I’ve written about why we love dogs and the odd things we do for them. This time, I want to focus completely on those behaviors and actions that would cause someone who doesn’t have a dog or doesn’t like dogs (Yes, there really are people like that) to think that us “dog people” are crazy. Actually, there are people who own dogs and still don’t fit in the crazy dog category. I have family members who have “a” (yes, one) dog but aren’t with them the way we are with ours. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying dog people aren’t crazy. What I am saying is, crazy is the norm in the dog world. We’re not the, go running down the street in a Superman cape and tutu, in the snow, calling E.T. home, while eating Cheetos and Pop Rocks type crazy. We’re simply crazy about our dogs. A breed all our own, right? To me, that’s not a bad thing.
I’ve come up with some things that if you do them (likely you do many of them), you may be a crazy dog person. Now remember, there’s nothing wrong with fitting into that category; it’s actually an amazing group of people to be associated with. Let’s see what I can come up with and how many of the things you’ve done.
You (I) might be part of the crazy “dog people” group if you: share your bed with them (pretty common I know), give them extra room in the bed then deal with legs in your back when you’re sleeping, move over when they want to get on the sofa, make sure they eat at the same times every day (their belly knows the time), stress if you’re late feeding them and explain to them why, leave the bathroom door open so they don’t think you left them, write about them, cuddle with them while talking in a voice you’d never use in front of another human, buy more dog beds than you have dogs, live with 16 toys on the floor, put up with squeaky toys, get more wet than they do at bath time, have multiple floor fans to keep them cool, buy a portable room air conditioner because it’s so hot in Arizona, buy floor runners for the tile so it’s easier for them to get up, say excuse me when you get in their way, write about them, say I’m sorry if you bump them or step on a paw, say bless you when they sneeze, talk to them as if they understand, have a (one-sided) conversation as if they’re going to answer you, scratch for them when they are trying to get an itch, thank them for moving, thank them for giving you kisses (and spitting all over your face), teach them not to eat poop and love them when they keep doing it, boil ground sirloin and cook rice when they don’t feel good, write about them, designate an entire kitchen cabinet as the “dog’s cabinet,” wipe their nose for them, wipe the goop out of their eyes, scratch their rear end, buy special towels to use for spit wiping, pay hundreds of dollars at the ER clinic on a weekend because they’re family, not care how much it is to get them better because they’re family, check their poop to make sure it’s fine, catch pee when the vet needs it, take hundreds of pictures, stare at dog toys for ten minutes to “figure out” which ones they’ll like, stare at dog treats for ten minutes to “figure out” which ones they’ll like, write about them, make sure they have comfort items when they stay at someone’s house, get three different people to go see them when you’re out of town so they don’t get bored, call to check on them when they stay with other people, pay a dog sitter no matter the cost, stress when you have to leave them with a dog sitter, take the blame for them eating your shoe because you left it out, not care if they put their head behind the shower curtain while you’re in the shower, buy them presents for holidays, write about them, buy them presents for their birthday, buy them doggy cupcakes for their birthday, write their birthday on the family calendar, tell them they scared you when they bark knowing they understand and certainly won’t do it again, never make them move when they’re sleeping, slide them out of the way when they’re sleeping, allow them to put their head in the refrigerator while you’re getting food out, give them ice every single time you get some for yourself, write about them, mop mop and mop some more when it rains and they track water in because you’re afraid they may slip, sit with them when it’s thundering and they’re scared, brush their teeth, buy them doggy mints so they aren’t embarrassed by their breath, let them pretend they’re lap dogs no matter how heavy they are, buy them shoes because the ground is always hot in Arizona, write about them, get them reindeer ears before taking them to get their picture taken with Santa, dress them up in doggy outfits (I do not do this), put them in the baby swing at the park (I don’t do this either), buy them cookies that are $4.95 each at the doggy bakery (I do this), use just about any item of clothing you own to make a bandage when they’re hurt, put your favorite T-shirt on them rather than a cone because it’ll be easier and more comfortable for them, buy lint rollers in bulk, have blankets that are just for them, buy tennis balls by the hundred, make sure their collar and leash match, take them on doggy playdates, take them to doggy daycare, write about them, buy them ramps to get in the car and stairs to get on the furniture, buy toys that you know won’t last but they’ll love them for ten minutes, take them for walks in the rain or snow, take them to the chiropractor and acupuncturist, have them in your family photos, make them part of your wedding, let them run on the beach no matter how much you don’t want to deal with the sand later, buy them cute custom dishes with their name on them, have an “I love my dog” sticker on your car, have a license plate holder that’s all paws, have “paw” jewelry, post more pictures of your dogs on Facebook than of your family, your phone gallery has over 300 pictures of your dog and none of your partner, vacations are planned around how dog-friendly the destination and it’s hotels are, write about them, the car you buy has to have “enough room” for your dog, have a regular vet and a secondary vet in case the first is unavailable and an emergency vet in case something happens after hours and of course all the phone numbers are on your refrigerator next to the K-9 Poison Control magnet, the same is true for dog sitters, you get more dog related emails each day than any other type of email, there are signs with “dog sayings” on the walls in your home, you have a “My dog is smarter than your honor student” bumper sticker, take them to Dairy Queen to get them an ice cream cone, act like it’s normal to take them to Dairy Queen to get them an ice cream cone, write about them, your vet file is thicker than a Big Mac, you “Like” more dog pages on Facebook than all of your friends combined but think that fact is odd (on your friends’ part), text your partner to tell them funny things your dog did, the sound of their farts crack you up (rather than gross you out), don’t pick food up that you drop on the floor but instead you call the dog, and finally – your life revolves around theirs because well – it should. Wait! Did I say, write about them?
Phew! I’m kind of embarrassed to say that it wasn’t at all difficult to come up with all of those. Ok, I’m not really embarrassed. To me, it’s pretty funny that so many of those things apply to me. Definitely a little crazy but funny none the less. I think everyone who has a dog that’s part of their family does some things that make others question their sanity. That’s ok. A lot of people don’t get it. They have a dog but just because that’s kind of a family thing to have. They don’t have a dog so that it becomes a member of the family. For those people, “caring” about their dog means making sure it has clean water and gets fed every day. I can admit that I was that way years ago but then I realized the value of a dog’s life, what they give to me, and most of all what they deserve. I don’t fault those other people for not being crazy dog people; I feel sorry for them and all that they’re missing out on.