It’s All About the Dog. Or is it?

This is a dog-centric house.

Honey chooses where to walk and how long (usually). She has final say over what foster dogs come into the house. And I respect her pace when we’re trying new things.

Honey the Golden Retriever looks up after peeing.

I’m the queen of my castle.

But that’s not the whole story.

There are plenty of things I do to her that Honey just doesn’t understand. If it was really all about the dog, I’d probably stop the following behaviors that mean nothing to Honey but a whole lot to me.

Singing – Yeah, I’ve never seen any sign that Honey appreciates the song parodies I’ve written just for her. For example, Please Walk Me Now to the tune of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now. And my heartfelt rendition of You Are My Sunshine doesn’t even get a little lick. Unappreciative dog.

Smelling Her Feet – I swear that when I sniff her paws, Honey practically rolls her eyes.

Kissing the Top of Honey’s Head – Despite everyone’s insistence, kissing means nothing to dogs. They don’t give them. They don’t appreciate getting them.

Talking – I chatter to Honey on a walk. It means nothing to her. Why do I do it?

Combing Her Ears When She Gets Wet – Something funny happens when a golden retriever gets wet. The fur on her ears kinks up as if it just came out of a braid.  I always comb it straight. Honey doesn’t care.

Making Honey Wear a Bandana – Ok, I swear I’d never dress up a dog. But I’m not beyond whipping out a bandanna on a special occasion. Honey totally doesn’t get it.

If Honey could talk, I’m sure she’d add to the list.

Luckily, we’re in a relationship. Which means that she makes allowances for my little quirks just like I make allowances for hers.

Your Turn: What things do you do to your dog that give you pleasure but mean nothing to your dog?



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  1. Cleaning their paws – I’m very big on this, because I want to get any traces of “you name it” off of their paws to keep them from getting irritated. I’m convinced that kisses mean something different to them than they do to me – I think my dogs are super affectionate, they might just be marking me.

    • “I think my dogs are super affectionate, they might just be marking me.”

      So true. I suspect most dog lovers don’t want to think too much about what dogs REALLY mean by their behavior. I’m sure it wouldn’t be nearly as flattering as the meanings we ascribe to them. :)

  2. I think all the posing for the blog – it means a lot to us, gives us tons of photos, but the pups really are just into it for the treats.

    Monty and Harlow

    • The worst part of being away for a month–losing track of my doggie bloggie friends. So sorry to see Sam’s name missing from your sign off. I just read your beautiful tribute to him and my face is still wet.

      Sam and Monty’s posing was a gift to all of us who enjoyed your silly pictures. But it must be a wonderful gift to you to have so many memories captured by the camera. And heck, they both got treats. :)

      • Thank you. Losing Sam has been so hard on me. I’m trying to get back into blogging – and have started by catching up on commenting. I can’t bring myself to post on the blog yet. I know posting without Sam is the new normal, but I just can’t face it yet. I’m so glad I started blogging – I have lots of good memories of Sam, and lots of photos to look back on.

  3. Well, I don’t go quite so far as you and Jodi (Heart Like A Dog), but if some song comes into my head while the dogs and I are out in the yard or on a walk, I usually start singing it. They don’t even look up at me. I guess they’re more interested in the squirrels running around the neighbor’s yard.
    And I don’t smell their paws, but I do wipe them off with a towel when we come inside the house from the yard or a walk at the park.
    As for kisses? Ducky is our kissing fool. Kissy was, too, when she was a puppy except for those times when her tummy was upset…it was one way I could always tell she didn’t feel well. Shadow will usually back away if I try to kiss her head, but she’ll give me a kiss if I ask for one as long as she’s not laying down. And my sweet Callie. Let me tell you she is my sweetheart. She will give me a kiss — big, ole slobbery one — any time I ask for it. And she tolerates my hugs. This girl is my soul mate, just as Kissy was before her. She just knows instinctively when Mama needs her.

