How to become a dog person

I have always been a cat person. My parents had two cats when I was born, and then we adopted kittens when I was in elementary school. And over the years we volunteered with a rescue, fostered cats and eventually adopted more cats.

The ASPCA says that 44% of US households have a dog and 35% have cats.


I pet sat for dogs for over the past ten years, but I’ve never had a dog of my own. My dad had dogs growing up, as well as cats – but my mom only had a cat. And my poor brother is a dog lover trapped in a cat house. You can’t feasibly have a dog when you have eight cats.

When I moved to Cape May, I found myself feeling very isolated inside the house when there were no cats running underfoot. But that changed when I moved into my new place with my housemates because they have a dog. There is a difference between interacting with dogs in a public setting, versus what it’s like having one living with you 24/7.

Nabs is a border collie/lab mix, 35 pounds, and active pup. She is super friendly and almost cat-like, so I took an immediate liking to her. The last few months I have really bonded with her and have totally fallen in love.

Flash forward to this Saturday morning when my housemate Max was on a run with Nabs and she ran away. He called me, I threw on clothes and went out looking for her where he last saw her.

I drove around, calling out for her and then reconvened with Max. He called the animal shelter, non-emergency police and we posted all over Facebook. He was already late to work and had to leave, so I continued to look for her and ran back to the house to make sure she hadn’t found her way back home. I changed into leggings and sneakers and sprayed some bug spray and went back to walk the trail where she went missing.

The moment I got out of my car to search the trail, I got a phone call from a girl who said they had found our dog and they were on our front porch.


In one of my trips back and forth to the house, I had put a post-it note on the door that read: “Lost Dog Nabs, call Rachel or Max” and our phone numbers. It was quick thinking on my feet. I had read online that if you had a landline number on your dog’s ID tag, that there should be someone at the house to answer calls. Even though it was Max’s cell number, I thought the post-it would be good just in case.

I raced back home and there she was, wet and muddy and definitely scared. The moment she got into the house, she ate all her food and drank a bowl of water. She curled up with me on the couch and looked relieved that she was home from her adventure.

Everyone was so upset when she was missing, and she was gone for about three hours. Those were three very long, stressful hours. I recognize that not everyone is so lucky when their pets get lost outside, and I’m so grateful that Nabs was returned safe and sound.

She even went to Britton’s bakery to pick me up some donuts to thank me for saving her…I tried to thank Max but he said, “No, thank Nabs. Well, I did have to drive her.”


As my friend Matt said, I’ve found the middle ground of being both a cat and dog lover. Thanks to Nabs!




Rachel Shubin lives in Cape May, New Jersey, where she works as a freelance writer for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper, Ocean City Sentinel, Cape May Magazine, and LifeSavvy Media. Rachel also performs social media management for a variety of clients. Rachel’s previous work experience includes writing for the Cape May Star and Wave Newspaper and its sister publication, the Ocean City Sentinel. Rachel writes special projects for the newspaper as well as covering a variety of beats including municipal meetings, human interest and a series on millennials. Additionally, she worked as a content marketing coordinator at the Cape May County Herald Newspaper. She also has two years of front desk experience from working at the Victorian Motel in Cape May. Rachel graduated from George Mason University in 2016 with a B.S. in communications and a concentration in journalism. She wrote for IV Estate, George Mason University’s student newspaper. Rachel's passion projects include blogging on Cape May Rachel and previously Sandpiper Cat Blog. Rachel is an associate member of the Cat Writers’ Association. Previous written archive includes Tote Magazine, CWA Meow Newsletter, The Fairfax Patch, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation Newsletter, W.T. Woodson Cavalcade and The Pennant Magazine. Rachel can be contacted at

2 thoughts on “How to become a dog person

  1. 💜💜💜Rachel, I smiled, cried, happy-cried and laughed out loud (causing Grumpy Pants the cat to jump off my chest, and Alice the Dog to look at me in confusion). Your journey is the opposite of my trajectory from dog person to cat person to cat person with dogs, but isn’t it grand?! Am saving this post as a favorite!💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

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