Why I Love People Who Love Dogs

Unlike some people, I don’t believe dog lovers are more honest, loving, or intelligent. We’re just as screwed up as everyone else.

But there’s something special about people who love dogs. What is it?

Honey the golden retriever up close.

If you’re saying “Awww” while looking at my picture, chances are my human adores you.

Loving People Who Love Stuff

If you want to see me truly happy, sit me down in front of an enthusiast.

There are few things I love more than people who deeply love and appreciate something, practically anything—synagogue architecture, building models, comic books, Celtic music, NASCAR racing.

When someone talks about what they love, their eyes light up with joy.

Olympic Harbor Park Marina in Kingston, Ontario.

Until I started sailing, I had no idea how often sailboats turned up in my interests. I have post cards of sailboats, album covers with sailboats, books with sailboats.

I’ve known people with autism spectrum disorders whose greatest point of connection with other people comes when they talk about their obsessions.

And my husband can’t believe how much I adore John Waters for his many quirky interests, from true crime stories to Chesty Morgan. There’s no one more enthusiastic about his passions than Mr. Waters. He’s the king of enthusiasts.

So maybe I love dog lovers because they’re enthusiasts? Nah, I think it’s something more.

Loving People Who Do Hard Things

There are lots of people obsessed with Game of Thrones or Scandal. But hearing folks talk about television doesn’t hold my interest long.

Television and movies are fun. But it doesn’t take much effort to enjoy them. You flip a switch or buy a ticket and sit passively for an hour or two.

The real fun comes in talking about it later with your friends.

But people who climb mountains or sail across oceans fascinate me. So do people who spend hours making tiny stitches on fabric patches. And folks who spend an hour just preparing the rice to lay under sushi.

Really great interests take an effort.

And there’s no denying that having a dog takes work—feeding, walking, training, and more.

Honey the golden retriever with bike cart.

It sure was hard to get me into that bike cart of yours. You must have been delighted.

So maybe I love dog lovers because dogs are hard to care for? Or is there something else?

Loving People Who Love Dogs

Nineteenth century synagogues are beautiful. But they don’t love you back.

And it’s hard to climb a mountain. But the mountain doesn’t care if you climb it or not. It will be easy or hard based on weather, a climber’s skill, and just dumb luck.

Dogs are one enthusiasm that can love the enthusiast back. And whether they’re easy or hard to care for at any moment depends on the independent mind of the dog herself.

Honey the golden retriever looks down.

Don’t tell people I’m an easy dog. They’ll start thinking I’m a slut.

My golden retriever is definitely an “easy” dog. But she has a mind of her own. And if she decides she’s hungry a half hour before breakfast, she’ll bark to let me know.

She’s not just an object I can admire and obsess on. She’s a living creature with a mind and heart of her own.

Based on these reasons, it’s not just dog lovers I adore. You could say similar things about horses and cats and birds and other animals we closely share our lives with.

I do love me a crazy cat lady. They’re awesome.

But what makes dog lovers different is that I am one too.

When I see someone clicker training their dog on a walk, I know I’ve met someone from my tribe. Those other folks who spontaneously say “dog” when they spot one are my twin sisters from another mister.

And cuckoo people who like writing about, reading about, and taking pictures of dogs feel like old friends no matter what country they live in or who they vote for.

In truth, I’ve made great friends who are very different from me because of a shared love of dogs. Because love opens our hearts. And expands the room we have to love others.

Honey the golden retriever with Pamela.

I love you. You love me. Here’s hoping that we don’t get fleas…

Because who’s better at teaching about love than a dog?

Your Turn: Do you find dog lovers more appealing than other people? Why do you think that is?

Check Out Honey’s Yard Sale

Yesterday I launched Honey’s Yard Sale, an online sale of assorted dog stuff I love that we can’t take on a boat to support our local shelter.

I’m headed to the post office this morning to ship our first orders. But there are plenty of great bargains (and potential gift items) left. So click the badge in the sidebar or the banner below and shop for a great cause.


And to everyone who has already bought something, thank you so much.


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  1. I’m with you – love dog people. One reason I think I do is that as an introvert, it’s sometimes challenging for me to talk to strangers…but if they have dogs, well then I can talk for hours.

    • I’ll let you in on a secret–extroverts don’t always find it easy to talk to strangers either. But it’s always nice to talk to someone about dogs.

  2. Any you love crazy rabbit ladies too right? This post made me miss BD like crazy :(

    • OMD, do you even have to ask? Love is love! :)

      Sorry you’re missing BD. It’s time to go out to the park to get a puppy fix.

      • When he was first taken I became the crazy lady at the park, every time I saw a dog I would burst into tears. People started avoiding me!

  3. I don’t really know what it is. But whatever it is, I love it!

  4. Oh absolutely. 99% of my friends are dog owners/lovers and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m much happier now. I used to have loads of false confidence, but was a huge insecure bundle. Today, I can be myself with all of my friends. You’re right, we’re just as screwed up as everyone else, but for the most part we’re a great community of people and we get each other.

    • You’re lucky if you have IRL friends who are also dog lovers. For some reason I don’t have very many dog loving friends in my town.

      But I sure am thankful for all my online friends who love dogs. And some are people who I would never run into any other way. It’s very cool to become friends with people with totally different tastes, politics, and religious beliefs and know that our love of dogs always gives us a fun topic to return to.

  5. I enjoy hanging out with dog people, and my dog enjoys hanging out with dogs with people! Seriously, pet parents are usually friendly and easy to approach, although some are way over the top in their opinions.

  6. Dog lovers got heart. ‘Nuff said.

  7. Having a dog instantly gives you a talking point, we are friends with lots of people in our park – we know the dogs names but not the owners lol.

  8. Mom is a quiet person who keeps to herself and isn’t big on chit chat, but if she runs into someone and the subject of dogs comes up, look out! She is in her zone and could go on with other dog people forever!

  9. I definitely gravitate toward other dog lovers/parents. Like Kimberly said, dog people get each other, even when their politics or religious beliefs are completely different. And that’s why, when I was first looking for a vet for Kissy down here, I had a hard time finding one I liked. The first several were more interested in whether I could afford their services than they were in Kissy’s welfare. BIG NO-NO!! Current vet (and the most recent previous one) were — and are — animal lovers first. And, like you, I’m thankful for all my online pet-loving friends.

  10. Dear dog Pamela, I almost spit my tea. I think the fact that we love dogs is a great starting point for so many things. I wish more people got down to the finer interests of others then maybe they’d find we aren’t so different after all.

  11. I’m definitely more of an introvert, which is one of the reasons why I love my job as a professional pet sitter so much (yes, there is obviously human client interaction, but I mainly get to spend my time with dogs & cats!). Dog people are just one of a kind, and you are so right about the fact that it takes quite a bit of energy, time, and PASSION to care for our four-legged besties!

  12. I have made so many real life and virtual friends because of a love for dogs.

    like you, I love passionate, enthusiastic people. I love the excitement. I know I get excited if someone wants to hear about my dogs…

  13. This post speaks to my heart. I’ve connected to so many wonderful people because we share the love for dogs. One of those people is you, Pamela! I love your enthusiasm and seriously can’t wait to read about your upcoming sailing adventures!! :)

  14. Agreed! Dog lovers are passionate people. I love being around people who love something, are proud of it, and display that love for all the world to see. Embrace who you are, what you love and tell everybody! That’s us :) Love you Pamela!