Time to get caught up on the news. After reading about the delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act and the death of Shirley Temple, I glance at the next story.
It’s an ad for the ASPCA.
I read a few more stories. And see a pet supply company advertising in the sidebar.
I know it’s just cookies putting up ads I’m likely to be interested in based on my browsing. But I thought I was more well-rounded. More catholic in my tastes.
But since I see dog-related ads on every site I look at, I’m starting to wonder. Do I think about dogs too much?
How Much Do I Think About Dogs?
It starts around 4 a.m. I’m lying awake wondering if I should just get up and work. Then I hear a quiet woof from the crate.
Honey wants to get up on the bed.
From then on I think of her when she steps on my kidneys, wags her tail in my face, and pins my legs to the bed. I think of her when she tells me she’s hungry. And forty-five minutes later when it’s actually time to feed her.
It takes me a couple of hours to write a Something Wagging post. Obviously I’m thinking about dogs.
Of course on a walk, it’s all about Honey.
On my way to work, I notice every dog. And when I get there, my co-workers ask me how Honey is doing.
Dogs don’t figure into my work teaching first home buyers. Unless I need to advise them about their dog causing problems with their home owner’s insurance. But once I’m back home, I’m thinking about dogs again—reading blogs, checking out training websites, and connecting with fellow dog lovers. All with Honey sleeping by my side.
What’s So Bad About Dogs?
I know people who spend major family holidays and most fall weekends watching football. They pony up a few dollars to join a fantasy football league. And I’ve never heard anyone tell them they were too obsessed.
And how about people who spend all their time working? Is there any virtue in spending all your time making money?
But sometimes I feel that others think my interest is odd. I wonder if there’s any way that thinking about dogs all the time makes me a better person. And not just an unbalanced one.
Dogs Enlarge Our World
There are some things we do that enlarge our world. They expose us to new ways of thinking and being in the world. And they leave us different afterwards.
For me, the activities that enlarge my world include
- facing my fears
- learning new things
- oh, and spending time with dogs
Other people might include gardening, watching birds and other wildlife, art, and dance.
I remember puzzling over Moroccan and Vietnamese vendors in Paris expressing outrage at our poor French pronunciation. The sense of accomplishment I felt when a huge gust of wind during sailing was no longer frightening.
Oh, and the amazement I experienced the first time my hound mix Shadow interrupted her sniffing to meet my eye after weeks of clicking and treating.
With all my heart, I believe one of the best things I can do is to learn how to see the world from someone else’s point of view.
It’s hard enough to do with people I disagree with. With dogs, it’s a little harder. But much easier than understanding the point of view of a bear, octopus, or spider.
Dogs are a bridge. They stand between humans and a wider universe filled with amazing creatures. Living with dogs is like traveling to a foreign country.
So maybe Honey isn’t just a furry obsession. And my blog isn’t a time-waster of epic proportions. Maybe, just maybe, I don’t think about dogs too much at all.
Your Turn: If you’re here, it’s obvious you have a dog obsession. But do you think it’s just about fun? Or is there a bigger purpose behind it? Does your love of dogs connect you to anything outside yourself?