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Full EpisodeWhy We Love Cats and Dogs

Americans own 73 million dogs and 90 million cats. They become best friends, soul mates, family members, and even surrogate children. Relationships with cats and dogs are some of the longest and most intimate of our lives. Why are we so attached? Animal behavior experts, evolutionary biologists, veterinarians, and pet owners share insights and observations about these animals and their impact on us.

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.

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Woman: HERE, KITTY, KITTY, KITTY.

Man: THEY BRING OUT THE SOFTER SIDE OF ME.

DOES THAT SOUND WEIRD?

NO, IT DOESN'T SOUND WEIRD.

WELL, THANK GOD!

OH, YEAH, SHE LIKES THIS.

[ BLOWING RASPBERRY ] Woman: CATS HAVE A STAFF AND DOGS HAVE FAMILY.

DOGS ARE SOMETIMES SOME OF THE LONGEST RELATIONSHIPS WE HAVE.

Woman: I JUST BROKE UP WITH MY BOYFRIEND.

I SAID, 'YOU KNOW, I JUST WISH I COULD LOVE YOU LIKE I LOVE ZACHARY.'

Woman: YOU ARE A CLASSIC SOULMATE TYPE.

WE SHARE A VERY SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP.

WE MADE DOGS AND CATS WHO THEY ARE, AND IN SOME WAYS THEY FED BACK AND INFLUENCED WHO WE ARE.

I WOULD, LIKE, LOCK MYSELF IN THIS ROOM AND JUST DRINK ALL THE TIME.

YOU KNOW, HUMANS COULDN'T EVEN REACH ME AT THAT POINT.

IT WAS THE CAT THAT SAVED ME.

Woman: A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE NUTS WHEN WE SOLD OUR BUSINESS AND OUR HOUSE AND SAID WE WERE GOING TO TRAVEL FOR A WHILE.

[ BARKING ] [ BARKING ] Woman: HOW FAR DO YOU GO FOR A DOG?

GOOSE, HERE. GOOSE.

I HAVE A CAT, AND SHE LIVES LIFE FOR HERSELF.

BUT SHE DOESN'T LIVE LIFE FOR ME.

AND MY AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS LIVE LIFE FOR ME.

CAT PEOPLE, I THINK, THRIVE ON REJECTION.

DOG PEOPLE ARE RELATIONSHIP-BUILDERS.

I THINK IZZIE HAS GIVEN ME SOMETHING THAT I VERY MUCH WANT, WHICH IS A WAY TO USE THE DOGS TO CONNECT MORE WITH PEOPLE -- TO FIND MORE LOVE, TO FIND MORE INTIMACY, AND TO GROW UP MORE.

I THOUGHT I'D NEVER BE THAT GUY, BUT NOW I'M THAT GUY.

I'M WIPING BUTTS, [ Laughing ] DOING IT ALL.

GOTTA FIND A GIRLFRIEND WHO LIKES TO SLEEP WITH THE DOGS IN THE BED.

I MEAN, I'LL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT, LADIES.

BUT THE DOG'S GOTTA SLEEP IN THE BED.

I THINK DOG PEOPLE TEND TO BE OVERINDULGENT OF THEIR PETS.

I THINK I WOULD GIVE UP MY BABY BEFORE I WOULD GIVE UP MY DOGS.

COME ON!

YAY!

A DOG WILL RUN UP TO ANYBODY AND LICK THEM.

YOU KNOW, THE DELI GUY COMES OVER, AND THE DOG'S GIVING HIM THE SAME LOVE HE'S GIVING ME WHEN HE COMES HOME -- WHEREAS THIS CAT'S NOT TALKING TO ANYBODY BUT ME.

I DON'T NECESSARILY ALWAYS WANT SOMEBODY BANGING DOWN MY DOOR, YOU KNOW, LOOKING TO BE PETTED.

YOU KNOW, I DEFINITELY GET THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FROM HUMPHREY, BUT HE'S A LITTLE BIT MORE SUBTLE WITH IT.

DOGS ARE OPTIMISTS, AND CATS ARE KIND OF CYNICAL.

CATS HAVE A STAFF AND DOGS HAVE FAMILY.

IF YOU DON'T LIKE CATS, YOU HAVEN'T MADE THE TIME TO KNOW A CAT.

AND SO I THINK IF YOU OPEN UP AND LOOK THROUGH THAT FEMININE WINDOW FOR 15 MINUTES... IS THAT THE WINDOW WE NEED TO LOOK THROUGH?

THAT'S THE WINDOW WE NEED TO LOOK THROUGH.

YOU DON'T HAVE ANY TROUBLE, ESPECIALLY IN THAT SHIRT.

[ LAUGHING ] IS THAT RIGHT?

Man: THE CAT IS A GOOD JUDGE OF CHARACTER.

THERE WAS SOMEBODY RECENTLY WHO WAS IN MY LIFE, AND THE FIRST TIME THE CAT SAW HER, HE WAS LIKE, 'DUDE, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

THIS PERSON IS TROUBLE.'

SHE HAD TWO CATS WHEN WE MET.

AND THEN I CAME INTO THE PICTURE.

AND I DON'T THINK THEY REALLY LIKED THAT.

YOU MEAN THEY DIDN'T LIKE YEAH.

ONE REASON WE LOVE DOGS -- WE SEE OURSELVES IN THEM.

AND IT OURSELVES.

Man: I THINK, IN OUR RUSH TO MAKE DOGS JUST LIKE US, WE SOMETIMES FAIL TO APPRECIATE WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT.

AND I THINK THEY'RE ANOTHER TRIBE.

I MEAN, THEY'RE NOT LIKE US, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION, THEIR OWN INSTINCTS.

SO I ACTUALLY CELEBRATE THEM FOR THE DIFFERENCES.

I THINK WHAT I REALLY LOVE ABOUT DOGS CATS IS THAT THEY'RE NOT LIKE US.

OH, YEAH, SHE LIKES THIS.

[ BLOWS RASPBERRY ] Man: SO SOMETIMES SHE GETS HER TOUGH SELF ON, AND... Woman: I'M SARAH WILSON.

I'M A PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER.

AND I'M A LIFELONG STUDENT OF THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND.

WHO'S THE BEST?

COME ON, BOO-BOO.

Man: OKAY, HERE WE GO.

READY? HIT IT!

Wilson: HALF THE FUN OF GOING TO THE DOG RUN IS SEEING THEIR WHOLE RAINBOW OF DOG OWNERS AND DOG COMBINATIONS.

[ BARKING ] HOW MANY FINGERS?

Woman: I AM A SINGER/TEACHER/ACTRESS, AND NOW HE'S FOLLOWING IN MY FOOTSTEPS.

HE'S GOING TO BE A PERFORMER, TOO, RIGHT, TIGER?

AH-CHOO!

AH-CHOO!

GOOD BOY!

PEOPLE THINK THAT YOUR EYES ARE THE WINDOW INTO YOUR SOUL.

UNH-UNH IT'S YOUR DOG.

IT'S HOW YOU DEAL WITH YOUR DOG.

IT'S HOW YOU PRAISE YOUR DOG IT'S HOW YOU INTERACT WITH YOUR DOG.

Man: COME HERE POOCH.

RUBY'S DEFIANCE AND STUBBORNNESS KIND OF TOOK ME BY SURPRISE.

SIT.

RUBY? SIT.

LIKE RIGHT NOW SHE'S KIND OF LIKE... 'I DON'T WANNA.'

IT'S SORT OF A BLESSING IN DISGUISE IN THAT IT'S POINTED TO THINGS THAT I NEED TO WORK ON IN MY OWN LIFE.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING OF WHEN YOU THINK THAT?

SOME CONFIDENCE.

RIGHT YOU GOT WHAT YOU NEEDED MAYBE NOT WHAT YOU WANTED. YEAH.

GIMME FIVE!

Wilson: THROUGH THE YEARS OF BEING A PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER I'VE SEEN PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR BETWEEN OWNERS AND THEIR DOGS.

AND I'VE IDENTIFIED NINE OF THESE PATTERNS.

AND I SEE THEM ALL OVER AND YOU WILL TOO.

WE HAVE THE SOULMATE THE OBSERVER THE BUDDY THE IDEALIST THE DYNAMO THE FREE SPIRIT THE ANGEL THE MASTER AND THE EXPERT.

KATHY AND ROSS WERE ANGEL TYPES.

THEY WANT TO SAVE A DOG.

THEY DON'T WANT TO CONTROL THE DOG.

THEY WANT TO HEAL THROUGH LOVE.

THIS IS JASPER.

HE'S A RESCUE.

HE HAS TERRIBLE SEPARATION ANXIETY.

OKAY HOW DOES THAT DISPLAY ITSELF?

