I come from a family of dog lovers – my mom, dad and two brothers are all crazy about dogs like me. But while visiting my family last weekend, I realized that nondoglovers put up with a lot from their family members who do love dogs.
Take my grandma, for example, a nondoglover who must tolerate two hyperactive sporting dogs every time she visits her son’s family; three if Ace and I visit! And she does it with no complaints. I would consider my boyfriend Josh a dog lover still in the making, but watching Josh and my grandma interact with the dogs made me think about what nondoglovers have to put up with.
Josh and Grandma tolerated dogs begging for food from from their plates, dogs’ heads in their laps, dogs crying for attention, dogs bumping against their legs, dog hair on their food and clothes, drool flying across the room and lots of talk about dogs from all of us.
By observing from a new perspective, I realized my family and I sometimes cater to our dogs more than we do the humans. More than once, I noticed my dad or mom interrupt Grandma while she was speaking to say something like, “Oh look at Elsie (the golden retriever), she’s so tired,” or, “Aw, Sophie (the Springer spaniel) is so cute right now.” I caught myself doing the same thing a few times to point out something cute my mutt was doing. No matter what the topic of conversation was, sooner or later, it would always drift back to the topic of dogs. That’s just what dog lovers do; we talk about our dogs. Why do you think I write a dog blog?
I also watched as one dog after another wanted inside, then outside, then on the deck, then off the deck, then inside again, and always, someone would give each dog what it wanted. Dogs were jumping in and out of the kiddie pool, bringing us their toys and demanding attention. And I’m not trying to complain about my parents’ dogs here, because my mutt was included in all of this! More than once I put his leash and Gentle Leader on to help him chill out.
I try to be considerate of nondoglovers in the family, as long as they don’t complain about my mutt. I often play ringleader and gather all the dogs on the floor beside me and make them stay. That’s to give the nondoglovers a break. The nondoglovers don’t realize what they are missing, but they will never become dog lovers if they are totally annoyed by dogs.