My friends laughed at me and saying things like “I can’t believe you’re getting a dog” or “you don’t seem like a dog person” and I took great (ok slight) offense to these comments. The dog owners I know love their dogs, take care of them and walk them- did I seem like someone who incapable of these things? I have a husband and two sons and (at least on certain days) I think they’d say I’m caring maybe even affectionate. But deep down I know these friends, as good friends often are, were dead on. I am not someone who ever talked to my kids in the “gootchie gootchie goo” voice, I am not someone who pets other dogs or someone who wants anyone, human or canine, to lick my face. I should say I wasn’t that way before because now? I think I’m a dog person.
Like I’m sure many of you, I like my life full and add more that I should. If my life were a plate, I would judge the portion of food on it gluttonous. At work, I like to see 8 clients a day, that’s ideal but on many days I see 12. I wake up at 5am to get stuff done. Right now I have a new book coming out, we doing a major renovation in Vermont so a new puppy? Why not? Well, when I was out on West End Avenue at 2AM with the new puppy the first night or when he sprinted over to the carpet in the foyer (which I love) and “marked it” or when he chewed on the wires that provide our internet connect I had a few responses.
But here’s the deal- this little puppy Bronco is really cute. And because I feed him and walk him (most of the time) and give him (kale) treats he likes me. I loved a study conducted on married people that concluded that your recovery from a stressful event is quicker when you’re around your dog than your spouse, interesting. And the walking? Well my Fitbit is happy (dog owners are more likely to get sufficient physical activity)…I get home from spinning and we go for a walk or when I get home from work. The truth is it’s nice to be outside at all these different times of day. I was watching my new favorite show Super Soul Sunday yesterday and Ann Lamott said, “when you are stuck spiritually just go outside”.
I used to be someone who didn’t leave the house without brushing my hair and applying some concealer and now I go out in pajama bottoms or whatever else I am wearing or not wearing when nature calls for Bronco. The whole family is in love and it has given us a project or cause to come together around. My 11 year old walks him and the 9 year old works on his training and my semi-reserved (opposites attract) husband enjoys the lady-attention one gets when a grown man is with a teeny tiny animal (I am approached less often but I do have some new gay, male friends so it’s perfect). It’s really as though a whole parallel universe has been opened up.
If there’s one thing I could do without it’s the chatter from strangers. Having a dog has been shown to increase social engagement but I feel I was already engaged enough. I joke that I want a sign that reads “he’s a Boston terrier puppy, he’s 13 weeks old, yes he’s a lot of work but it’s all worth it.”
PS We had our follow up vet appointment. The little pup was just over 5 pounds when we got him and in a few weeks he’s almost 8 pounds. Too much “good” fat? I don’t want him to have issues but…kidding. Now that I’m in this world, I was happy to see the FDA taking pet food more seriously.
Do you have a dog? Have you considered getting one? Why/why not?
The winners of the Hilary’s Burger Giveaway are Nina, Andrea, Jen, EA (the Spicy RD) and Sasha.