Sure, they occasionally frequently ruin your previously pristine white carpet by bringing in mud-covered bones (with mud-covered paws). And sometimes they drive your guests crazy by not respecting personal space as much as they should. And sometimes they make that particularly horrendous sound in the middle of the night that wakes you in a sheer panic trying to get them outside before they lose their lunch. (Which almost never happens.) And sometimes they chew up your favorite pair of shoes or your remote control. And sometimes you learn the hard way that they cannot have certain stuffed dog toys that look like animals because they swallow a cloth “ear” that gets stuck on its way out and your dog is spinning circles losing her mind until you have to, thankfully with the help of a rubber glove, ahem, “assist” the process…(needless to say, we only allow rope and tennis ball toys these days.)
I promise I’m almost to the good part…
But when they’re NOT being particularly pain-in-the-ass-like, they’re pretty much the most loveable, cuddly, fun, adoring, adorable, wonderful, irreplaceable friends on the planet.
Without fail, they will greet you when you get home as if they haven’t seen you in years. Even when it’s been 15 minutes. At our home, we call it the “waggle butt” welcome – because not just the tail wags, it’s the entire bottom half, she’s THAT damn excited to see us. Where else can you get a welcome like that? (It’s just really not as cute when a human does it – don’t ask me how I know this.) And if you feel like shedding some tears, check out this “Dog Welcoming Soldiers Home” compilation. I can’t even handle it.
They keep you healthier. I’m sure this has been studied and proven somewhere, but I know it’s true for me. I’m not exactly what some people call “a runner,” you see. But when my pup walks in the laundry room and stares at her leash hanging on the wall, and then at me, and then back at the leash . . . you just can’t resist that.
Was that “W-A-L-K” you were spelling so I wouldn’t know?!
In addition to keeping you healthier through exercise, they also help out with your personal nutrition. For instance, whenever I’m craving cheese, I remind myself that if I so much as open the cheese drawer in the refrigerator half a centimeter, my dog WILL hear it – no matter where she is, either inside or out, and be at my feet drooling in seconds flat. Not worth the risk. Same goes for one twist of the peanut butter jar. Oh, and the persistent longing gazes they give you while enjoying a delicious meal will in fact eventually make you cave and share a bite or two of whatever is on your plate (so, see – saving you calories.)
Hugs and Kisses. To the max. Nothing beats puppy love. Not the kind you had in your teenage years, (although, the kissing is probably comparable), but I’m talking about the real deal puppy love. The kind where your pup physically will not allow you to stand up off the ground because he or she is so insistent on snuggling into your neck and showering you in kisses and getting as close to you as physically possible. And you know what? You don’t want to get up, because it’s just too damn sweet.
They are entertaining. For no reason at all, they’ll get a burst of energy and do laps around your house as if they’re running for the gold. Word to the wise – do NOT get in their way when this happens. Just enjoy the hilarity from afar. (Maybe not applicable to dogs who weigh less than 70 pounds, but you can never be too cautious.) Also, I will never tire of the “chasing their tail” phenomenon. You can practically hear them saying “Al…most…got…it…NO! You win this time, tail.”
No judgment. No matter what kind of day you have, whether you are laughing maniacally, crying hysterically, singing your heart out or having a dance party by yourself, your dog will be by your side without judgment. Well, they might find you a little confusing, but they’re happy to join right in and be exactly what you need.
Did somebody say dance party?
If you’re a dog person like me, it’s nearly impossible to imagine your life without them. And though their lives are short, they are significant.They love us unconditionally. They make our lives better (more often than not), and never ask for anything in return. Except for an occasional walk around the neighborhood. And maybe some cheese every now and then.
This is my dog, Evie. We rescued her two years ago from the Humane Society of Stillwater, and couldn’t imagine life without her. Sometimes she likes to take selfies to send to our favorite guy when he’s traveling…who am I to deny her that guilty pleasure?
I leave you with this, a quote from a personal hero of mine, a hometown guy by the name of Will Rogers, who said, “No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he’s got a dog he’s got a friend, and the poorer he gets the better friend he has.”