Stevens wrote this about a dachshund he found tied to a post when he was young. When nobody claimed the dog, he took it home and grew attached to it. According to the United States Humane Society, four million cats and dogs per year are put down because they cannot find a home. They recommend spaying and neutering to help control the breeding of more unwanted pets. Among many celebrities who help get the message of humanity to animals out, long-running TV game show host Bob Barker made a pitch for this message at the end of most episodes of the Price is Right.
This was Stevens' first single. It became a hit on pirate radio stations in England, helping launch his career.
Producer Mike Hurst, who was a former member of the Folk-Pop group The Springfields, heard Stevens play this and had him record it. Stevens got a record deal with Dream (an imprint of Decca designed as a showcase for British talent) and within 3 months this became a UK hit.
The B-side to this song, "Portobello Road," is an actual street in west London, England, famous for it's open-air flea-market. It was also commemorated in the little-known 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
In 1976, Stevens converted to Islam. This happened after a near-death experience off the coast of Malibu, California, during which time he believes that he was spared to do God's work. After converting to Islam, he changed his name to Yusuf Islam. He continues to answer to the title to this day, having started releasing Islamic gospel music in the 1990s.
The name change has a link to this song, because Stevens revealed that the tune was inspired by "The Plum Blossom" by jazz musician Yusef Lateef.
We'd just like to point out the irony of a singer named Cat Stevens making this song.
Jeff Barto from Huntersville, NcCat heard the melody of the song titled "Plum Blossom" on Yusuf Lateef's album title "Eastern Sounds." He used this melody to "I Love My Dog." Lateef's lawyers complained to Cat about it back in 1966. I don't know what came of that stir. But, years later as Yusuf Islam, Cat acknowledged Lateef on his box set and gave restitution. How coincidental that he crosses paths with a man who he later takes his name (Yusuf).
Adam from Sydney, AustraliaThis is a great song to hear when reminiscing about my beloved dog. It's great to hear another dog lover sing about one of the simplest pleasures in life: the bond between a dog and their master.
Floria from Us, ScThe music was too loud on this release. When he sang it in concert with only the guitar to accompany the lyrics, it was better. Still not my favorite either.
B from Blair, MiRe Stevens record deal: the label was Deram Records which was set up by Decca Records (UK) - Not Dream.
Michael from Tasmania, Australiai really liked this song Like you John i love the violin, it gives it such a sad yet comforting feeling
John from Gosford, AustraliaI think it was awesome. It was so explicit in its imagery. You can really imagine a dog bounding through the grass to the rhythm of the song, so brilliant. The violins were great too.
Charlie from Thomaston, Dci have to say that this was the WORST cat stevens song EVER! don't get me wrong, he was a great artist, but that song, that song really flopped, atleast for me.