Snoopy the Bearded Collie: How do I keep my cool when a cat is around?

Dear Paws to Talk,

I’m turning two soon and my family neglected to properly introduce me to cats. When I was a puppy, I met a few on the street when we were out. It all went pretty well until I encountered a couple of mean ones and also some who ran away.

So fast forward to now, I’m working as a Therapy Dog and on some of my visits a cat comes to the retirement home. I have to confess I’m obsessed by the cat AND I was even caught licking my lips (Mum’s not convinced it was a coincidence). How do I learn to chill when there are cats around?

Snoopy the Bearded Collie

Howl Snoopy,

Thanks for your letter. We know that cats can be tantalizing. They make funny noises, poop in boxes instead of doing their business outside like we do and can jump up on anything with great ease. This can be annoying. However, cats are animals just like dogs. They like a lot of the same things that we do. The next time you see one try to remember that. This is an adjustment and will take time.

Secondly, when you want to chase a feline out of the room, remember the job you have been hired to do. Are you going to leave the people who depend on you high and dry? Try to focus on the those who rely on you for happiness and comfort, when visions of a purring feline go through your mind. It sounds like you are good at your job. You don’t want to lose it by doing something silly. How else will you earn your treats? A life without treats sounds scary to us.

We didn’t grow up with cats and have had to learn to appreciate them through the years. It is not easy and sometimes our blood pressure gets high when a feline is around. Our human sister does Yoga, so we have learned some deep-breathing exercises from her which can be helpful when we want to tangle with a cat. We recommend you try it. Focus on something in the distance (art on the wall, a smiling patient, an unfinished plate of food) and breathe deeply. Do this for a little while until the urge passes.

We know you can keep yourself in check the next time you are around a cat. Write back soon and let us know how it is going.


Bella and DiDi
















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

13 thoughts on “Snoopy the Bearded Collie: How do I keep my cool when a cat is around?

  1. Our Lil’ Miss Maple often gets mistaken for a cat from afar because she’s just about the same size as one. Sometimes, Maple thinks she IS a cat. But, the cats know better, and they would rather keep their distance than befriend a wannabe feline whose idea of fun is to splash and roll boisterously in puddles of rainwater!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! Maple sounds like a very versatile dog. Our brother Marty, who is now in heaven used to act like a cat. He would make funny noises and rub his face along the sofa for minutes at a time. Then the fur on his face was all pushed back and flattened. Our humans used to call him a cat.

  2. Hey Bella and DiDi

    Thanks so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to answer my question 🙂

    Great advice – I would never have thought of Yoga – I’m actually pretty good at Yoga (way better than Mum) and always do my stretches when I think we’re about to go anywhere – maybe I should do a few more, so I can stay focused and in ‘the zone’…..

    As for the breathing, I think I’ve been doing it all wrong – I’ve been doing short, sharp breathes, kinda like I’ve just run a long distance…..gotta learn to slow that down then…. 🙂

    I’m going to practice your advice tomorrow as I have another Therapy visit – and yes, Bella The Cat will be there…… not sure what life she’s on, so I’d better take it easy and not give her a heart attack 🙂

    I’ll keep you posted,

    I’m so happy I found your advice page 🙂

    Have a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Snoopy,

      We hope our advice is helpful. We’re glad to have found your blog too. DiDi thought a Therapy Dog was a dog that always went to the psychiatrist. She was happy to learn on your site this is not the case and that you make people smile! Let us know how it goes. We’re always here.

      *Kisses* and *Hugs*
      Bella and DiDi

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