HE RUNS IN CIRCLES AND BECOMES HYSTERICAL IF SOMEBODY TRIES TO LEAVE THE APARTMENT.

WHEN YOU'VE LEFT AND YOU COME HOME WHAT'S THE SITUATION?

IS HE IN A PANIC?

NO HE'S ACTUALLY SLEEPING.

YES SO THAT'S NOT SEPARATION -- SEPARATION ANXIETY IS FEAR WHEN HE'S LEFT ALONE.

HE WILL ATTACK ME OR HE'LL TRY TO GET BETWEEN ME AND KATHY WHEN WE KISS.

AND YOU -- I TRY AND CALM HIM DOWN AND REASSURE HIM IT'S OKAY.

TELL HIM RIGHT NOW THAT IT'S OKAY.

JASPER COME HERE.

OH WHAT A GOOD BOY.

IT'S OKAY. YEAH.

AND NOW HE THINKS YOU PRAISE HIM.

EVERY TIME HE AGGRESSES AT ROSS HE THINKS HE'S BEING PRAISED.

AND HE GOES 'WELL OKAY NO PROBLEM I'LL DO THAT!'

HE GETS RIGHT BETWEEN US AND GOES 'I DARE YOU TO GO NEAR HER.'

YEAH AND COULD ANYBODY ELSE ON THE PLANET GET AWAY WITH THAT?

NO.

[ LAUGHING ] Wilson: DOG OWNERS THAT I WOULD CALL 'ANGELS' CLASSICALLY HAVE THIS PROBLEM.

I GO IN AND COMMONLY SEE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT HAVING SEX BECAUSE OF THEIR DOGS.

THIS HAPPENS BECAUSE THEY'RE SO LOVING WITH THE DOG THAT THEY DON'T TELL THE DOG TO KNOCK IT OFF LIKE THEY WOULD ANYBODY ELSE.

IS THIS COMMON? Ross: NO.

BECAUSE HE'S BASICALLY -- HE KEEPS MY HEAD WARM.

MOUNTING YOU.

YOU ARE PUTTING HIM IN THE MOUNTING POSITION.

Kathy: OH NOT GOOD.

AND YOU ARE PUTTING A DOG WHO AGGRESSES AT YOU IN YOUR OWN BED IN THE MOUNTING POSITION ON YOUR HEAD -- DO YOU THINK THAT IN ANY WAY MIGHT BE CONFUSING -- YEAH THAT'S I'M PRETTY SURE THAT'S REALLY CONFUSING.

OKAY SO WHY DON'T WE DISMOUNT THE DOG?

THERE WE GO.

THERE'S THE LEASH.

DOGS ARE SOMETIMES SOME OF THE LONGEST RELATIONSHIPS WE HAVE.

THEY'LL BE WITH US FOR 12 YEARS 13 YEARS.

I THINK THE AVERAGE MARRIAGE NOW IS WHAT 3 12 YEARS?

SUCH A GOOD BOY.

Woman: THIS IS WHAT I CALL THE DOG OF MY LIFETIME.

YOU KNOW HE'S BEEN MY BEST FRIEND HE'S BEEN MY FRIDAY NIGHT COMPANION WHEN I DIDN'T WANT TO GO OUT OR COULDN'T GO OUT OR DIDN'T HAVE ANYONE TO GO OUT WITH OR WHATEVER THE SITUATION WAS.

Wilson: YOU ARE A CLASSIC SOULMATE TYPE.

JUST YOU LOVE TO LOVE HIM.

YOU WANT TO BE WITH HIM.

AND YOU SHARE THINGS WITH EACH OTHER.

I ACTUALLY SAY THAT!

I'M LIKE 'WHY DO I LOVE YOU SO MUCH?'

I'M LIKE 'IT'S JUST BECAUSE.'

LIKE IT'S THE KIND OF LOVE THAT'S UNCOMPLICATED IT'S JUST TRUTHFUL.

DOGS ARE WHAT WE CALL CONGRUENT -- THEY ACT THE WAY THEY FEEL AND THEY FEEL THE WAY THEY ACT WHICH IS ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WITH PEOPLE RIGHT?

YOU DON'T ALWAYS KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON.

BUT THEY'RE AUTHENTIC AND YOU CAN TRUST THAT.

AND I JUST BROKE UP WITH MY BOYFRIEND -- I WAS REALLY MEAN BUT I SAID 'YOU KNOW I JUST WISH I COULD LOVE YOU LIKE I LOVE ZACHARY.'

AND LIKE I KNOW THAT WAS REALLY MEAN BUT I MEANT IT AND I COULDN'T.

AND I'M SINGLE SO... YOU KNOW IT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS.

Wilson: CARLO IS A CLASSIC BUDDY TYPE.

HE AND HIS DOG ARE A UNIT.

IF YOU START TALKING ABOUT RELATIONSHIP TOO MUCH MOST BUDDIES GET A BUBBLE OVER THEIR HEAD LIKE 'COULDN'T WE GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY BALL OR DO SOMETHING LIKE MORE INTERESTING THAN THIS?'

Carlo: I WANT TO TAKE HER EVERYWHERE I GO.

YOU KNOW IF I COULD TAKE HER TO WORK I WOULD.

ABSOLUTELY.

SHE JUST HANGS OUT AND SHE'S JUST HAPPY TO BE AT MY FEET.

SHE'S VERY LOW MAINTENANCE VERY VERY LOW MAINTENANCE.

SHE MIGHT MAKE A GREAT PERSONAL AD.

YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED YOU KNOW?

OCCUPIES HERSELF NOT TOO DEMANDING WANTS TO DO SORT OF OUTDOOR THINGS.

YEAH YOU'RE MAKING ME THINK NOW THAT YOU SAID THAT.

THAT'S KIND OF CREEPY.

[ LAUGHING ] Wilson: IT'S NO SURPRISE TO ME THAT WE LOOK FOR IN A DOG WHAT WE WANT IN A BEST FRIEND OR ANOTHER SORT OF COMPANION.

OF COURSE! BECAUSE THEY ARE FAMILY AND THEY ARE THAT SORT OF COMPANION.

ALL RIGHT CALM DOWN.

WITH CARLA AND JAY WE HAVE THE MASTEROBSERVER COMBO.

TELL HER ABOUT THE RULES.

OH MOST OF THE TIME WHEN I'M HOME WITH HIM ALONE THERE AREN'T MANY RULES.

AS SOON AS THE GATE OPENS AND CARLA COMES HOME THAT'S WHEN THE RULES BEGIN.

HE GETS AFFECTION WHEN I WANT HIM TO HAVE AFFECTION.

HE HAS TO ASK TO GET UP ON THE COUCH.

WANT TO LIKE THROW THE TOYS FOR HIM AND I'LL SAY 'THAT'S ENOUGH.'

WELL NO HE KEEPS DROPPING IT ON MY LAP AND PESTERING ME UNTIL I KEEP DOING IT.

AND HE CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS IN THE HOUSE BUT WHEN WE GO OUT AND ABOUT I'VE GOT THE LEASH.

Wilson: THAT'S THE MASTER'S DEAL.

THEY LOVE THROUGH PROTECTION AND PROTECTION FOR THEM IS CONTROL.

JAY JUST LETS RIO 'BE A DOG.'

AND THAT'S THE OBSERVER TYPE.

WERE YOU AN ONLY OR A DOUBLE?

HOW MANY KIDS DID YOU HAVE IN YOUR FAMILY?

I HAVE THREE NATURAL SISTERS AND AN ADOPTED BROTHER AND SISTER.

I'M THE OLDEST.

AND YOU WERE THE RESPONSIBLE ONE.

CORRECT.

AND YOU?

AND ME WELL I WAS THE MIDDLE CHILD.

SO I WAS KIND OF JUST BASICALLY CHASING BUTTERFLIES ALL THE TIME.

SEE THE LINKAGES HERE AT ALL?

[ Laughing ] YEAH A LITTLE BIT!

FOR YEARS WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO TRAIN THEIR DOGS.

AND IT HASN'T HELPED.

WHY? BECAUSE WE'RE MISSING THE POINT ENTIRELY.

IT IS NOT ABOUT THAT END OF THE LEASH.

IT IS ABOUT US.

IT IS ABOUT RELATIONAL PATTERNS.

IT IS ABOUT PERSPECTIVES.

I AM DIANA KORTEN AND I LIVE HERE WITH MY TWO DAUGHTERS -- MY 5-YEAR-OLD AND MY 10-YEAR-OLD.

AND WE'RE ALL CAT LOVERS WHICH IS A GOOD THING SINCE WE LIVE WITH SIX CATS.

THIS IS LITTLE BIT.

GUSSIE IS BACK HERE HIDING BECAUSE SHE IS DEFINITELY THE SHYEST CAT OF THE WHOLE BUNCH.

THIS IS HELEN.

