Ten Things I’ve Learned From Being a Dog-Owner

Nearly four years ago, I reactivated my membership in the dog-owners of America with the adoption of Sophie. Then this past year I enrolled in The Partially-Insane Dog People by taking in an abandoned puppy. Here’s what I have learned:

  1. Doggy cheese-whiz is tasty. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it.
  2. Dogs can be opposites and still be best friends. One barks at strangers on the sidewalk but loves them when they come inside. The other ignores them on the sidewalk and barks when they enter. One fetches wonderfully, the other couldn’t care less about the thrown object. But as long as they like wrestling, we’re good.
  3. Dogs make you learn patience. Still waiting for Rufus to become that calm dog I was told he’d be…maybe it won’t come at 18 months. Maybe more like two years. OK, I’ll hang onto him.
  4. Dogs make you evaluate your social circle You want me to do what? For how long? And it’s not dog-friendly? It’s probably not going to happen unless I really like you. But you’d better not screw it up.
  5. My friends have interesting smells This comes from how much my dogs want to smell my shoes and clothing once I return home after spending time with my pals. But honestly, I usually have one of the pups with me so maybe they are comforting themselves with the familiar.
  6. Don’t tell me, “It’s just a dog.” Unless you want to unfriend me in person.
  7. I’m a dog poop expert. Rarely a day goes by when I wonder how I can monetize my knowledge of their farts and poops. It’s not like they’re going to go away.
  8. Reading is a team sport. When I go upstairs to read in my favorite chair, the dogs can lie: on the ottoman, the dog bed, next to me, or on the floor. Somehow they end up having a competition to see how many of those spots they can hit in a certain mount of time. It usually ends in a wrestling match with me wondering why I am so behind in my GoodReads challenge.
  9. I need a kick-ass vacuum cleaner. This is the area where I am ridiculous but for a good reason. Dog hair has killed three Dysons so far. I cannot have a layer of hair, dirt, and general gritty material on the floor because I like walking barefoot on occasion, and I still have some dignity left regarding my home, so I begged for a Miele vacuum for Christmas. That thing is getting a workout.
  10. I am incredibly interesting. To my dogs, of course. People may have a different opinion. But to Sophie and Rufus, I am a treasure trove of fascination.

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