So I was wondering what Judaism has had to say about pets in the past. Is it ideal to have them? Is there any spiritual negativity in keeping dogs or such? Dogs are generally not representing good things in the Tanach.
This addresses various halachic issues regarding pets and discusses what the Talmud and other sources have said about owning pets, then, as well as more current halachic opinions.
It concludes that the general current consensus is that it is OK to own a cat or dog as long as it is not "evil". The main area of debate is what "evil" means, esp. regarding dogs. Does it include all barking dogs (I assume it means frequent barking. I haven't met a dog that never barked at least a few times during the day except for "Larry" who had laryngitis.) or only dogs that both bark and bite?
The gemara in Chullin 112a notes that Shmuel would throw a loaf of bread which roasted meat(not salted) was cut on, to his dog. It seems from this gemara that Shmuel owned a dog. Although some say the word לכלביה (to his dog) was really לכלבא(to a dog). However, Rashi seems to have לכלביה .