HELEN IS MY OLDEST CAT.

SHE'S THE SOCIAL PARIAH OF MY LITTLE CAT COLONY HERE.

THE OTHER CATS REALLY DON'T LIKE HER.

THEN HERE WE HAVE HENRY.

HENRY IS DEAR FRIEND.

THIS IS BEN.

AND THIS IS DAISY.

[ Laughing ] SHE IS MY PROBLEM CHILD AND THE FINAL -- AND I REALLY MEAN THE FINAL -- ADDITION TO THE FAMILY.

UM... [ Growling ] SEE YOU HEAR THAT?

SHE'S VERY CRABBY.

SHE'S NOT CRABBY WITH PEOPLE SHE'S JUST CRABBY WITH OTHER CATS.

[ SNARLS ] [ HISSES ] I AM MAKING A FEAST AND -- FOR THE KITTIES WITH THEIR FOOD.

AND THIS IS A LITTLE TRICK I LIKE TO DO AND THEY REALLY LIKE IT.

I POUR SOME OF THE DRY FOOD IN THE LITTLE HOLE.

Man: WELL THE THING IS THAT UM CATS LIVE TOGETHER AND IT'S NOT JUST AN AGGREGATION WHICH IS A GATHERING OF ANIMALS AROUND A FOOD SOURCE.

IT'S ACTUALLY A SOCIETY.

THEY CAN WALK PAST ANOTHER CAT AND JUST BRUSH LIKE THIS AND THAT MEANS SOMETHING MUCH MORE -- IT'S LESS DEMONSTRATIVE THAN SAY A DOG WOULD BE SO PEOPLE MISSED IT COMPLETELY BECAUSE THEIR SIGNS ARE SO SUBTLE.

RECENTLY IT'S BEEN SHOWN THAT IT'S A SOCIETY.

Diana: WE THINK OF TERRITORY IN TERMS OF SQUARE FOOTAGE WHILE CATS THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF PATHS.

AND THEY WORK EVERYTHING ON TIME-SHARE ARRANGEMENTS.

IF ONE CAT LIKE THIS IS HER FAVORITE PLACE TO SLEEP IN THE MORNING ANOTHER CAT CAN HAVE THAT PLACE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT.

THEY REALLY GET ALONG VERY WELL.

I THINK I CAME UP WITH A BETTER IDEA... Diana: I FEEL LIKE THE CATS ASK POLITELY WHEN THEY WANT SOMETHING.

YOU KNOW RATHER THAN BARKING AT YOU THEY COME AND RUB AGAINST YOUR LEG WHEN THEY WANT TO BE FED.

YOU LIKE THAT SALMON?

I JUST FEEL LIKE IT'S A RELATIONSHIP OF EQUALS.

WHEN I'M AROUND DOGS THEY DOMINATE ME.

THEY JUST BOSS ME AROUND.

THEY DON'T SEE ME AS AN AUTHORITY FIGURE.

[ LAUGHING ] THE THREE LITTLE KITTENS THEY LOST THEIR MITTENS.

[ All ] AND THEY BEGAN TO CRY.

Diana: I LOVE THE ANTICIPATION OF LITTLE FEET AT NIGHT.

I LOVE THE SOUND OF PURRING.

HERE KITTY KITTY KITTY!

I LOVE JUST THE FEEL OF THEIR FUR.

LIKE IT'S A PLEASURE TO JUST TOUCH THEM AND STROKE THEM.

HERE KITTY KITTY KITTY!

THEY COME.

YOU KNOW THE COME AND THEY COMFORT YOU.

I DID A LOT OF CRYING THROUGH MY DIVORCE.

I DON'T KNOW HOW I WOULD HAVE SURVIVED IF IT WASN'T FOR THESE CATS.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS BEEN SUCH A GODSEND FOR ME ABOUT BEN IS APRIL HAS OPPOSITION DEFIANCE DISORDER -- BASICALLY THAT MEANS THAT YOU KNOW EVEN IF YOU SAY 'APRIL YOU WANT TO GO GET SOME ICE CREAM?'

SHE'LL BE LIKE 'NO!'

SHE'LL GET INTO ONE OF HER TANTRUMS INTO ONE OF HER STATES AND THE BEST THING TO DO TO CALM HER DOWN IS JUST TO BRING HER BEN.

THE WAY THAT HE LOVES HER SO ABSOLUTELY MAKES ME FEEL LIKE THIS CAT WAS MADE FOR THAT GIRL AND THAT GIRL WAS MADE FOR THIS CAT.

WE SHARE A VERY SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH DOGS AND CATS WE SHARE A VERY SPECIAL FOR EXAMPLE BECAUSE WE CO-EVOLVED.

WE MADE DOGS AND CATS WHO THEY ARE AND IN SOME WAYS THEY FED BACK AND INFLUENCED WHO WE ARE.

THE FUNDAMENTAL INGREDIENT IS SHARED EMOTIONS.

WE SHARE ALL THE NITTY-GRITTY PARTS OF THE BRAIN AND WE SHARE ALL THE NEUROCHEMICALS AND ALL THE NEUROTRANSMITTERS.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR MOST PEOPLE IS WE SHARE THEIR EMOTIONS.

WE NOW KNOW THAT ANIMALS HAVE WHAT ARE CALLED MIRROR NEURONS AND MIRROR NEURONS ALLOW US TO MIRROR IN OUR OWN BRAINS THE FEELINGS AND THE EMOTIONS OF ANOTHER ANIMAL.

IT'S REVOLUTIONIZED THE FIELD.

MIRROR NEURONS CAN BE LOOKED AT AS THE NEURAL BASIS FOR EMPATHY.

AND THAT'S JUST VERY IMPORTANT IN THE FORMATION AND THE MAINTENANCE OF THE STRONG SOCIAL BONDS THAT WE FORM WITH DOGS AND CATS AND THEY FORM WITH ONE ANOTHER.

SO IT CROSSES SPECIES BUT IT ALSO WORKS WITHIN SPECIES.

Woman: JERRY'S BEEN WITH US THROUGH THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIVES.

WE GOT HIM SOON AFTER WE GOT MARRIED BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE STARTED A BUSINESS.

GOD WE WENT WHOLE HOG AND WERE WORKING EVERY DAY FOR 12 HOURS A DAY AND JERRY WAS ALWAYS WITH US BECAUSE WE ALWAYS WORKED OUT OF OUR HOME OFFICE.

[ SQUEAKING ] WE USED TO CALL HIM THE CFO THE CHIEF FUN OFFICER.

Jim: OR THE CANINE FUN OFFICER.

CANINE FUN OFFICER YEAH.

HE WOULD COME AT 4:30 OR 5:00.

HE'D KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS.

HE WOULD NUDGE THE KEYBOARD.

WE WOULD GO ON HIKES AND HE WOULD YOU KNOW RUN AND PLAY AND SWIM WAY OUT IN THE BACK COUNTRY.

FIVE SIX YEARS WENT BY WHERE HE WAS JUST THE MOST PLAYFUL FRIENDLY PART OF THE FAMILY.

OUR LAST HIKE JUST A COUPLE WEEKS AFTER THAT HE STARTED LIMPING.

AND THEY SAID IT WAS ARTHRITIS SO WE PUT HIM ON A DRUG.

A COUPLE WEEKS WENT BY TOOK HIM OFF THE DRUG AND HE WAS LIMPING WORSE.

I PRESSED ON HIS SHOULDER ONE NIGHT -- I'LL NEVER FORGET IT -- AND HE JUST LET OUT A YELP LIKE IT WAS BLOODY MURDER.

AWFUL.

THERE WAS A TUMOR ABOUT THE SIZE OF A MANGO GROWING INWARD SO WE DIDN'T SEE IT THROUGH HIS FUR.

YEAH YOU COULDN'T FEEL IT.

AND THE DOCTOR SAID 'SORRY TO SAY IT BUT IT'S CANCER.'

AND WE WERE PUT ON THE SPOT.

AMPUTATE AND HE'LL HAVE A BIT LONGER TO LIVE OR MEDICATE HIM.

Rene: IF HE COULD HAVE A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE ON THREE LEGS EVEN IF IT WAS JUST A FEW MONTHS THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERED.

A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT A DOG WITH THREE LEGS AND JUST THINK 'IT'S TERRIBLE.

'WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

DOGS ARE MEANT TO HAVE FOUR LEGS.'

Jim: THE DOCTOR TOLD US 'HE'S ALREADY ON THREE LEGS.

DOING THIS WILL GET RID OF HIS PAIN.'

AT THAT POINT IT WAS JUST YOU KNOW NO-BRAINER.

BECAUSE YOU KNOW I WANT MORE TIME WITH JERRY.

THE DOCTOR TOLD US HE HAD THREE TO FOUR MONTHS TO LIVE.

