When my boyfriend and I went on our very first vacation together, he slept in the hotel armchair. And it wasn’t because we were particularly coy or chaste. It was because there was no room for him on the bed.
When I woke up to find my guy in the chair, he explained the bed had already been taken, with me on one side and my big-bubula dog on the other.
While some may view his decision to sleep on the chair instead of moving the dog as absurd, I found it completely endearing. We eventually moved in together (although he made dang sure to bring his own bed).
The Strange Shift
Something strange happens to dog owners somewhere along the line, where actions that may appear indulgent, over-the-top or even downright freakish to others become completely normal to us. Having your boyfriend sleep on the armchair while your dog hogs the bed is one of them.
But the actions in no way stop there. Not only do we come to believe that our actions are completely normal, but we have reasonable explanations to back up the things we do. Like hauling a 60-pound pooch in and out through the bedroom window.
When I first got my big-bubula dog, he would only go in and out of the house through the bedroom window. The window was low enough for him to jump out on his own, but I did have to hoist him up to help him back inside.
Reasonable Explanation: My dog was OK in the bedroom, but afraid of the rest of the house. He wouldn’t even walk through it to get to the front door. This may have come from living his whole life in a shelter, or the fact that the house was a 100-year-old carriage station/post office turned into a farmhouse that was haunted by a screaming ghost (but that’s another story altogether).
Thankfully my dog got out of the window habit the instant we moved, and well before he hit a hefty 120 pounds.
Some people let their dogs sit at the kitchen table with them while they’re eating. While I haven’t done that (mainly because I couldn’t get my dogs to sit in chairs), I have ignored bad table manners. I instead learned to shield my food and eat in high places.
My sister-in-law didn’t realize that, however, when she was visiting and decided to eat a slice of pizza while sitting prettily on the couch. Just as she was moving the pizza to her mouth to take the first bite, big-bubala snatched the entire slice right out of her hand.
Throughout his life, big-bubula snatches included a pound of freshly grilled kielbasa, a whole tub of sliced ham and pretty much any other food item that wasn’t at least 6 feet off the ground.
Reasonable Explanation: You mean you’re supposed to reprimand dogs when they snatch your food? How was I to know? It was my first dog.
Alas, I can no longer use the “first dog” excuse for one of the indulgences I allow my fourth dog. I spoon-feed him. This one is embarrassing, and one of my friends was even making fun of people who spoon-feed their pets (until I fessed up I was one of them).
Reasonable Explanation: The guy’s a picky eater – at least when it comes to actual dog food. He’ll eat shoes, couch cushions and all types of dog treats with absolutely no problem. But when it comes to dog food, even the canned stuff, he won’t touch it unless it comes on a spoon.
Indoor Mine Field
You know you’re an indulgent pet parent when every step you take around the house ends up landing on a jagged chew hoof, part of a knuckle bone or a squeaky toy that once looked like a giraffe. We won’t even discuss those unidentifiable tidbits littering the floor that could be wood chips, bone shards or a piece of the neighbor’s toupee.
Reasonable Explanation: Every time you pick the stuff up, the dogs quickly replace it with even weirder debris. The routine gets a bit old. It’s much easier just to leave it there, at least until it’s time for the weekly vacuum when you get to revel in that full five minutes of a spic-and-span house.
Dog Hair as a Way of Life
Before I even adopted my first dog, I devised a keen strategy for avoiding the dog hair problem. Since I usually wore black, I would simply adopt a black dog, right? Then I fell in love with the beige-and-brown big-bubula and the strategy flew out the (bedroom) window.
I’ve instead invested in sticky dog-hair roller picker-uppers, dog hair brushes, dog hair gloves and even a super-powered pet hair vacuum that smells like a kennel every time you turn it on. And when I did eventually adopt a black dog, the hair never properly blended with the clothes.
In a bid to profit from all this dog hair, I made “Lucky Hair Ball Art” I tried to sell on Etsy. For some reason, no one bought it.
Reasonable Explanation: Did you know humans shed between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells every single hour? That makes all the dog hair look like child’s play, no?
When it comes down to it, there is really nothing all that strange about indulging our pet’s every whim. Hauling them in and out of the bedroom window or feeding them with a spoon is truly a minuscule price to pay for all the love, attention and laughs they give us their whole lives long.
How do you spoil your pet? Do tell!