I am a dogaholic. It’s a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on and excessive obsession with dogs. Since 1987 my home has never had less than two dogs, and has sometimes had as many as six at a time. It begs the question: how many dogs are too many? I decided long ago that as long as everybody has
enough love, attention, food and vet care, the answer is: as many as my lifestyle and the square footage of my home can support. Sometimes that line gets a little bit blurred, but we manage.
Currently, there are five, and if my lifestyle and square footage would support it, there’d be about ten more. Those ten would probably be Jack Russells, because I don’t think there’s a funnier dog in the universe.
I love dogs. I love everything about them. Maybe even to the point of weirdness. (OK..definitely to the point of weirdness.)
You know that wet dog smell? Well, as long as the dog is clean, I kind of like that smell.
You know how some people won’t let their dog on the bed? Well, I don’t really feel right unless I have at least one dog on the bed with me. Preferably snuggled close. I don’t even mind sharing my pillow, as long as I’m sharing it with the right end of the dog. It feels so weird not sleeping with a dog on the bed, that one night I spent at my brother’s apartment, I actually asked him if I could borrow one of his dogs to sleep on my bed. I’ve been known to invite all five of our dogs onto my bed with me, and sleep very very soundly.
You know how some people are self-motivated to exercise? Well, I’m not. Luckily I have a big dog that forces me to walk him several times every day. He literally will bark at me until I get my fat butt off the couch. I complain about the way he’s always nagging me, but the truth is that I’m grateful for his ambition.
You know how some people get grossed out because a dog licks them? Well, one of my dogs is an obsessive foot-licker, and since that’s the only foot massage I can get on any given day, it’s embarrassing to admit, but I don’t exactly discourage her when she’s licking my feet. It actually feels kind of great.
You know all those things your mom said to you when you were little? All the “Because I said so”s and the “Children are starving in China”s? I say doggie versions of that stuff to my dogs. “What? You’re not gonna eat that? Don’t you know they EAT dogs in other countries?” In fact, I talk to my dogs all the time; probably more than I talk to my spouse.
You know how some people tell their kids “Don’t kiss the dog!”? Well, I kiss my dogs. I kiss their ears and their foreheads and their eyes and their muzzles and sometimes I even kiss their paws. It’s a little embarrassing, but Rocket Boy has such a cute mouth that sometimes I kiss him on his adorable little lips. And you know what? My dogs like to be kissed.
You know how some people can’t stand it when dogs bark? I don’t mind it so much, unless I’m trying to talk on the phone. Sometimes when they are barking, I actually try to whip them into a little more of a frenzy to see if I can get some howling going. Howling seems like the ultimate freedom to me. Plus, I like to tease them about whether or not they can make an “O” with their lips.
Every neighborhood I’ve ever lived in, I’ve known the
dogs’ names before the peoples’ names. And now, when I think back to different times in my life, the dog names still come to mind: Gabriel, Dundy, MacGregor, Murphy, Cotton, Bandita, Freckles, Dawg, Lucy, Hershey, Foster, Dexter…but most of the humans’ names are much harder and sometimes downright impossible to excavate.
Dog-o-holism. Obsession. Addiction. Whatever you want to call it. I’m glad nobody has come up with a rehab for it.