I never used to be a "dog" person or a "cat" person. Growing up in a small Mexican village, people didn't have the luxury of having pets as companions. One owned a dog for an entirely practical reason: to protect one's property (ours was named Diabolico, which means diabolic). As kids, we knew which houses had mostly friendly dogs, and which ones we needed to walk by carefully whilst carrying stones (just in case). We had plenty of moments which involved outrunning angry dogs, and the occasional bite.
When we eventually moved to the US, we had shocks-a-plenty, but one that I remember vividly is that people had dogs INSIDE their home, and it was scary! I would ask my friends "Does it bite?" "Could you please keep it away from me?" and even sometimes "Oh you have a dog? I don't feel comfortable coming over...". No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't convince me that the dog bounding up to greet me wasn't going to bite. And cats? I despised them! All through college I thought they were just the most vile little creatures, total jerks, and I couldn't understand why anyone would put up with the cat hair.
But now, at 29 years old, I am the owner of two fantastic cats whom I am obsessed with. I can't tell you the number of cat photos I have on my phone and computer. I had Snapchat solely for the purpose of sending and receiving cat snaps. I even work at an animal health company where people bring their pups every Friday. I pet them, I walk them, and I'm not afraid.
I am continually surprised that most of the creative projects I have going on these days are pet-centered. I practice my photo skills on my model cats every single day (they are incredibly difficult to capture in photos, so most attempts are just blurs). At work I design pet healthcare and treats packaging, and we've recently converted an old office into a proper photo studio so that we can photograph those furry little guys for various projects.
Yeah, I said I wasn't going to be one of those people.