I think loving animals in general was pre-programmed into me and my sister, mostly through my mom's side of the family. She got it from her dad, my grandmother always just tolerated all his animals, but Papa was a true animal lover. He had several outdoor aviaries of birds, mostly finches and parakeets, but also a couple of cockatiels, and maybe some other kinds. He also had an outdoor pond with fish. Those I remember, but when my mom was growing up they had a lot more animals, even goats and chickens I think.
I grew up with cats, so they were my first love. We had a couple of badly behaved dogs that nobody bothered to train, but it wasn't until my met my husband that I really became a dog person too. He had two German shepherds, Heidi and Nero. We were together for years before finally moving in together and then deciding to get married. He brought me home a kitten as an engagement present, and I got him a GSD as a wedding gift. Sneaker lived to 14-1/2 years old, and she was such a great dog. She totally sold me on the breed, and we've had one or two ever since.
My sister has 7 rescued cats, many with special needs. Mom has several parrots, they just lost their 15 year old Westie and got a cute little dog from the shelter when they went to donate Molly's things. Tinker is possibly a terrier/chihuahua mix of some sort, and is fitting into their home well.
I had two Maine Coon kitties, but lost my boy Elvis two weeks ago at age 12-1/2.
His half sister Emmy was diagnosed with renal failure a month prior, so I've been doing everything I can to keep her as happy and healthy as I can, as long as possible. She'll be 12 on Saturday.