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NATURE: Why We Love Cats And Dogs

Airs Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Brian Strong holding a Shih-Tzu puppy named Stabler, and Karie Van Audal with a shy cat named Katy.

Some people are cat people, some are dog people. But regardless of which camp they fall into, most people are simply crazy about their pets. The connections people form with their cats and dogs are often the longest, strongest relationships in their lives. They are our soul mates, our best friends, sometimes even our surrogate children. What makes these creatures such key members of our families?

Jim Nelson and Rene Agredano with their dog named Jerry, “Why We Love Cats And Dogs” participants.
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Above: Jim Nelson and Rene Agredano with their dog named Jerry, “Why We Love Cats And Dogs” participants.

Perhaps it’s because our furry friends have long provided us with comfort, camaraderie, and unconditional love. Cats and dogs are our unending source of kisses, cuddles, slobber, claws, and laughs. Watch as NATURE shares the stories of pet owners and their beloved animals. From a very special dog named Jerry, to a cat that saved a man’s life, "Why We Love Cats And Dogs" presents a portrait of some of the most powerful and remarkable connections we experience as humans—the unbreakable bonds with our pets.

My Pet's Quirks: Share Your Stories!

Everybody’s pet has quirks. We get it - your pet is a member of your family, and there are things you know about your cat or dog that no one else would ever guess. Now it’s time to spill. What are your pet’s quirks? Does it have any special talents? What does your pet do that you think is absolutely hilarious? We want to hear all about it! Share your stories.

Four-time Emmy Award winner, filmmaker and director Ellen Goosenberg Kent kept the 10-month production of "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.

Watch an excerpt from the film below, and view the entire program online.

RELATED STORY:

Listen to KPBS' "These Days" radio segment "Preparing For The End Of A Pet’s Life." (May 2010)

Video

Video Excerpt: Nature: Why We Love Cats And Dogs

Above: Jim Nelson and Rene Agredano's dog Jerry was the CFO (Canine Fun Officer) in the business they ran from their home office. But when Jerry became ill, Jim and Rene decided to sell their business and their house -- and they hit the road with Jerry. Some people are cat people, some are dog people. But regardless of which camp they fall into, most people are simply crazy about their pets. What makes these creatures such key members of our families? Watch as NATURE shares the stories of pet owners and their beloved animals.