They may say dogs are man's best friend, but the truth of the matter is, gender doesn’t register to a pet; nor does your appearance, your past, or that passive aggressive status you just posted on Facebook suggesting your best friend slept with your partner. The best thing about being a dog lover is that the canine companion in your life will love you unconditionally, no matter what. And for that rare quality, this affection is reciprocated tenfold. Much like the expression of true love, a dog person’s adoration for their pooch cannot be accurately scribed, and that’s either because it’s to embarrassing to describe, or it’s too genuine to be put into a phrase. For the sake of this article, I’ll opt for the latter.
If you’re not a dog person yourself, you may never understand the affection we share with our four-legged kin, nor do we expect you to. We get that the relationship with our pooch can get a little far-fetched at times, but that’s probably not going to change – they totally deserved that rhinestone pillow embellished with their initials and that personalized dog bowl made of sterling silver. So if you’ve started dating a dog lover, or happen to date one down the road, these are some things you should know about us.
1. Our dogs are family — like, human family
To a dog person, there isn’t much difference between a human family member and a furry one. Personally, I call my dog my “little brother”, and if anybody suggests otherwise, they best step back. Far back. A general rule of thumb when dating a dog person is to never say our beloved is “just a dog” – this isn’t appropriate in any context. We don’t see them that way.
2. We kiss our dogs, sometimes on the lips
Dogs occasionally lick their butts and eat grass, you say? No matter, we’re probably kissing them. Drool, like the fur that’s almost always present on our jet-black clothes, is just another knowing trait of owning a dog, and we wouldn’t trade these minor inconveniences for the world.
3. Our voices will change when we speak to them, and it won’t be pretty
It’s no different from talking to cute babies. Our voices practically change themselves when interacting with something so cute. Not to mention, many dog people (myself included) find dogs cuter than babies. While our voices may reach unimaginable octaves that could shatter glass and we express words that haven’t yet been invented, as long as that little dog’s tail is wagging, that’s all that matters.
4. Sometimes, our dogs become priority
Assuming the pooch has been in our lives prior to our involvement with you, you have to expect that plans might be cancelled due to the dog either being sick, or hurting itself. Some advice? Don’t let this make you jealous, because our dog won’t ever replace you. As stated earlier, the dog is like a family member, and you should appreciate that we’re treating them so well, it just goes to show you how well you’ll be tended to down the road.
5. We make for fantastic cuddlers
Before you came into our lives, our pooch was the preferred cuddle buddy. Every dog owner cuddles with their dog, and if they don’t, it was their dog’s choice not to – sometimes they just want to go to sleep, and that sucks for us. With that stated, it’s assumed (and mandatory) that you’re going to be alright cuddling with both us and our dog. If it’s any consolation, we’re quite proficient at (and generous with) head scratches.
6. We’re completely loyal
Dogs are known to be the most loyal of pet companions and this same sentiment can be shared for dog owners. By choosing to purchase a dog, we’ve chosen to take care of something that requires much more tender loving care than that of a hamster or guinea pig. We’ll do it and do it well. Needless to say, you can expect the same for yourself.
7. We're ready for long-term commitment
We’ve purchased a puppy that we will love and care for its entire life, if that doesn’t tell you we’re ready for commitment, I’m not sure what can.
8. Sometimes things get weird. Really weird
If you can stay with a dog lover in their wildest moments, you’re a keeper. We’ll sing nonsensical lyrics to songs that we’ve created specifically for our pooches, and we’ll dance around them saying things that we'd never dare say in public. But that’s par for the course with us dog owners, and if you have a problem with it – and I know I can’t speak for everyone, but – you’re better off joining the nonsense than you are shunning it.
9. You’re expected to love our dog as much as we do
If you’re dating a dog person and aren’t so fond of the little guy, you can never fess up to it. To us, you liking the pet (and the pet liking you in return) is more important than our parent’s impression of you, because we can work on that. Our dog is a big part of us, so it’s required you love them – we’re a package deal.
10. We’re nurturers
We take them outside to poop, clean said poop, feed them, walk them, bring them to the vet, and we don’t hate it. In fact, some of us kind of love it. While we won’t clean your poo or take you to the vet, we’re certainly going to take very good care of you.
Images: Elena Signorini/Flickr; Giphy