Being a dog owner means knowing exactly where your dog is hiding when he hears fireworks or the vacuum. It means being able to tell what every whimper and every bark signifies, because the tones sound slightly different.
Being a dog owner means taking him for walks, even when the weather has been crappy lately and work has been stressing you out and you don’t feel like leaving your bedroom. It means putting your dog’s happiness above your own because you know he deserves time outside.
Being a dog owner means annoying your friends with countless stories about what your dog did that day and showing them a million pictures of how cute he looked when he tilted his head at you. It means bragging about him the way other people brag about their babies.
Being a dog owner means getting used to having your favorite black pants covered in fur. It means not being embarrassed when you’re forced to leave the house before you have time to run a lint brush over your outfit, because the mess doesn’t bother you.
Being a dog owner means having someone who actually enjoys listening to your random singing, your baby talk, and your relationship complaints. It means always having someone who is willing to listen without judgement.
Being a dog owner means trying to stay consistent, because your dog knows your schedule as well as you do. He knows what time that you usually come home, what time you usually feed him, and what time you usually play with him. In your opinion, he’s the smartest dog in the world.
Being a dog owner means making sure to control your voice when you’re angry, because if you get too loud, it’s going to scare your poor little pup. It means making sure that arguments with your person and parents and roommates never get out of hand, because it will cause your dog to scamper into the other room.
Being a dog owner means spending more money on him than on yourself. It means picking up a new toy for him every time you visit the pet store.It means buying the canned food and bagged treats he loves the most, even if they’re the most expensive brand.
Being a dog owner means taking control when you have friends and family over. It means teaching your dog not to jump on everyone who walks through the door. And it also means teaching your visitors that it’s not okay to feed him buckets of their table scraps.
Being a dog owner means feeling your heart break a little every time you have to give him a bath or take them to the vet, because you know how much he hates it and it kills you to put him through something so uncomfortable — but you do it anyway, because you want to keep him healthy.
Being a dog owner means you have a best friend who is going to greet you every time you step through your front door. It means you have someone in your life who loves you more than anything — even more their favorite toy or treat.
Being a dog owner means you have a special bond that can never be broken. It means that you have a love that will never die.
Holly Riordan is the author of , available here.
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