The Internet is One Big Dog Park

The more time I spend online, the more it reminds me of the dog park.

Honey the Golden Retriever looks over a dog park friend.

Hey, where are you going? I didn’t get your name.

Tell me if you haven’t seen these types, both online and in your local dog park:

The Lurker – She hangs out around the edges. You don’t even notice she’s there until you hear a little yip. And then you ask yourself, “Where did that one come from?”

The Aggressor – No matter what, this one is itching to pick a fight. And they don’t just pick fights with whoever is nearby. The Aggressor goes running across the park looking for someone just having fun and bares his teeth.

A needle nose Greyhound greets Honey the Golden Retriever at the dog park.

If I find your collar stuck up in there in the morning, you’re in big trouble, mister.

The Inappropriate Sniffer – Without much of an introduction, this one ends up muzzle deep in your nether regions. Dirty looks, ignoring, or snide comments do nothing to deter him.

The Social Butterfly – No matter how early you arrive, you never beat the Social Butterfly in greeting everyone else. They never stop socializing, not even to poop or drink.

The Barker – She has an opinion about everything and wants everyone to know it.

The Cliquester – Others will try to make friends with her but she only wants to play with the same dogs over and over again.

Honey the Golden Retriever is in a stand-off at the dog park.

Where’s that music coming from? I feel like I’m in a Sergio Leone western.

The Gone Missing – You see him every time for a while and then he suddenly disappears. You wonder what happened to him when he mysteriously shows up again months later.

The Please Be My Friend – So afraid of offending anyone, she’ll roll over on her back the first time she doesn’t get a warm and friendly greeting.

Everybody’s Best Friend – She has perfect greeting manners. Somehow she always knows who to greet exuberantly and who needs a slower approach. We need more of these, both online and at the dog park.

How else is the internet like the dog park?

  • It’s not a good fit for everyone.
  • You have to be vigilant while you’re there.
  • No matter how many trash cans are around, it’s littered with sh*t.
  • But there’s no better place for meeting new and interesting folks you’d never meet anywhere else.

Your Turn: Do you think the internet is one big dog park? If so, are you one of the dogs I mentioned? Or do you have a better dog park description for your online personality? (BTW, I’m probably 20% Lurker and 80% Barker.)

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  1. Ohhhh I LOVE THIS!!!!! Fantastic!!!

    Ok, I would say that I am part:

    The Lurker and The Gone Missing

  2. Oh geeze! I forgot to post my favorite part of your blog post

    “No matter how many trash cans are around, it’s littered with sh*t.”

    • But it’s so darn true, isn’t it? :)

      As for lurking and gone missing, we’ll just follow the sound of singing. :)

  3. I’m part Barker and an occasional Aggressor (some would say more than occasional).

    • I know some Aggressors and I would not consider you one of them. But I just thought of a dog park type that I think fits you better: The Enforcer.

      They’re the dog who wants to make sure everyone is doing the right thing and behaving themselves. If not, they lay down the law.

      I think Aggressors pick fights for the fun of picking fights and that doesn’t sound like you one bit. You’re definitely much more about the principle.

      And yep, you’re definitely a Barker. It’s one of the things I like most about you and your blog. :)

  4. I am most definitely a lurked and gone missing. Winston however is a social butterfly and instead of inappropriate sniffer he is an inappropriate licker. As soon as he meets a dog he’ll lick their nose, eyes, ears, body, icky bits and he even tries for their teeth!
    Great post 😀 x

    • I have heard about dogs who lick at the dog park but I’ve never seen one.

      BTW, Winston isn’t a very big guy. Does he expect you to lift him up so he can lick the bigger dogs? :)

      • No, no. He spends alot of time on his hind legs jumping on them or leaning on their chest to get to their nose or ears. He’s quite the jumper. Something I’m trying very hard to rectify. :)

    • One of our few little dog friends is also an inappropriate licker!! But I think it’s adorable when she stands on her hind lgs to *kiss* Huffle’s face.

  5. Shameless anthropomorphism or, to put it another way, this is my kind of post.

  6. This is a great analogy!

  7. This was absolutely wonderful!! I think I am : Please be my friend (cuz I’m a newbie blogger) & The Gone Missing (cuz I am so overwhelmed by all the great blogs) … but lets review all this a year from now!! It might change :)

  8. Bobby L. Smith says:

    Definitely an aggressor. Unfortunately, since dogs mimic the personalities of their owners, my huskies tend to follow my lead. When scolded, they stare at me as if to say, “but you do it, daddy.”

    • Dogs and little children don’t let us get away with bad behavior very often, do they? :)

      • Bobby L. Smith says:

        No ma’am they sure don’t. They must not know about the old double standard from years ago. My folks were big fans of the “do as I say, not as I do, policy.” Ha ha

  9. We don’t go to dog parks. Not my thing, so I can’t really say anything about them. But I think I tend to be a lurker sometimes and some days I feel like a social butterfly. I find some blogs overwhelming with all the comments and everybody saying what I wanted to say, so i don’t say anything. But life on your blog seems to be pretty funny.

