover

    Please tell the couple with the shepard dog named “Jerry” to find a vet that uses supplements from Standard Process labs formulas. They can reach Standard process labs to locate a vet. http://WWW.standardprocess.com 800-558-8740. I have saved my dear pets with this brand of supplements please pass this valuable information on to this couple I saw on pbs tonight about dogs and cats and how they relate to people. Nov 30, 2011 about 7:30 pm UT time. Please make sure they get my info. Their dog was named Jerry…..thank you Lee. Or have them call me…801-750-1558

  • ERIN KAVANAGH

    this show really hit home. I am blessed to be a cat lover/mommy with 2 kids(cats) Ty my male orange tiger and my little my peanut calico Camille, Through many of my ups and downs in my life. I am free. Ty and Camille are my saviors. I have mental disabilities and there are days I feel sick. Camille and Ty are always there for me to remind me I am ok. We have a special bond together. I been through break ups with relationships. and wound being in love my babies. I am a proud mother of them. They take care of my illness and as I make sure their environment and needs are met. We are a team. Thank you so much PBS for this show. It make me understand why pets are important. Mentally and Physically and Emotionally and spiritually, As for Jerry dog,.family I lost a horse that was special to me. I am sorry for your family. God rest his soul and all animals. Jerry is alive in your heart. and his story lives on. and I want to let the man with the drinking problem to know I understand what rock down is, aren’t cats amazing!? thanks again

  • Scott Morgan

    Hey Dan, when reincarnated, cat haters come back as mice.

  • Zipper puller

    I Love Cats and Dogs

  • cynthia

    Thank tou Nature! this show was long over due. Over my 50+ years I have been owned by cats, dogs, and horses. Right now there are 3 cats that rule my home Buddy 11, Miss Lily 4, and Pryncess Diva 3. I would not have it any other way. They sleep with me . Wake me before the alarm clock rings. Let me know before someone knocks at the door. My favorite is when my brother calls on the phone. Instead of saying hello, he talks to the cats. Lilly, Buddy, Pryncess, and he goes on and on as if they will answer. Lily will, she runs to the answer machine and will look at it and meow back to him. If I hold the phone to her as he is talking she looks at it and walks away. Let him walk into my apt. and she runs into the bedroom. I LOVE THEM ALL!!!!!!!! THEY ARE MY LIFE AND MY BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • siswink

    I saw this show on PBS last night. It was awesome. It so perfectly captures the wonderful connection we have with our furry companions. When we open our homes and our hearts, our lives are filled with unconditional love. All creatures deserve love and good homes. DAN FRAZIER: You should be kept in a cage at a shelter for awhile and see what it’s like. If you have to be a hater, keep it to yourself. NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE wants to hear your opinion. What goes around, comes around.

  • natalie

    geez, lighten up on Dan’s comment. It me laugh. I’ve found a lot of guys have that almost exaggerated dislike for cats and their ways, but its not like they’re abusing them, sheesh. I suspect many of them would secretly be happy if my kitty flirted with him in the way that only he can. They can’t help it, I’ve seen it!

  • http://www.Gislason-Law.com Barbara Gislason

    The human/animal bond is well known. What is less well known is how the courts and legal system deal with pet ownership, custody and access disputes. I am writing a book about this for the American Bar Association. If you have information to share about cases settled or litigated please contact Barbara J Gislason in MN.

  • Jennifer

    I know how that feels! I have 13 cats! (all former strays or rescues) I don’t know what I would do with out them, Just thinking about when they die makes me tear up. The connection between me and my cats is stronger than I have with all my former best friends combined! My baby, Milly, owns my room. She gets mad if I take too long to get to bed, She sleeps by my head every night, and even when she’s mad at me, she still sleeps under the bed.
    Animals make way better friends than people.

  • Jessica Happenny

    This has nothing to do with what I just saw, but…
    Why do people compare cats to dogs anyway? All animals should be judged on their own and each species should bbe valued by their companionship. I’ve seen posts on other sites that say that “cats suck because they can’t play like dogs” :P it’s stupid. It’s like comparing birds to lizards (which I’ve both had as pets, and they are loving as well. Well, the lizard, not so much).

  • Saly

    It’s true!!! I love and trust cats more than anything, even myself. They understand you even if you do not speak. Even I am crying right now. I do not know why but there is a special force between me and cats. In the morning I always feed the street cats. The way they come around you, meowing, at that ime it is like my heart stops and my brain does not thinks of anything but only cats. Nothing is more important for me than cats. I love them so crazily that I can jump into canyon without a parachute to save one, and that only a miracle can rescue me. I can give my anything to get one. I even breath with them. They are better than humans. I can not tell you how much I love them. My love is so big that it can not be said in any words or written somewhere, it can only be felt somewhere deep in your heart. I hope you will understand me because till now nobody in my life understood me.

    Yours friend,

    Sally

  • Jenna

    Nice show. Although my heart goes out to the couple with the dog with cancer, Jerry, I remember something differently from my own experiences with veterinary oncologists. The husband said that they didn’t want Jerry to have to suffer through chemotherapy (and other treatments). I distinctly remember the oncologist telling us that dogs don’t experience chemotherapy like humans do. I know that it’s a debilitating treatment for many humans and I too didn’t want my dog to experience that. The vet said that dogs aren’t affected that way. I would hate for others to deny their dogs treatment based on a misconception.

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.