    • Hugging is tough for even the most affection dog. Callie is a special girl indeed. :)

      Now if you ever get her to “sing” along with you…

  4. Pamela I normally agree with you on most things but I think that as with all things dogs respond differently. I’m not saying that my dogs understand “kissing” but I know for certain that my dogs enjoy the kissing. My dogs will come put their muzzles against my face for me to kiss. While kissing them they close their eyes and will remain their with me to the peck peck peck on their muzzle until I quit. With the sleepy contended eye thing going on. I’ve done that with all off them since they were little and I believe they now equate that with affection. And as a side note some of them ask for this attention more than others, so again it’s individual personality thing. Just my two cents :)

  5. Sniffing the paws! I thought I was the only one who was obsessed with that warm, toasty, comforting paw-frito smell.

    I don’t know, I would imagine that the dogs enjoy some of the things I do just to indulge my own crazy desires; for example I usually accompany a paw sniff with a nice paw massage. Fortuitously, many of the things I enjoy most are also things that bring them pleasure (like really, deeply, intensely massaging those ears).

  6. Ellie Haith says:

    Oh, I absolutely sing when Annie and I walk! ‘You Are My Sunshine’ is common. I also comment on anything I might notice, important or trivial. I notice that some days I yak all the while, other days I’m relatively silent; I think Annie prefers the yakking, but I may be thinking wishfully. I have even made up songs – lyrics to someone else’s tune – but not necessarily about dogs. My favorite is ‘Spring! Glorious Spring!’ to the tune from OLIVER ‘Food! Glorious Food!’

  7. lol!
    Oh definitely the biggest one is making my dogs sit in odd places so I can take pictures. If they could speak, I’m sure they’d say “not this again”.

  8. Funny! I love making up doggy songs, smelling doggy feet, kissing, and talking too. Pierson’s song is “Mr FluffyButt” to the tune of “SpongeBob SquarePants”, or the “Soft Kitty” song changed to “Happy Boy” with lyrics “purr, purr, purr” changed to “fur, fur, fur”. I don’t do the bandana thing with Maya & Pierson. That was Sephi’s style and Maya & PIerson can’t pull it off the way she did.

  9. Hurley’s not a big fan of the hug. He gets one every morning though!

  10. Mom jabbers at us a lot. We have no clue why, but we are used to the “noise”, so we actually enjoy it…kind of like a radio, only Mom’s voice 😉 She does show up with my brush a bit too often which I don’t like.

  11. Sorry Pamela, I’m going to have to disagree with you. I think anything you do or don’t is part of the relationship with your dog. I always laugh at my husband when he sings lullabies at night, but I’ve seen their faces and they love it. He’s been singing to them since we got them or were born. Blaze always comes to me for kisses on her forehead, it is her reassurance. Who says dogs don’t like hugs?? They will take a deep affectionate hug, just ask Chance, who can’t get enough of them. I think it’s too mutual of a thing when you’re both in tune with each other.

  12. Kisses! I kiss all 3 on their snouts morning, noon, and night. I don’t think they love it, but they all sweetly tolerate it. :)

  13. I tell them I love them, to have a good day, and good night.

    I make them dance with me, holding their front paws.

    Many other things that most people would consider me a lunatic for. : )

  14. Oh my list is long and though he may not get it, I sure do —- my affection for shopping for him for extra toys, leashes, and clothes 😉

  15. I have to say, despite what people say about the subject, Meadow LOVES being kissed, held, cuddled, snuggled, and loved on. She just leans into you, and if you stop, she paws you for more affection. That is, as long as it is me or Nick doing it. If a stranger tried to kiss her or something, she’d just shrink and possibly die.

    Toby doesn’t seem to mind them either, but Leah’s eyes roll into her head until the whites show and she just barely tolerates them. I try not to kiss her because of it, but as a dog owner, you know, you just have to some times.

  16. Giving the occasional bath is probably at the top of the list! lol They see no point in that whatsoever!

  17. That’s actually a tough question. Frankie loves hugs, cuddles and kisses, Beryl does too in her own Princess way. I rarely sing to them. Bathing them doesn’t give any of us pleasure as it makes my back ache. Most of the photos I take of them are candid so they don’t have to pose. Blogging about them does give me pleasure but somehow I don’t think they read my blog. Taking Beryl to have her toenails trimmed gives me pleasure as I get to catch up with friends at the same time. While she doesn’t enjoy the actual act of toenail trimming she gets to be fussed over so she doesn’t actually hate that experience. I can’t really think of anything major that I enjoy and they don’t …. oh foster dogs, Beryl would definitely prefer I didn’t enjoy having foster dogs, lol! Her tolerance level is rising with each one though :)