Monday, February 27, 2012

On Being a Dog Person

Birds of a feather flock together. And dog people pack together.

I am a dog person.

Looking back, I think everyone on the street I grew up on had a dog. All my friends did and neighbors did. It was like this obvious unit to any happy home.

My freshman year in college was the only time in my life that I have not had a dog. My sophomore year after Justin and I had been married for about eight months, we got Katie, our small toy poodle. We weren't allowed to have her in our apartment. We trained her to use the litter box and no one ever found out.

Not every family has a dog. I have learned that. People don't like the mess or the responsibility (it isn't fun to find someone to take care of the dogs when we go out of town isn't fun, I'll admit it). Dogs just don't make sense in their lives for whatever reason. I get that.

There is a big difference between people who don't see themselves as dog owners, and people who readily admit they are not dog people.

My beloved pets

I posted on Facebook the other day that I don't trust people who readily admit they are not dog people. I've gotten a lot of flack, but I stand by my assessment.

Let me explain. I am not talking about those people who don't really seem themselves as dog owners. Two of my best friends are in this camp. But when they see a dog (or one of my dogs), they'll pet them. They'll say how cute a puppy is. They'll even briefly imagine life with a dog. "If I ever had a dog, I think I would be more of a cocker spaniel type."

Then there are those people who say out loud without any hesitation, "I am NOT a dog person." There's usually a lot of emphasis in this statement, as well as some underlying judgment.

I know people like this. I am friends with people like this. They are not bad people. But I don't trust them. This pretty much goes for anyone who rules out an ENTIRE species of animal or all animals altogether.

Judge me all you want, because I am judging you. :)

9 comments:

Jill Elizabeth said...

Speaking (or rather, typing) as an untrustworthy not-a-dog-person person, I feel the need to defend myself and others like me, and I can do it in a word: allergies.

I can either be not-a-dog-person, or I can be a person with a violent rash. My brain likes animals, but my skin vehemently objects.

Also, I love you anyway.

Lara said...

I love you too, Jill. I would say allergies put you in the camp of not-a-person-who-will-ever-own-pets rather than an entire species hater. Unless you do hate them. :)

Meagan said...

Ha ha! I love this post. I am the same. I have to say Jill that just because you have allergies and can't have a dog doesn't mean you can't be a dog person. If you didn't have allergies would you have a dog?

Anyway, the mess, that is the biggest put-off for us right now. We will have a dog in a few years when the boys are a bit bigger, something with short hair, and is mostly an outside dog. Ben picked out his future dogs' names when he was like 10; Tractor & Diesel. Asher says he wants to name his dog Tug, like his grandpa's dog, we'll cross that road when we get to it. We have an ongoing dog name list in our google docs. :)

Haylee said...

I'm in the not a dog owner camp but I totally think you can be a dog person who doesn't have a dog! I don't ever intend to own a dog or really any pet. But I LOVE animals. I just feel like I have so many other responsibilities and things I want to do with my time that adding on the responsibility and mess of another living thing that won't eventually learn to take care of itself is overwhelming. Oh, and allergies, they sure put a damper on things too. But I'm still totally a dog-person and almost every other animal too. Except maybe birds. I can't imagine owning birds ever...maybe because of the Earls? :) Indoor would definitely be out; they throw their seed and feathers everywhere. But I still love birds out in nature. K, enough rambling. I get what you mean though.

Topsy said...

wait! there is another camp!

what about me who doesn't hate dogs, but doesn't like them either? I don't pet them, I never think (even for a second) that I will ever own them, etc. But I also don't hate them or judge dog owners? They are just there, that's it.

I guess that puts me in the "I'm Not a dog person" camp after all.

Oh well I rest my case.

Alicia said...

I think I am with Topsy on this. I will definitely not own a dog and I don't really intend to ever have a pet. Children make all the mess I want plus the expense of adding on a pet doesn't interest me. I don't hate dogs and I can pet them I just usually don't because I do have allergies and it isn't any fun to get itchy eyes. Even being in a house with pet owners is unpleasant the older I get. It makes it hard to be friends with dog lovers even though I do not hate dogs.

Liz Smith said...

i dream of the day when i have a yard with a fence just so that i can have a dog. i just love them. BUT, i have to say i am a large dog person....small dogs...hmmm...not so much. BUT, i don't want to say i hate them because I've met a few awesome little dogs. And someday i would love to own a big awesome dog and a little dachshund (ive always loved dachshunds, they are my small dog exception on looks alone, not temperment), only because they are cute and I think they would look funny together on walks. :P

Que and Brittany are Hoping to Adopt! said...

Our golden retriever "Madison" died 2 years ago this month, so we are Dog People without a dog. :) Losing her was so incredibly difficult and it hasn't seemed like the right time to get another dog. However, we decided we will get another dog (either another golden retriever or a newfoundland) when our youngest child is preschool-aged.

Rachel said...

My husband doesn't like dogs, my children are terrified of them, and I don't want one because they seem like waaaayy too much effort.

That said, I can't resist a cute poochie face and when a dog is friendly there is no stopping me from rubbing its drooly jowls vigorously and talking to it in that over-excited baby talk kind of way.

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