Dog Lovers Anonymous

My name is Stephanie. And I have a confession to make…

I’m kind of obsessed with my dogs.

Now, at first read, this might not sound like such a bad thing. Especially to our readers, who probably are all big-time animal lovers (if not, why are you still reading?). And at the very least, you are probably not surprised by this declaration. This is a blog where I write daily about all things relating to my dogs, after all. But for me, it has become a bigger issue. You see, it started small. Just buying them special toys and treats, letting them sleep in bed with us, you know? But if I’m being honest, it all began long ago. Yeah, I was that weird little girl who hadn’t yet lost all of her baby teeth, but could (and enthusiastically would!) tell you the difference between a shar-pei and a basenji, thanks to a dog breed book that went everywhere with me. My parents should have known then that I was destined to be weird.

However, I think that Foster Dad has been fueling the fire as my enabler, because we have officially become That Couple. I find myself only mildly interested in any conversations that don’t revolve around our dogs, and will realize suddenly that without conscious effort, I find new and unique ways to steer the subject back to that topic ever so discreetly. More surprising, I have even caught Foster Dad in conversation with other pet owners, where he is not-so-subtly trying to top their stories of ‘whose animal is more perfect and adorable?’. He will spend the drive home reiterating their conversations to me, aggressively and passionately recounting why Gaige is obviously so much better than Fluffy or Fido or Ferdinand. At the end of these diatribes, Foster Dad will exclaim that Fluffy’s owner is in fact a total jerk, and while had no idea how he hadn’t previously become aware of this over 10+ years of friendship, it was obvious that they just weren’t cut out to be friends. And just forget it if any of his friends dare purchase a purebred pup, utilize a shock collar, or presume to feed their dogs low quality foods or at haphazard times… perhaps this is a sign that my lectures have gone a little bit too far?

Worse still, it has become clear that we will often cancel or cut short our plans in favor of spending more time with our dogs. Why go out for extra drinks after a movie, when instead we could go cuddle with a six-pack on the couch with our pups? After all, the girls have spent the afternoon in their kennels. At least this has a positive effect on our wallets… but of course, any excess funds just go right back to the dogs in the form of expensive organic dog food and our dog fence fund.

The biggest problem is that when leaving the house without the dogs in tow, I experience a sudden and dramatic anxiety. My worry reaches new and unparalleled heights… have the dogs had enough to drink today? Are they worried, wondering where I am? Is my absence hurting their fragile psyches? Did I leave on any electrical appliances that could potentially catch fire and burn down our house? Forget the house, but would the firemen be able to locate our dogs? Should we place signs in our front yard to alert potential rescue crews to their presence? Call me crazy, but I have found myself turning the car around to go home and unplug all. of the appliances. Just to be sure. Friends, if you’re wondering why I’ve been late for most of our meetings recently, now you know.

Whooo. It feels good to get all of that off of my chest. Now I understand why they say that admitting your problem is the first step… though I don’t see my addiction ending anytime soon. And why would I want it to?



15 thoughts on “Dog Lovers Anonymous

  1. I’m definitely obsessed with my dogs but definitely don’t have any issue leaving them at home. The dogs are left with my five children-the youngest is 13, the oldest is 20-and most likely they’re more spoiled by them than by me!

  2. I too was obsessed with my Dog “Rosch”. In fact, we did not plan any long vacation due to Rosch because there were very few Dog friendly resorts nearby. We once left Rosch at Home for a week and ensured that my sister visits my home daily to feed water and food. Then we used to talk to Rosch over my sister’s phone “on speaker on mode”. Rosch is no more alive, still I feel obsessed with Rosch.

    • Ohhhh, us too! We seriously cannot hold a conversation with other people unless dogs are involved. And we are so guilty of not doing extra things with our friends in fear that “Athena has been in her crate too long today,” or “I barely snuggled with Athena today.” Goodness, I’m glad we’re not alone!

  3. We are officially a cult! And I love it 🙂 Hey.. Home is where the Dog is, right ?

    I share ALL your concerns and dispositions – the appliance one, the extra money going into treats/training one, the I will go home now because Kahlua is alone one..

    They change us .. for the better 🙂 AND they train us well! I don’t know why we are under the gross misconception that WE train THEM. haha!

    Loved your post!

  4. Haha Oakley comes with me everywhere… including most of the academic buildings on campus. Why leave her at home when she could just come with?

  5. Get. Out. Of. My. Head! I seriously could have written this same post, word for word. A few grand of a super duper heavy duty fence that is supposed to be invincible? Sign me up! Half way to my destination and think I left my straightener plugged in? Turn right around, doesn’t matter if it’s the President who’s waiting. We might be a little similar. Just a little.

  6. I with you on this one! I cried on Christmas because my brother said it would be too hectic to bring the dogs with me. I’m always partial to staying home with them and I spend a whole lot more money on stuff for them than stuff for myself!

  7. I hear you! In our family and circle of friends I really am the ‘crazy dog lady, thankfully I have a few dog obsessed friends as well and we swap stories about the funny, cute and naughty things our fur kids do. My husband, for the most part is very supportive at least until I start getting neurotic and anxious about things such as leaving them at my parents overnight when there is a storm (dogs aren’t allowed inside and Maxi is frightened of storms), letting Bundy off lead at the beach (his recall is not the best, but improving) and having little kids visit because I watch them like a hawk in case the excitement gets too much for our dogs and they bowl one of the kids over and frighten them. My dogs mean everything to me and as far as I’m concerned I took on the responsibility of adopting them and that means taking dog motherhood seriously 🙂

  8. My husband and I are totally the same way! Me probably a bit more so.. but he’s definitely getting there. I have to remind myself not to disown my best friend who owns “hunting dogs” that live primarily outside. I have to remember that not everyone wants to talk about dogs the entire time we’re at the bar. I have a hard time hanging out with my friends because I want to spend time with my dogs. My idea of vacations are all dog friendly, and I think an exemplary night out is going for a hike with other people with dogs. And maybe a six pack 😉 My idea of a romantic night in includes cramming 2 humans and 3 dogs on to one couch for numerous hours. I don’t actually get to TOUCH my husband.. but I know he’s there. 🙂 Maybe if we stick together we can convince people that it’s totally normal?? lol.

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