    • The reason I’m 20% lurking is because I read a lot of blogs that I don’t comment on. I also figure that by the time someone has 60 or so comments, I probably don’t have anything unique to say.

      BTW, when my husband read your comment, he wondered if you meant that life on my blog is funny ha ha or funny weird. :)

      • That’s an interesting question. I don’t think that your life seems any weirder than life at our 7 Acre Wood. After all, I live with goats and chickens and have to wear hats! But I do get a laugh whenever I see your posts. A good, feel good laugh! Does that answer the question?

  10. Mom would say I’m a loner and slightly aggressive. I prefer to stay near mom and not run around.

    • It’s a good thing that everyone can find a place they like hanging out online, even if they sometimes feel like a loner or want to keep a close eye on the Mom. :)

  11. I absolutely love how the way that your mind works! I do think that the internet is just like one big dog park! I think that at some point in time over the last several years I have fallen into each category, right now I’m not sure where I would fall.

  12. A very true comparison. You’ve made me miss the dog park with reminiscing about all the great conversations I had there. And I am the opposite of you, 80% lurker and 20% barker.

  13. What a great analogy! I think you are absolutely right and there is a lot of sh*t out there to step into as well!

  14. Well I didn’t think the internet was one big dog park before reading this, but you sure made a convincing case. :-)

  15. I’m definitely a ‘gone missing’, often a lurker with a bit of ‘The Please Be My Friend’ thrown in. Great analogy … and very handsome Greyhound sniffing Honey’s butt :)

  16. Golden Laughs on the S*ht. Great way to end our evening (reading your blog). We want to be friends with everyone but it can be overwhelming and we don’t expect everyone to like us either. We met many friends via blogging. Grateful for their kind friendship (most of them we have not met in person). Lately we’ve been a Lurker … Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    BTW: we received a present to day from our friends from HI. They gave us a TIKI ice tray with a note that it is a good tiki (means family). Mom is contemplating if she’s going to use it. Golden Woofs

  17. HEHE! Great post. Well, we have our own dog park here at Silverwalk :). I’m an Enforcer (in real life) but on the Internet, I’m a Lurker and a Gone Missing since I get caught up with work and dogs w/o commenting on blogs or writing my own, though I read a lot.

  18. I never would have put the two (dog park and internet blogger) together in a million years, but, you have expressed it so perfectly! I try to be friends with more than I can handle (comment-wise) at times, but love everyone of our blog friends. They make me think, laugh, cry and generally enjoy all that’s going on in their worlds.

  19. It would be fun to say that I am the inappropriate sniffer – but I think that is far cry from my personality. :)

  20. I’m still laughing Pam…I recognize most of these types and your descriptions are spot on…At the dog park Gizmo is mostly Barker…Online I feel like I’m a Lurker/Friend with a soupcon of Gone Missing

  21. You come up with the greatest analogies! Do you lay awake at night thinking these things up? :) I’m mostly a lurker with a little bit of “please be my friend”. If I do leave a comment somewhere I’m always going back to see if it was liked or not!

  22. A very interesting one! I’ve seen all of these types on the internet. We definitely need more of the ‘Everyone’s Best Friend’s.

  23. Well I think I see a little bit of myself in a LOT of them! LOL Except the Lurker and the Gone Missing, lord knows I’m addicted to the internet. :-)

  24. OMG you are so freakin smart! I love this one. I’m 80% social butterfly and 20% please be my friend. This year, I finally reached a point where I don’t get my feelings hurt when someone beats me up for something, which is allowing me to have a lot more fun with blogging and social networking.

    My favorite point is that it’s all littered with sh*t – this is one of the reasons I started Keep the Tail Wagging, because I couldn’t find any real information, just a lot of scare tactics. I wish I would have known about the pet blogging community 3 years ago when we adopted our littermates.

  25. Pamela, I love the way your mind works – these are brilliant!

    However, although I excel at navel gazing (and I can’t remember your cool word for that right now), I’m not really good at actually coming to a conclusion after doing so. Accordingly, I have no idea what I am. Maybe I’m just the simple dog over in the corner just tilting her head back and forth trying to figure out where she fits in. :)


  1. […] the Internet one big dog park? Something Wagging This Way Comes makes the case that it is. (Thanks to Dakota’s Den for pointing us to that […]

  2. […] Maybe the internet is not one big dog park after all. Maybe it’s one big cat park. And we dog people are lucky to be hanging out here at all. […]

  3. […] Something Wagging This Way Comes put up an interesting post the other day comparing the internet to the dog park. I am definitely Gone Missing and a Lurker. But Winston, instead of being an Inappropriate Sniffer he is an Inappropriate Licker. Using any means possible to like a dogs face, ears… everything! […]