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Everybody that knows me knows that I’m totally soft on dogs – dogs are my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re anything like me, then you probably go on and on about your dogs (even when people give you that far-away look that says “I’m listening but I’m not really hearing you because you’re boring me to tears”), your Facebook profile pic is a shot of your dog, and you can’t even start a sentence without saying “My dog…”
Why shouldn’t you be soft on your dog? After all, he’s the one that’s there for you day after day, greeting you with kisses in the morning, wiggling all over the place when you get back home after a hard day, and always ready to snuggle if you’re feeling down.
Dogs are playful, loving, loyal, and a lot of the time a lot more caring and accepting than the humans in our lives. If you’re soft on your dogs, you probably have good reasons.
I’ve been accused many times of being totally obsessed, and completely soft on my dogs. I don’t take that as an insult, and if anyone means it that way, well, too bad! Are you as obsessed as I am, though?
Take a look at the following 14 questions, and answer honestly. Count up your “Yes” answers. I got 14 out of 14. You might be totally soft on dogs if your answers are anything close to mine. You are completely dog obsessed if:
You wander about your home, chattering away at your dogs as though they were human. At my house, it goes something like this: “Janice, I’m having such a hard day – I have two blogs to write and I don’t really have any inspiration. I don’t know what to talk about. Do you have any ideas? I mean, after all, you’re a DOG, you must have some suggestions! Leroy, get out of that. Janice, I can’t remember if we bought dog food yesterday – did we? Leroy, get out of that! Janice, have you seen my blue Crocs? Leroy, put that Croc down!”
You get the idea.
You might be totally soft on your dogs if you lie in bed at night on a sub-standard pillow, tossing and turning and not getting the sleep you need, but you make sure that you buy your best buddy the very best dog bed on the market. Or, you let your dog sleep on your pillow, and that’s why you can’t get any sleep.
If you’re on a tight budget, and the first thing you look for when you go grocery shopping is the best possible dog food, and then you count up your pennies wondering what you can afford to buy for yourself, then you’re probably pretty soft on your dogs.
Your dog is family, so why would you have a family portrait done without including him? You include your parents and your kids, right? Is your dog any less family?
Hell, he was in your wedding pictures, wasn’t he?
So, if you’re a guy, you might need to spend $20 on a haircut. If you’re a woman, it will cost more, and of course that’s not fair, but it’s just the way it is.
Times are tough, though, and haircuts cost a lot. Now, your dog needs to be groomed.
What are you going to do?
If you’re completely soft on dogs, obviously, you’re going to ignore the fact that you need a cut, or a cut, style and set, and you’re going to take your dog to the groomer. Because you’re soft on dogs! You want to make sure that your best friend gets the full treatment, because he’s worth it.
You have a picture of your dog on your desk at work, and he’s also the background picture on your home computer, tablet and phone. Why not? Isn’t he just perfect? And aren’t you soft on your dog?
You have to go out of town, and you can’t take your dog with you. So you obsess (see 7 Reasons Why Loving Dogs Is a Huge Commitment), and you call around, and you practically demand a full background check on the person that you’re handing your dog off to while you’re away.
From my perspective, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you need to be thoroughly checked out before getting a job, then why wouldn’t you expect the same level of diligence when it comes to someone who is going to look after your dog?
Well, your dog has to have friends, right? If you had a kid, you’d set up play dates so they could socialize. You’re not exactly obsessing here, you’re just trying to make sure that your dog is properly socialized, and that’s a good thing! You’re striving for a good outcome, so don’t let anyone tell you that it means you’re overly soft on dogs.
I would suggest that you keep them separate – after all, you probably don’t want your human friends reaching for Milk Bones. That would mean they’re taking them away from the dogs!
Seriously, though, why not have a party with your human friends and your dog friends, and put out treats for both? After all, the human friends you’ve chosen, if you’re anything like me, are probably also pretty soft on dogs, so put out something for everyone!
Balls, stuffed animals, ropes, squeakies – they’re all over the floor, on the sofa, in your bed, all over the yard – your dog has a million toys, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Think of it this way – maybe someday, you won’t be tripping over toys. Think about why that might be, and you’ll know that it will be horrible.
Every day, when you go to work, you have to grab a lint brush and remove the dog hair that’s all over your clothes. You don’t care, because you’re soft on dogs.
You started off with a bed that suited you just fine. Maybe it was a double, or even a twin. Then you upgraded to a queen size, because you had more than one dog. Three dogs meant you needed a king size bed, but you didn’t even care, because you couldn’t even begin to imagine not sleeping with your dogs.
Your mom told you that you shouldn’t let your dogs sleep on the bed with you, and you said, “Mom, bedding washes. Besides, I’m only going to have them for a little time, and if they want to sleep with me, that’s fine. I’m soft on dogs, so sue me!”
Did you ever come home to an empty house? Maybe you did, but you can’t remember. Now, your dog is always there, making you feel so loved, and so needed. If there was ever a time when you didn’t have a dog, it seems so long ago and far away.
Well, the after.
This is the hardest thing when you’re soft on dogs. At some point, you will probably lose your dog, since most of us outlive our dogs.
You have been so long with the love of a good dog, and now, your house is empty. You no longer hear the sound of feet padding after you as you walk through the empty rooms. You’re wondering how you’re ever going to manage without your beloved friend. It’s over and done, and the tears are falling.
I’ve loved and lost many dogs. And I’ve always wondered what to do next.
Sometimes, I’ve gone right out and gotten another dog. Other times I’ve waited for a bit. But I’ve never considered just giving up on dogs, because I’ve always thought about what my dogs would probably have said if they’d had a voice in the decision. I think it would be something like “Ash, I loved you more than anything in the world, and I know that you loved me back. I don’t want you to cry and be sad. There are so many dogs out there that need someone to love them, and I know you need love too. Find another dog, okay?
That’s just what I’ve done, many, many times. Because I’m soft on dogs.
So, does any of this sound like you? If it does, then you might be pretty dog-obsessed, and who’s to say that’s a problem?
Is there anything wrong with being soft on dogs? I don’t think so. I think that loving dogs makes you a good person. If anyone tells you otherwise, well, all I can say is that they’re entitled to their stupid opinion, but I’d prefer not to hear it. Enough said?
Yes, I thought so. If you disagree, though, feel free to leave a comment.