THE ROUTINE THAT JERRY DIDN'T LIKE WAS WAITING ALL DAY FOR US TO PLAY WITH HIM.

SO WE DECIDED TO TAKE THIS ROAD TRIP SEE NEW PLACES WITH HIM TAKE HIM OUT INTO THE WILDERNESS WHERE HE LOVES TO BE.

AND OUR LIFE JUST TOOK THIS 180 AND IT WAS ALL ABOUT JERRY.

[ BARKING ] [ BARKING ] AND HERE WE ARE 14 MONTHS LATER.

AND HE JUST WANTS TO PLAY PLAY PLAY.

HE SAYS 'LET'S GO!'

[ BARKING ] Rene: OH SNOW LOOK! HE GOT SNOW!

OH MY GOD!

Jim: WE DECIDED WE'RE NOT GOING TO PUT HIM THROUGH ANY CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS.

AND NOT TO DO X-RAYS EVERY FEW WEEKS LIKE THEY SAID WE COULD DO TO SEE IF SOMETHING WAS COMING BACK.

WE DECIDED IT WAS BETTER NOT TO KNOW.

I FIGURED HE WOULD LET US KNOW WHEN HE WAS SICK.

WE KNEW THE SIGNS -- HE WOULD STOP EATING HE WOULD GET LETHARGIC.

YOU KNOW I WANT TO SEE JERRY PLAYING AND ENJOYING LIFE UNTIL THAT HAPPENS.

AND WHEN THAT TIME COMES BY ALL MEANS MAN.

[ SNIFFLING ] Rene: A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE NUTS WHEN WE SOLD OUR BUSINESS AND OUR HOUSE AND SAID WE WERE GOING TO TRAVEL FOR A WHILE.

HOW FAR DO YOU GO FOR -- FOR A DOG?

PLAYTIME'S OVER JERRY.

Rene: I MEAN HE'S NOT A KID HE'S NOT A HUMAN BUT HE MEANS SO MUCH TO US.

I CAN'T PICTURE OUR LIVES WITHOUT HIM.

I'M ACTUALLY AN EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY PET LOVER, ANIMAL LOVER, BECAUSE I LOVE DOGS AND CATS EQUALLY, BUT IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

YEARS AGO, I MET A PSYCHIC WHO EXPLAINED THIS TO ME, THAT DOGS AND CATS FEED INTO DIFFERENT PARTS OF OUR PERSONALITY.

DOGS ARE EMOTION -- AND THEY ALSO WIGGLE A LOT -- AND CATS ARE THE MIND.

LIVING WITH DOGS AND CATS UNDER ONE ROOFUNDER ONE ROOF CERTAINLY HAS SOME CHALLENGES INVOLVED.

SHE'S THE OLDER SISTER AND HE'S SORT OF LIKE THE DORKY LITTLE BROTHER WHO YOU KNOW WANTS TO JUST ALWAYS BE AROUND HER.

WE ALWAYS MAKE THAT JOKE THAT IT'S THE HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN THING.

YES YES!

YOU KNOW IT'S LIKE IT'S KATIE'S SWEET 16 AND SHE DOESN'T QUITE KNOW IF STABLER'S COOL ENOUGH YET.

TO BE INVITED.

TO HANG OUT.

Dodman: DOGS AND CATS YOU KNOW BE NATURAL ENEMIES BUT YOU COULD RAISE A PUPPY AND A KITTEN TOGETHER AND THEY WILL FORM THIS AMAZING TIGHT BOND.

A CAT BETWEEN TWO WEEKS AND SEVEN WEEKS IS IN A CRITICAL PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT.

SO IF YOU TAKE A CAT WHO HAS BEEN SOCIALIZED TO DOGS AND THEN THAT CAT IS SUBSEQUENTLY LATER IN LIFE AT SIX MONTHS INTRODUCED TO A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO HAPPEN TO HAVE DOGS AROUND THE CAT GOES 'OH HEY YOU KNOW SLAP ME FOUR.'

[ MEOW ] [ BARKING ] THEY CAN STILL HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE -- IF ONE OF THE DOGS STARTS CHASING THEM THEY GO 'WOW YOU KNOW THAT'S A BAD ONE.'

BUT IT'S NOT LIKE A CLASS-ACTION SUIT AGAINST ALL DOGS.

Woman: TROUBLE THINKS IT'S A DOG SINCE IT'S BEEN RAISED WITH DOGS.

AND IT FETCHES AND IT TRIES TO EAT THE DOG FOOD.

EMILY AND CHARLIE ARE LITERALLY BEST FRIENDS IN THE HOUSE.

I HAVE EIGHT CATS ALTOGETHER.

EMILY THE DOG IS ALSO LIKE A FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.

I MEAN IF I HAVE A SICK CAT SHE COMES OVER AND SHE LICKS THEIR EARS SHE MAKES SURE THAT I MEDICATE THEM CORRECTLY.

SHE'S THE CARETAKER OF THE FAMILY.

Dodman: THERE IS A PHENOMENON CALLED CONCAVEATION -- DOGS AND CATS THAT WILL CLEAVE TOGETHER IN WAYS THAT ARE SORT OF ALMOST MATERNAL OR BROTHERLY OR SISTERLY.

SO THERE'S ALL THESE BLENDS FROM CHASING AND TOLERATION AND READING BODY LANGUAGE TO EVEN THESE VERY CLOSE ALMOST ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS.

CHARLES DARWIN THE FAMOUS BIOLOGISTGEOLOGIST SAID THAT DIFFERENCES AMONG ANIMALS ARE DIFFERENCES IN DEGREE RATHER THAN DIFFERENCES IN KIND WHICH MEANS THAT THE DIFFERENCES AMONG ANIMALS ARE LIKE SHADES OF GRAY NOT BLACK AND WHITE.

Bekoff: I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE FEEL SO IN SYNCH WITH DOGS -- AND CATS BUT DOGS IN PARTICULAR WHO TEND TO BE MORE PLAYFUL AS A SPECIES IS BECAUSE WE CAN RECIPROCALLY PLAY WITH THEM BECAUSE WE CAN SHARE THE EMOTION.

AND THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT PLAY IS REALLY REALLY FUNDAMENTAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND THE MAINTENANCE OF THE BOND.

THE MAIN THING THAT I'VE OBSERVED IS THAT THEY PLAY FAIRLY.

WE CALL IT 'WILD JUSTICE.'

THEY COOPERATE WITH ONE ANOTHER THEY FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER WHEN THEY BITE TOO HARD THEY APOLOGIZE AND SAY 'I'M SORRY I BIT YOU TOO HARD.'

SO I THINK IT'S SOMETHING ABOUT THE EQUITY THE JUSTICE THE FAIRNESS THE COOPERATION THAT REALLY ATTRACTS US TO DOGS AND CATS AND OTHER ANIMALS.

[ BARKING ] OH I LOVE THIS CAT.

COME OUT I WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU.

Woman: THERE HE IS WILLY BOY!

HEY BUDDY.

LOOKS LIKE WE'RE GOING TO FREE WILLY TODAY.

[ LAUGHTER ] Woman: TRADITIONALLY IN SHELTERS AN ADOPTER WOULD WALK IN THE DOOR AND THEY'D HAVE A PICTURE IN THEIR MINDS OF WHAT THEY WANTED FOR THAT PET.

WE KNOW YOU COME IN WITH EXPECTATIONS AND THOSE EXPECTATIONS ARE MORE THAN JUST A BREED -- IT'S ABOUT THE BEHAVIOR IN THAT BREED THAT 'I WANT A DOG THAT'S GOING TO PLAY BALL WITH ME' OR 'I WANT A DOG THAT'S GOING TO CUDDLE WITH ME AT NIGHT.'

HI GUYS MY NAME'S JENNIFER.

GREAT -- MARY NICE TO MEET YOU.

MARY IT'S GREAT TO MEET YOU.

HI ANGEL NICE TO MEET YOU.

ANGEL IT'S WONDERFUL TO MEET YOU.

WELL THIS IS SASHA.

Mary: I'M SINGLE AND I OWN MY OWN BUSINESS.

AND I JUST HAVE THAT EMPTY VOID.

I HAVE FRIENDS -- LIKE SHE'S A GREAT FRIEND BUT I CAN'T YOU KNOW HAVE HER CONSTANTLY SMOTHER HER YOU KNOW?

Jennifer: YOU SCORED IN THE ORANGE CATEGORY.

AND SASHA IS ALSO AN ORANGE.

KIND OF A MIDDLE OF THE ROAD IN TERMS OF EXERCISE AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS.

Mary: I'M TRYING TO BETTER MY LIFE AND I THOUGHT ABOUT A CAT BUT I'M LIKE 'I'LL JUST DO THE SAME THING SIT AND WATCH TV NOT DO ANYTHING EAT.'

