Do I Think About Dogs Too Much?

Honey the golden retriever suspects I think about dogs too much.

I notice that nearly all your pictures are of me. I think you’re obsessed, woman.

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.

Honey the golden retriever says I think about dogs too much.

You make it seem like stepping on your kidneys is a bad thing.

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.

Honey the golden retriever plays with her stuffed lamb.

I’m obsessed with my stuffed lamb. Is that a problem?

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

  • travel
  • teaching
  • facing my fears
  • learning new things
  • reading
  • writing
  • 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.

Honey the golden retriever is a bridge to a wondrous world.

Follow me. I’ll never lead you wrong.

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?

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Comments

  1. Mom’s life revolves around us dogs pretty much and she likes it that way. She loves the outdoors and has never found humans that will do the same things that we do with her whenever she wants. She loves hanging out with us, now taking classes with us, and the whole blogging community. Maybe it is a phase in her life, but it makes her truly happy. For the first time ever, really, she says she has found a place in life where she is genuinely happy and loves what she is doing most of the time.

  2. John always laughs at me when he comes down to the kitchen in the morning. There I am, coffee in hand, going through my Facebook feed, which is endless pictures of other people’s dogs, dog-themed funnies, and dog-related links/ads. “You’re obsessed! You roll out of bed and straight into looking at dog pictures!” On Facebook, I have 268 “friends”. My sister, my cousin, two college roommates and 264 dog people!

  3. I feel that my furbabies connect me to a higher power somehow. On an earthly level. I feel they’re closer to being angels than anything else on earth. And I do mean dogs. Not spiders. They need to be squashed. They were put here on earth for us to squash. To take out our aggression on something, that’s what I think. But I digress. Dogs teach us a lot about everything. Compassion, patience, love, cuddability. Respect. Things we overlook with other human beings. They open our eyes to the world in a way we might not see otherwise. So obsessed? Nah. You just connect with dogs in a way that’s profound. Not everyone gets that. But those who do not get that… probably has something else they do connect with in the same way… just a different subject. I think your connection (not obsession) is awesome :) I love hearing you talk about Honey.

    The first thing that happens each morning? Buddy sleeps with my housemate, mostly, but when he is ready for the day to begin, he bounces onto my bed and sits on top of me, nose to my nose. That’s how he wakes me up nearly every morning. If I don’t stir, he will then curl up and wait for me to make the slightest sound before he pounces on me again. I love it.

  4. My dogs have made me a better person. I do think about them in almost everything I do. If I consider just looking at cars, I know it has to be large dog friendly. I can’t go to the grocery store without going by the meat counter, and perusing the pet sections for toys (both for my dogs and shelter dogs). We sold our old home, and decided on our new one with the dogs’ needs and happiness in mind. They give me a purpose, and have taught me patience, devotion, and how to relax a little.

  5. My sister thinks I am obsessed with dogs. Like you, when we go anywhere, I always notice dogs first, then their humans. I shorten my evenings out, so my dogs won’t have to be alone for a long time….and I prefer their company to many people I know. So if you think about dogs too much, you aren’t alone!

  6. My husband made a comment, after I told him I didn’t know if my boss was sick or on vacation; she was just gone and I didn’t ask. “You would of asked of it was a dog.” Shaming me to think I am more concerned about dogs than I am about human interaction.

    It is the dog in a book or film I will cry about, not the humans. I think it’s because most people can take care of themselves, the dogs are at the mercy of us humans and need more watching. They leave notes when they are gone. Go to the store for food when hungry (not including the poor or disadvantaged here – that’s another issue).

    We both talk about Beamer and what kind of day he had and how much he’s grown and how to train him. So he has to be a little obsessed at least about our own dog, and that’s as far as he goes.

    Yep. I’m obsessed and not ashamed. I still talk to humans…when I have to and when they have dogs.

  7. We always loved our dogs, but now with SlimDoggy our business, it kind of has taken over our lives. Luckily, I don’t mind that and welcome an excuse to obsess about my dogs :)

  8. I don’t think there is anything odd about it at all. As you say, it is no different than someone who spends all her free time thinking about and playing sports or cooking or even someone who spends a lot of time caring for children. I usually wince at such comparisons but dogs are a lot of work and it isn’t unbalanced to take that job seriously. Caring for another living thing is an unselfish act, even when they bring us so much joy.

    From the sound of things, you have quite a few hobbies and you are one of the wisest people I know, if only online. Your fascination with dogs only proves that, in my opinion.

  9. LOL! I see dog ads everyone online too. They know what I like. When I worked in the corporate world, I used to drive my co-workers nuts because I talked about my dog Sephi all the time. I talked about her more than other people talked about their own children. Many people today know the next question to ask me after, “How are you doing?” is “How are your dogs doing?”

  10. My love of dogs has brought me a great group of friends and for that I’m so thankful. :)

  11. My newest coworker asked me how I got into blogging, andI told him it was because nobody wanted to talk about Elka as much as I did. He considered this for a moment, then smiled and nodded.

    Yup.

  12. I think a person reaches the level of obsessed with their dog when it takes precedence over helping or doing something important for a fellow human being. My dog has helped us through our parent’s illnesses, a two deaths in the family and to control health problems. So, he does get the best food, plenty of attention and love. Obsessed? No. A passion- maybe.

  13. Maybe I am obsessed with my dogs, but so what?! They give me unconditional love and ask for nothing in return other than my unconditional love. Yes, I get dog- related ads online more than any other type, but most times I ignore ads altogether. I have more than enough to read between posts from my fellow pet bloggers, material from my courses at the Animal Behavior College, and an occasional book about some historic event. Sam says I’m obsessed with the dogs and my computers; but how else would I connect with all of my “blogging buddies” if not via the internet?! Besides, who is he to talk when he’s the one who spoils them with all the crap I’ve asked him countless times NOT to give them! :-)

  14. I’m pretty sure I think about dogs too much as well, but I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing. There are a lot of people in this world who are only concerned about themselves. It’s nice to know that there are those who are thinking of animals and looking after their well-being just like they look after ours. Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  15. Life would be so lonely without a dog (or three, in my case) around. Sure, there are some unfortunately side effects of having them (like kidney damage, or the layer of dog hair forever on my carpet), but that’s okay. My dogs bring me joy, a sense of accomplishment, and love that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m probably obsessed with my dogs.

  16. I think my loves of dogs has made me step out of my comfort zone. I want to know more, do more and I think this love will help me when I move into my new house as I am already discussing volunteering at our local rescue and would love to foster (if I’m allowed!)