I've had both cats and dogs at different times in my life. I had two sweet female Himalayan cats during the years I worked. Cats can live better than dogs when they are alone.
Himalayan cats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_%28cat%29
When I retired and move to Albuquerque, I was able to have my favorite dog, a male Bichon Frise named Madison. http://www.google.com/biconbbi
I soon got a female Japanese Chin I named Dolly companion for Madison. http://www.google.com/japanise
They were wonderful dogs and were devoted to each other. Sadly, Madison's spine failed when he was three years old. When he couldn't be saved, I held him when he had to be euthanized. I immediately got a new male Madison Bichon puppy. Shortly after, Dolly was killed by a big hound dog. I immediately got my new Dolly, a female Shih Tzu companion for Madison. They are the loves of my life and are a devoted pair to me and to each other.
Dolly and Madison were named for president and Constitution developer James Madison and his wife Dolly.
When my children were growing up, we had all kinds of animals for them to enjoy and to learn from. Dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, and chickens. We called our home the "funny farm." My children loved them and learned so much about animal life that still enriches their lives today.