I WANT A DOG THAT WILL MOTIVATE ME TO WAKE UP EARLIER GO RUNNING AND BE MORE ACTIVE.

WE NEED TO DO THIS LIKE AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK.

YEAH SEE AND THEN WE'LL GET EXERCISE.

GET SASHA A BOYFRIEND.

[ BOTH LAUGH ] Weiss: YOU AS THE ADOPTER COME IN YOU FILL OUT A SURVEY.

THAT SURVEY COLOR-CODES YOU EITHER PURPLE ORANGE OR GREEN.

ANIMALS THAT ARE WITHIN YOUR COLOR CODE ARE MOST LIKELY TO MATCH BASED ON YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND THE DOG OR CAT'S BEHAVIOR.

[ LAUGHING ] LOOK AT YOU!

Weiss: WE DO AN ASSESSMENT ON THE DOGS.

WE LOOK AT PLAY BEHAVIOR WE LOOK AT HOW HARD THE DOG WILL WORK FOR SOMETHING.

AND FROM THOSE ASSESSMENT ITEMS WE DETERMINE THAT DOG'S 'CANINE-ALITY.'

WHAT A GOOD GIRL.

GOOD GIRL!

Weiss: WE HAVE THE PURPLE DOGS THE ORANGE DOGS AND THE GREEN DOGS.

THOSE ARE BASED ON WHAT WE CALL THE PERSISTENCE SCALES.

COME HERE SILLY.

YOU DON'T WANT A TREAT?

Weiss: HOW HARD IS THIS DOG GOING TO WORK FOR WHAT HE WANTS?

HERE SKY. COME ON.

Weiss: PURPLE DOGS WON'T WORK VERY HARD FOR SOMETHING THAT THEY WANT.

IF THEY DON'T GET IT EASILY THEY'RE JUST GOING TO GIVE UP AND GO LAY DOWN.

OUR ORANGE DOGS ARE OUR MEDIUM-PERSISTENCE DOGS.

THESE BEHAVIORAL TRAITS STAY FAIRLY STABLE IN THE HOME.

FINALLY OUR GREEN DOGS ARE VERY VERY PERSISTENT AND WILL LIKELY LEARN HOW TO GET WHAT THEY WANT.

[ DOG BARKING ] ONE OF THE WAYS THAT WE DETERMINE THE 'CANINE-ALITY' THE INDIVIDUAL NAME THAT THAT DOG ENDS UP WITH WHETHER HE'S A BUSY BEE OR A GOOFBALL OR A WALL FLOWER IS HIS MOTIVATION TYPE.

Woman: YOU'RE A GOOFBALL.

OH I WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT.

Weiss: WE HAVE SOME DOGS THAT ARE SOCIALLY MOTIVATED -- THEY WANT TO PAY ATTENTION TO US A LOT.

WE HAVE DOGS THAT ARE INTERNALLY MOTIVATED BY STUFF THAT WE CAN'T EASILY MANIPULATE.

AND THEN DOGS THAT WE CALL EXTERNALLY MOTIVATED SO THEY'RE MOTIVATED BY LOTS OF DIFFERENT THINGS -- FOOD AND TOYS AND PEOPLE.

OH IS IT YOURS NOW?

Woman: HE IS DEFINITELY A GO-GETTER.

HE'S GOT A LOT OF ENERGY.

SO HE'S GOING TO NEED A LOT OF ATTENTION.

I DEFINITELY THINK IT'S TOO MUCH DOG DEFINITELY.

OKAY WELL MAYBE WE CAN -- MAYBE THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR US.

YEAH -- HE'S A GOOD DOG BUT I DON'T THINK SO.

Weiss: IN THE U.S. BETWEEN 5 AND 7 MILLION COMPANION ANIMALS ENTER OUR SHELTERS EVERY YEAR.

OF THOSE 60% OF THE DOGS AND BETWEEN 70% AND 75% OF THE CATS NEVER LEAVE.

THEY'RE EUTHANIZED.

WITH THE 'MEET YOUR MATCH' PROGRAM WE CAN ACTUALLY DECREASE RETURNS BY MORE THAN HALF.

SO THE REASON FOR THIS PROGRAM BECOMES VERY CLEAR.

[ MEOWING ] Woman: 'HI MY NAME IS FLUFFY.

'YOU'RE WORKING ON THE COMPUTER -- 'LET ME PRESS THE KEYS.

YOU'RE READING THE PAPER...' WE'RE HERE TO ADOPT FLUFFY ITSY'S LITTLE SISTER.

WE ADOPTED HER LAST WEEK AND WE FOUND OUT THAT HER SISTER WAS HERE AND WE JUST WANT TO GIVE HER A HOME TOO -- OR WE WANT TO AT LEAST LOOK AT HER AND SEE IF WE WANT HER.

Man: IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN YOU KNOW IF WE GET HER HOME WITH THE OTHER ONE.

Woman: WE LOST NOBODY IN FEBRUARY TO CANCER AND THEN IN SEPTEMBER WE LOST SOMEBODY.

THEN IN DECEMBER WHEN WE LOST ANYBODY TOO WE HAD HER CREMATED AND WE HAVE ALL THEIR REMAINS AND WE HAVE THEM IN CAT URNS AND THEY'RE ON OUR FIREPLACE.

THEY'RE ALWAYS GOING TO BE WITH US AND -- GUESS WE'RE WEIRD.

[ Laughing ] WE JUST LOVE OUR CATS.

Woman: WHILE ITSY WAS IN THE SHELTER SHE WENT THROUGH THE SAME EXACT ASSESSMENT THAT FLUFFY WENT THROUGH.

AND THEY BOTH CAME OUT AS ORANGE CATS.

FLUFFY TOLD US IN HER ASSESSMENT THAT SHE'S EVEN MORE SOCIAL THAN ITSY.

SHE'S WHAT WE WOULD CALL A GREGARIOUS CAT.

I'M HOPING THAT THIS ONE WILL BECOME MY CAT BECAUSE ITSY HAS ADOPTED BILL.

THERE'S NOT ROOM FOR TWO ON MY LAP.

MELVIN.

MELVIN.

HE LET'S SEE 'LIKE ALL SIDEKICKS 'I'M JUST PLAIN GOOD COMPANY.

I LIKE ATTENTION AND I ALSO LIKE MY SOLITUDE' WHICH IS GOOD.

HE LIKES WHAT?

'HE LIKES HIS SOLITUDE' MEANS HE LIKES BEING ALONE.

OH.

Weiss: FOR OUR CATS WE ACTUALLY USE THE SAME COLORS -- PURPLE ORANGE AND GREEN -- BUT THEY MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS.

WE'RE LOOKING AT SOMETHING THAT WE CALL VALIANCE.

SOME MIGHT CALL IT CONFIDENCE.

IT'S REALLY SHY VERSUS BOLD.

[ MEOWING ] Weiss: THE ASSESSOR JUST WATCHES THE INTERACTION OF THE CAT AROUND THE ROOM.

[ MEOWING ] HOW IS THE CAT MOVING ABOUT?

IS HIS BODY TALL IS HIS BODY LOW?

WHAT AMOUNT OF TIME DOES HE SPEND INTERACTING WITH THE ASSESSOR?

[ TIMER BEEPING ] Weiss: WE ALSO HAVE ANOTHER SCALE.

IT'S THE INDEPENDENTGREGARIOUS SCALE AND THERE WE'RE LOOKING AT SOCIAL BEHAVIOR.

WE PICK THE CAT UP AND WE HOLD HIM UP AGAINST OUR BODY.

THERE'S A LOT OF CATS THAT ENJOY TOUCH BUT DON'T LIKE TO BE HELD.

SO THAT'S GREAT INFORMATION FOR OUR ADOPTERS.

WE JUST SIMPLY STROKE THE CAT AND WE GIVE THEM FIVE LONG STROKES.

CATS THAT GET FAIRLY OVERSTIMULATED TOWARDS THAT TOUCH OR MOVE AWAY FROM THE TOUCH ARE CATS THAT ARE NOT AS LIKELY TO DO AS WELL WITH CHILDREN.

THERE WE GO!

SO THIS IS MELVIN.

MELVIN IS ACTUALLY AN ORANGE KITTY.

HE'S WHAT WE CALL A SIDEKICK.

HE WAS A STRAY.

IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEBODY BROUGHT HIM IN.

HE'S BEEN HERE ABOUT A MONTH -- QUITE A WHILE.

YOU KNOW HE'S AN ADULT GRAY CAT.

THEY TEND TO STAY LONGER THAN MOST.

PROBABLY SECOND TO OUR BLACK CATS.

THE OTHER ONE THAT WE WERE LOOKING AT -- WOW MELVIN!

