Tribune Print Share Text

Who’re you calling a copycat?

Pets and their people share personalities

Created date

December 22nd, 2009
CO_0110_Copycat2
CO_0110_Copycat2

Everyone has heard the myth that pets and their owners look alike. But now there s research saying they could even act the same. [caption id="attachment_7114" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Marlene O Neal says she and her cat, Peggy Sue, are two peas in a pod. Both live and investigate the world at Wind Crest. (Photo by Beth Brandenburg)"][/caption] A recent study of more than 2,500 pet owners showed significant similarities between the personalities of owners and their pets. The study, detailed in the book Quirkology by professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom, also found that the similar traits increased over time, suggesting that pets slowly come to adopt their owner s personality and vice versa. But is it true? When we asked some of the pet owners at Wind Crest, they agreed that there is some validity to those claims.

Coming out of her shell

Ruth Newhouse adopted her shih tzu, Abbie, when the pup was only ten months old. She said the dog was a bit standoffish with men at first, but thanks to lots of love, attention, and some obedience training, she has since come around. She s a friendly one, Newhouse says. And I think she s a lot like me. She loves just about everyone. Every time she sees someone, she has to introduce herself and say hello. She hardly ever barks at anyone, and if she does, she immediately feels bad and wants to make up with them pretty quick. It s funny, Newhouse says. I m not sure who trains who. Pets have a way of training you to their likes and dislikes. Abbie and I are similar in a lot of ways. We re both strong-willed, and we both love a good nap, Newhouse says with a smile. We always play on the sofa, but as soon as she sees the blanket, she knows it s time to settle down.

The life of the party

For Tillie and Herb Teets, they share an outgoing personality with their Boston terrier, Sammy. We named him Samson because he was small and feisty, just like the Biblical figure, Mrs. Teets explains. And Sammy just stuck. I think we are a lot alike. We both like people, and we are both pretty happy, she says. He s a social butterfly too. And he loves living here at Wind Crest, being around so many nice people. [caption id="attachment_7113" align="alignright" width="280" caption=" We have quite the conversations, says Marlene O Neal about her cat, Peggie Sue. (Photo by Beth Brandenburg)"][/caption] He s usually as quiet as can be, Mr. Teets says about Sammy. But if he wants something, he communicates to us with a single bark. You wouldn t believe it unless you see it. If he wants his food, he ll come in and bark at us. If he wants his bed moved, he ll look at you and bark. But otherwise, he s as quiet as a mouse. He s probably the most loving and sweet dog we ve ever had, Mrs. Teets adds. He cuddles with you and is really a pleasure to have around.

A loyal companion

Marlene O Neal calls her cat, Peggy Sue, a people s cat. She s the ultimate companion, O Neal says. She loves attention and people and other animals alike. Found abandoned in a flower planter at an animal hospital in California, the black and white tuxedo cat was raised in the clinic. She greeted the practice s clients as they came through the door. She would just sit on the front counter, and it was almost like she was saying, Hey, I m here! Pet me! O Neal says. Shortly after losing her husband and another pet cat, O Neal discovered that the veterinary clinic was looking to find Peggy Sue her own home. I wasn t looking for a cat, but I took her and it ended up being a great fit, she says. We love spending time together. We are two peas in a pod. When you come into the apartment, she has to come in, check you out, and say hello. We have quite the conversations. But I swear, I don t answer back! laughs O Neal, who says that Peggy Sue is her fourth cat. My father loved cats and dogs and taught us to appreciate them. They are extremely important in our lives. It s a great feeling to have them as companions, waiting for you at the door when you come home at night. They wiggle their way into your heart and never let go.

Comments