"I love dogs."
That doesn't increase my confusion. I already speak Russian and I understand why the genitive is required in negative constructions. What's confusing me is that the accusative does not merge with the genitive in cases like "Kocham psy," which uses a noun that I consider "animate", whereas the accusative is the same as the genitive for inanimate nouns like "tomato."
In plural there are only two genders: masculine personal and "everything else" (sometimes inaccurately referred to as "masculine" and "feminine"). If it is masculine but not a person, it belongs to the latter, even if it is animated. Anyway, nouns of this gender have identical nominative and accusative cases (and vocative, too).