Weiss: THERE COULD BE 80 CATS TO CHOOSE FROM ON THE ADOPTION FLOOR -- IN SOME SHELTERS EVEN MORE THAN THAT.

SO IT HELPS -- IT MAKES IT FUN -- I'M NARROWING DOWN MY FOCUS.

I'M A PURPLE PERSON SO I'M GOING TO FOCUS ON A PURPLE CAT.

Woman: PUCK SCORED IN THE PURPLE RANGE.

PURPLE CATS ARE PROBABLY GOING TO HIDE A LITTLE BIT MORE.

THEY TAKE A LITTLE BIT LONGER TO ADJUST TO NEW SITUATIONS.

I THINK WE'RE LEANING MORE TOWARD MELVIN.

YEAH.

YEAH.

Weiss: ONCE YOU MAKE THAT DECISION TO BRING AN ANIMAL HOME IT CAN BE HEART-WRENCHING TO HAVE TO BRING THEM BACK.

HAVING REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ABOUT YOUR PET WILL INCREASE THE BOND.

YOU'RE ALMOST HOME NOW BUDDY!

Weiss: THE ANIMAL'S GOING TO BE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO STAY IN THE HOME.

AND THAT MEANS THAT MORE LIVES CAN BE SAVED IN SHELTERS.

I LOVE HER.

I WANT TO TAKE HER HOME ABSOLUTELY.

YOU WANT TO ADOPT HER?

WONDERFUL!

WILL COME HERE.

HERE WE GO COME ON. COME ON UP HERE.

Woman: COME ON BUDDY.

Woman: HERE YOU GO COME ON.

GO IN THERE BUDDY.

[ Laughing ] OH COME ON.

READY? UP WE GO.

THERE YOU GO!

GOOD BOY!

GOOD JOB BUDDY!

BRIAN GETS HOME FROM WORK.

HE LIES ON THE BED.

HE GETS IN HIS COMFY SHORTS AND T-SHIRT.

AND HE LIES THERE AND MILES JUMPS ON HIS CHEST PURRS GIVES KISSES AND THAT'S DECOMPRESSION TIME.

THAT'S 15 MINUTES OF 'JUST LEAVE ME ALONE. ONLY MILES.'

EVERY DAY.

EVERY DAY.

IT'S LIKE THEY'RE MALE BONDING.

I GET A LITTLE JEALOUS.

THEY BRING OUT THE SOFTER SIDE OF ME.

[ GIGGLING ] DOES THAT SOUND WEIRD?

NO IT DOESN'T SOUND WEIRD.

WELL THANK GOD!

[ LAUGHING ] WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Man: THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THAT DIRECT EYE-TO-EYE CONTACT I HAVE WITH THIS CAT THAT I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED WITH ANOTHER ANIMAL AND I DARESAY WITH SOME HUMANS.

THERE'S A SOULFULNESS THERE'S A DEPTH OF SPIRIT HERE THERE'S A SOULFULNESS THAT I THINK CATS OWN UNIQUELY.

Man: IT WAS THE CAT THAT SAVED ME.

I MEAN IF YOU WANT ME TO GET REAL PERSONAL ABOUT IT -- I WOULD LIKE LOCK MYSELF IN THIS ROOM AND JUST DRINK ALL THE TIME.

YOU KNOW FOR LIKE ALL DAY LONG YOU KNOW?

AND I WOULD COME OUT AND THE KI-- YOU KNOW HUMANS COULDN'T EVEN REACH ME AT THAT POINT.

WHEN I WAS AT MY BOTTOM IT WAS THE CAT WHO WOULD WAIT OUTSIDE THAT DOOR FOR EIGHT HOURS TILL I'D COME OUT AND THEN HE'D LOOK AT ME JUST BECAUSE HE WANTED TO WALK OVER TO YOU KNOW TO EAT WITH ME.

YOU KNOW HIS BIG THING IS HE LIKES ME TO SIT WITH HIM AND EAT.

HE LIKES THE NOURISHMENT NOT JUST FROM THE FOOD BUT HE LIKES THE COMPANIONSHIP EVER SINCE HE WAS A KITTEN.

AND YOU KNOW IT WAS HAVING TO LOOK HIM IN THE EYE AND KNOWING WHAT I WAS DOING TO MYSELF THAT GOT ME TO SEEK HELP FOR THAT PROBLEM AND NOT ISOLATE.

Man: I'VE ALWAYS HAD CATS IN MY LIFE.

I HAVE A CAT CURRENTLY NAMED SMOKEY AND I'VE -- I'M KIND OF A ONE-CAT PERSON.

I'VE NEVER HAD MORE THAN ONE AT A TIME.

WHEN I MET DIANA'S CATS AND THEY CAME RUNNING UP TO ME AND THEY HAVE QUITE DISTINCT PERSONALITIES... IT'LL BE VISUALS WITH THE PICTURES OF THE ANIMALS AND THEN COMMENTARY ABOUT THEIR LIVES.

ARE YOU TELLING ABOUT YOUR PET PROJECT?

DID YOU BRING THAT CD?

I DID SO -- COULD WE LISTEN TO IT?

SURE SURE!

Diana: IN WESTERN CULTURE THE CAT IS SO ASSOCIATED WITH THE FEMININE AND I THINK THAT MEN WHO HAVE GOTTEN IN TOUCH WITH THEIR CAT SELVES TEND TO BE A LITTLE MORE EMOTIONALLY IN TUNE.

[ PLAYING INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC ] KEN IS SO EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED WITH HIS ANIMALS THAT HE HAS COMPOSED MUSICAL PORTRAITS OF THEM.

[ MUSIC CONTINUES ] Jacobs: I FIND ANIMALS TO BE A VERY GREAT STIMULANT TO CREATIVITY.

SMOKEY IN PARTICULAR IS A VERY AFFECTIONATE CREATURE.

HE SITS AT MY FEET WHEN I WRITE MUSIC.

HE IS DEFINITELY A MUSE AND ONE OF THE FINEST ONES THAT I HAVE EVER HAD.

AND THAT'S ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I FELT LIKE I WANTED TO DO THIS MINOR TRIBUTE TO SHOW SOME OF MY REGARD FOR THESE WONDERFUL CREATURES AND HOW THEY HAD ENRICHED MY LIFE.

Dodman: I HAVE AN OLD SAYING THAT IF YOU TEACH A CAT ONE NEW TRICK EVERY MONTH BECAUSE OF THE COMMUNICATION THAT'S BUILDING BETWEEN THE CAT AND THE OWNER BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS EVENTUALLY WILL MELT AWAY.

Diana: HERE KITTY KITTY KITTY!

Dodman: WE PREACH WITH DOGS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME TRAINING DOING AGILITY.

WELL THE CAT'S NO DIFFERENT.

THE CAT NEEDS THAT SAME INTERACTION WILL BENEFIT FROM IT DEFINITELY NEEDS EXERCISE.

NEEDS SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT NOT JUST THE NEXT MEAL.

Woman: THIS WEEKEND WE'RE AT THE INTERNATIONAL CAT ASSOCIATION BIG ANNUAL CAT SHOW.

THE INTERNATIONAL CAT I'VE BROUGHT EIGHT CATS TODAY.

ALL EIGHT OF THEM ARE GOING TO PARTICIPATE IN AGILITY.

HOW THEY DO I DON'T KNOW.

Woman: HERE'S THE DEAL.

SEE THIS?

YOU GO OVER IT YEAH LIKE THAT!

Woman: THIS IS SLICK WILLY.

HE'S A LITTLE SIX-MONTH-OLD CORNISH REX.

HE'S MY BEST SHOT FOR THE WEEKEND.

Woman: MY PARENTS WHEN THEY FIRST HEARD I WAS GOING TO DO THIS THEY SAID 'OH NO I DON'T 'I DON'T THINK SO SHIRLEY YOU KNOW THEY'RE CATS THEY'RE NOT DOGS.'

AND I SAID 'I REALLY THINK THAT THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL.'

[ BIRD CHIRPING ] WHEN I FIRST STARTED WORKING WITH THE CATS WHAT REALLY AMAZED ME WAS HOW RESPONSIVE THEY WERE.

I THOUGHT YOU KNOW YOU FED YOUR CAT AND PLAYED WITH IT A LITTLE BIT AND WENT OFF AND TRAINED THE DOG.

BUT HERE WAS A CAT THAT WHEN I SAID 'SIT' WAS SITTING -- WHEN I PUT IT ON A LEASH WAS WALKING WITH ME ON A LEASH.

I THOUGHT 'OH THIS IS PRETTY FANTASTIC!'

IT'S OKAY.

EVERYBODY DID THAT WITH THEIR PUPPY.

IT WAS COMMON.

BUT NOBODY DID IT WITH KITTENS.

AND WE FOUND OUT THAT THE MORE WE DID WITH THE CATS THE MORE TRAINABLE THEY WERE.

Woman: PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THE CAT.

WHEN WE PUT A CAT IN A RING AND PEOPLE SEE THE CATS MOVING AND SEE THE INTERACTION OF THE CAT WITH THE OWNER REGARDLESS OF THE AGE OF THE OWNER IT'S -- IT'S LIKE AN EPIPHANY.

'WHERE HAVE WE BEEN?

HOW CAN WE HAVE BEEN WASTING SO MUCH TIME?'

Man: I DON'T THINK I COULD TRAIN CATS BECAUSE I REALLY DON'T HAVE THAT MUCH PATIENCE.

[ CROWD LAUGHING ] YOU WANT THEM TO GO THIS WAY THEY GO WAY OR GO UNDER WHEN THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO GO IN.

Woman: COME ON!

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] Dodman: A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK YOU CAN'T TRAIN CATS.

WELL THAT'S WRONG.

IF YOU'RE TRAINING WITH THE FLOW AN ANIMAL TO DO WHAT IT DOES -- FOR A CAT TO ENGAGE THOSE ASPECTS OF PREDATORY BEHAVIOR THE LEAPING THE SPRINGING THE FOLLOWING YOU KNOW NOW YOU'RE WORKING WITH NATURE.

Shirley: NOW YOU SEE I'M MAKING HIM DO EVERYTHING CORRECTLY?

I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT ANY SPEED.

IT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO GET HIM TO DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

IF I SEE HIM GOING OFF TO THE SIDE I BRING HIM BACK AROUND AND COME BACK FORWARD FOR IT.

SO SEE HOW HE'S JUST FOLLOWING THAT TARGET STICK.

[ KISSES ] GOOD!

[ KISSES ] THAT WAS MY FAULT -- DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID?

I CUED HIM BACK BEFORE HIS SHOULDER WAS PAST.

I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE SHOULDER COMES IN.

THE SHOULDER COMES THROUGH COME BACK TO THIS SIDE SHOULDER COMES THROUGH.

THEN I GO OVER HERE.

[ KISSES ] GOOD BOY.

Man: A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO IF SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE SAID I'D BE AT CAT SHOWS ON THE WEEKENDS AND DRIVING HUNDREDS OF MILES I WOULD SAY THEY'RE CRAZY BUT -- HE USED TO DRIVE A CONCRETE TRUCK AND LOVED BIG DOGS.

NOW HE LOVES CATS.

NOW I LOVE CATS.

[ LAUGHING ] COME HERE COME HERE.

THEY'RE ALMOST LIKE TWO-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN -- THEY MISS NOTHING.

NOTHING IS OLD TO THEM.

OH SHE'S SNIFFING!

THEY LIKE TO SNIFF EVERYTHING AND THEN THEY'LL GO.

Dodman: WHEN YOU BRING A CAT INTO A PLACE LIKE THIS AND THERE'S BEEN A CAT JUST BEFOREHAND THE NEXT CAT'S GOING TO COME IN AND WHILE HE'S THINKING ABOUT HIS EXERCISES HE'S BEEN TRAINED TO DO THERE'S 'OH MY GOODNESS!

'THERE WAS ANOTHER CAT AND IT WAS A... 'IT WAS A FEMALE AND I WONDER WHAT IT HAD FOR BREAKFAST' AND YOU KNOW THERE ARE ALL THESE DIFFERENT SIGNALS GOING ON AND THE OWNER GOES 'COME ON YOU COULD DO IT AT HOME.'

OKAY LET'S GO TO AGILITY.

Dodman: WHEN AN OWNER SPENDS TIME INTERACTING WITH THEIR CAT IN THE FORM OF TRAINING AGILITY AND THINGS LIKE THIS IT EMPOWERS BOTH SIDES OF THE EQUATION IN THE SENSE THAT THE OWNER NOW REALIZES THEY CAN TRAIN THEIR CAT WHICH IS A REVELATION AND GETS THEM NEW RESPECT FOR THEIR LITTLE FURRY FRIEND.

BUT ALSO THE CAT SEES THAT OWNER AS BEING SOMEBODY THAT THEY CAN POTENTIALLY COMMUNICATE WITH.

YOU ARE PERFECT SO SHOW IT.

YOU READY?

ARE YOU READY?

LET'S GO! COME ON RUSTY!

GO GO GO GO GO!

Kajon: IT'S INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THE MOTIVATION IS DIFFERENT.

IT'S NOT FOR THE COOKIE.

IT'S NOT FOR THE PETTING.

IT'S BECAUSE THEY WANT TO HAVE FUN.

Woman: LET'S FINISH OFF WITH A BANG.

Kajon: HERE YOU SEE THE SOUL OF A CAT.

GOOD BOY!

Man: FIRST TIME HE WENT THROUGH AT 19 SECONDS.

AND THEN HE BROKE HIS RECORD TO 15 SECONDS.

SO HE REALLY DONE VERY WELL FOR A PERSIAN BECAUSE THEY'RE USUALLY THOUGHT OF AS KIND OF A DUMB CAT.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] Woman: WHOO-HOO! THAT WAS EXCELLENT!

Shirley: YOU CAN'T FORCE A CAT TO DO ANYTHING.

EVERYTHING HAS TO COME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO IT.

AND THE END REWARD FOR US IS THEM DOING WHAT WANT THEM TO DO.

SUCH A GOOD MAN.

Woman: HE DOES EVERYTHING WITH ME.

WHATEVER I WANT TO DO HE'S WILLING TO DO IT.

HE IS MY TRUE OTHER HALF.

NOW GO OUT AND FIND ME A MAN DUDE.

[ LAUGHING ] THERE WE GO. YEAH.

Bekoff: OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH DOGS -- AND CATS -- IS A TRICKY ONE.

ON THE ONE HAND IT'S VERY UNEQUAL AND ASYMMETRICAL.

WE CONTROL THEM TOTALLY.

BUT WHEN WE PROVIDE THEM WITH ENRICHED LIVES LIKE WE DO AGILITY TRAINING OR WE TAKE THEM RUNNING OR LET THEM SWIM OR PLAY HIDE-AND-SEEK OR WHATEVER GAME IT ENRICHES THEIR LIFE.

AND WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM IS THEY ENJOY IT.

THEY ENJOY BEING CHALLENGED.

THE FACT THAT OTHER ANIMALS HAVE RICH AND DEEP EMOTIONAL LIVES AND THEY'RE SMART AND THEY'RE MOODY AND THEY HAVE PERSONALITIES MEAN WE NEED TO RESPECT THEM AND APPRECIATE MORE WHO THE ANIMALS ARE.

HEY SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO LOVE ACTUALLY.

I NEVER THOUGHT THAT I WOULD... WOULD GET THAT FROM A DOG.

I REMEMBER LAYING IN BED AT ONE POINT AND... I JUST -- I WAS WATCHING SOMETHING ON TELEVISION ABOUT A STORY -- SOMEONE DIDN'T SURVIVE WHAT I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AND I JUST KIND OF BROKE DOWN UNDER THE PRESSURE.

AND HE LITERALLY CAME IN FROM THE OTHER ROOM JUMPED UP ON THE BED AND JUST KIND OF PUT HIS HEAD ON MY CHEST -- LIKE HE REALLY KNEW JUST TO BE THERE WITH ME AND STAY WITH ME.

THINGS IN MY PERSONAL LIFE WENT SOUTH VERY FAST AND I LOST...A LOT OF THINGS THAT WERE REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME.

UM... AND UH... ALMOST OVERNIGHT -- YEAH I KNOW -- [ LAUGHS ] ALMOST OVERNIGHT HE TRANSFORMED INTO THIS INCREDIBLE CREATURE WHO JUST WASN'T NEARLY SO GOOFY ANYMORE AND HE CHOSE ME.

AND THAT'S WHEN I FEEL LIKE THE PARTNERSHIP STARTED.

I STARTED USING SKYLER IN MY CREATIVE VISUALIZATIONS AND SO I WOULD SEND HIM IN -- I WOULD IMAGINE THAT THE HIV WERE MICE AND I WOULD SEND SKYLER IN TO GO GET THE MICE.

AND YOU KNOW THIS IS BACK WHEN WE HAD NO REAL THERAPY.

AND I DID -- I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH STOCK YOU CAN PUT IN IT.

BUT I DID WELL AND OTHER FRIENDS DID NOT.

AND SO I REALLY DO CREDIT -- [ LAUGHING ] I REALLY DO CREDIT SKYLER WITH ME DOING AS WELL AS I HAVE AND I'M SORRY THAT HE'S GONE.

BUT HE'S STILL YOU KNOW HE'S STILL HERE.

HE STILL HELPS ME IN ALL OF THAT.

Jim: TO SEE JERRY IN HIS ELEMENT IN PLACES LIKE THIS REALLY GIVES ME A KICK.

YOU GO JERRY GO!

WHOO!

Rene: AND WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT -- WE'VE BEEN TO SO MANY SPECTACULAR PLACES IN THE LAST YEAR.

Jim: IT WAS JUST ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENT LIKE DOGS DO AND TAKING EVERY DAY BY DAY AND TRYING NOT TO FEAR ABOUT WHAT'S COMING.

THAT WAS BONE CANCER.

Rene: THAT'S WHY HE HAS THREE LEGS BUT HE DOES GREAT.

IN THE MEANTIME WE'RE JUST KIND OF TRAVELING AROUND WITH HIM AND SHOWING PEOPLE... YES HONEY HUH?

Man: I HAVE A GOLDEN RETRIEVER-ROTTWEILER AND HE'S 11 YEARS OLD.

IT'S THE SAME LEG AS JERRY.

Jim: I CUT OUT A CARTOON THE OTHER DAY AND PUT IT ON THE INSIDE OF OUR MIRROR.

AND IT'S THE WRITER LOOKING AT HIS WATCH SAYING 'WHAT TIME IS IT?'

AND THE DOG SAYS 'NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!'

AND THE DOG SAYS AND HE SAYS 'DOGS ALWAYS KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS.'

Rene: LAST WEEK WE WENT TO SEE MY FAMILY IN LOS ANGELES.

AND JERRY NEEDED SOME HEARTWORM MEDICATION.

AND THE VET WAS GREAT.

BUT HE REALLY ENCOURAGED US TO GET X-RAYS DONE.

Jim: AND RENE FOUND A CLINIC IN NEW MEXICO NEAR WHERE WE WERE GOING TO BE FOR THE NEXT MONTH.

Jim: SO HOW FAR IS THE CAMPGROUND FROM THE CLINIC?

NOT VERY FAR -- IT'S LIKE A HALF-HOUR.

HIS APPOINTMENT'S AT 9:00.

SO WE GOTTA GET UP AT A DECENT HOUR.

WE NEED TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE ABOUT WHAT WE'RE WILLING TO DO AND NOT DO IS MORE IMPORTANT.

AND ME PERSONALLY I DON'T WANT TO PUT HIM THROUGH AN OPERATION IF THAT'S -- NO I AGREE I AGREE.

I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK FOR CHEMO REPEATED TIMES IF THAT'S AN OPTION.

ARE YOU WITH ME THERE?

I'M WITH YOU I'M WITH YOU.

Jim: I WANT TO STICK BY MY GUNS AND DO IT FOR HIM.

WHEN WE COULD GO TO THE LENGTHS AND SPEND ALL THE MONEY JUST SO WE COULD HAVE MORE TIME FOR US WITH HIM I'D RATHER HAVE MORE QUALITY TIME FOR HIM WITH US.

SO HIS -- HIS ONE REMAINING FRONT LEG IS UP HERE HEAD'S UP THIS WAY AND THEN HIS TAIL'S DOWN HERE OKAY?

AND AT THIS POINT FROM WHAT I CAN TELL IN THESE X-RAYS I'M MOST CONCERNED ABOUT TWO DIFFERENT SPOTS NOT JUST ONE.

THERE'S ONE MAIN MASS HERE AND UM AND THEN THERE'S THIS ADDITIONAL THING WHICH IS REALLY HARD TO SEE.

HE YOU KNOW BY NATURE OF HIM HAVING TUMORS IN HIS LUNGS RIGHT NOW THE AVERAGE SURVIVAL TIME IS ABOUT 2 12 MONTHS OKAY?

AND THAT'S WITHOUT ANY TREATMENT.

AND I KNOW THAT'S HARD TO HEAR.

WITHOUT ANY TREATMENT AT ALL.

NOW IF WE DECIDE TO GO DOWN THIS ROUTE -- I'VE USED THIS FOR I WOULD SAY ABOUT FIVE OR SIX YEARS NOW THIS SORT OF OPTION -- I WOULD SAY THAT A GOOD OUTCOME IN HIS CASE WOULD BE SIX MONTHS OKAY?

AND THAT'S FEELING GOOD.

I DON'T WANT HIM SIX MONTHS SICK.

I WANT HIM SIX MONTHS FEELING GOOD BEING HIS NORMAL JERRY SELF YOU KNOW?

AND MAYBE BEING A LITTLE TIRED ON WALKS HERE AND THERE AND THAT'S FINE YOU KNOW?

Rene: AS SHE WAS STANDING THERE EXPLAINING OUR OPTIONS I JUST KEPT THINKING WHY?

WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER?

MAYBE THAT TUMOR WOULDN'T BE THERE.

Jim: AND I KNOW IT WOULD STILL BE THERE AND IT WOULD COME BACK EVENTUALLY.

GOING TO CLINICS BACK AND FORTH WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN WORTH IT TO ME.

IS THERE ANY SORT OF SELF-ADMINISTERED EUTHANASIA?

OR IS IT -- DOES A VET HAVE TO DO IT?

TO DO IT RIGHT YOU NEED SOMEONE TO DO THAT?

YEAH YOU NEED TO HAVE A VETERINARIAN DO THAT.

BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO IS IF YOU SEE HE'S STARTING TO GET WORSE IS THAT YOU CAN ADD IN MORE PAIN MEDICATIONS TO KEEP HIM AS PAIN-FREE AND AS COMFORTABLE AS YOU CAN EXACTLY.

YOU HAVE SUCH AN INCREDIBLE BOND WITH HIM THAT YOU JUST NEED TO LOOK IN HIS EYES YOU KNOW AND HE'LL LET YOU KNOW -- HE'LL LET YOU KNOW.

YOU READY TO GO?

YOU WANNA? YOU WANT TO GO?

[ LAUGHS ] HE'S SPOKEN TO ME IN MY DREAMS LATELY AS IF HE KNOWS WHAT'S COMING.

AND HE DOESN'T CARE.

AS IF HE'S PROTECTING US.

I HAD A DREAM THAT WE WERE WALKING IN THE FOREST AND THE BIG BAD WOLF CAME.

AND HE WAS GOING TO EAT US.

AND IT WAS GETTING SCARIER AND SCARIER.

BUT JERRY CHASED HIM OFF.

AND THAT WOLF WOULDN'T COME NEAR US.

IN A PERFECT WORLD WE WOULD SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL STRETCH OF LAND AFTER A LONG LONG TIME ON THE ROAD WITH JERRY WE'D SEE HIM RUN ON IT.

HE'D GET TO LIVE THERE AND EVENTUALLY BE PUT TO REST THERE.

NOW YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE ME CRY.

Rene: IT BLOWS ME AWAY IT REALLY DOES -- THE FACT THAT HE WAS ABLE TO GET US OUT HERE.

TIRED JERRY?

Rene: YOU KNOW IT CAME IN AN UNPLEASANT WAY WITH THE CANCER BUT... THERE'S ALWAYS A SILVER LINING WITH EVERYTHING AND THIS IS WHAT IT IS WITH CANCER AND JERRY.

THE DOG HAS TAUGHT ME TO RESPECT LIFE.

THE DOG SEES THINGS DIFFERENTLY HEARS THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

IT'S A DIFFERENT WORLD.

THEY'RE WILD THEY'RE STILL WILD AND THEY BRING THAT BACK TO US.

ALL I KNOW IS THAT THAT DAY IN THE SHELTER HE CAME AND HE LIKE ALMOST SAT ON MY HEAD.

HE WAS LIKE 'HI I'M HERE AND I'M GOING TO GIVE MEANING ME AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HUMAN RACE.

SO THAT IS AN AMAZING AMAZING GIFT.

HE WOULD REMIND ME CONSTANTLY OF WHAT IT WAS THAT I WAS STRIVING FOR WHICH WAS A HEALTHY CONSCIOUS LIFE YOU KNOW?

SO IN THAT WAY YOU KNOW HE WAS A ZEN TEACHER.

THEIR LOVE MENDS MY SOUL WHEN I'M ILL.

AND WHEN I GET HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL I GET WELL FASTER WHEN I'M SURROUNDED BY THEM.

YOU'RE UNDER THE COVERS AND THE WORLD IS HORRIBLE BUT THEY HAVE TO BE WALKED.

SO YOU DRAG YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR BED AND YOU DON'T DRAG YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR GRIEF BUT YOU DRAG YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR BED AND YOU GO OUTSIDE AND YOU WALK THEM AND THEY HAVE GOTTEN YOU BACK INTO THE WORLD.

AND THEY'VE GOTTEN YOU BACK INTO A REALLY BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE WORLD WHERE THERE'S AIR AND SUN AND SENSATIONS AND YOU COME BACK TO LIFE.

THEY REALLY BRING YOU BACK TO LIFE.

THEY DO.