The only living thing I own besides the millions of bacteria in my gut is my plant Deb, who is a succulent. She prefers to be watered about once a month but can live forever without any moisture whatsoever, because she’s a badass. She’s not like other pets.
In contrast, Rosie – my sister’s dog who I’m taking care of for the weekend – needs to be watered daily, even multiple times a day. She’s an English Springer Spaniel puppy that is part demon, part beauty queen and completely adorable.
I’ve enjoyed spending time with her and cuddling with her and all of that, but I’ve noticed that I’ve taken on some of the more annoying mannerisms I see in “dog people,” the kinds of people who throw their pooches birthday parties and refer to themselves as the dog’s mom or dad, which I find disturbing. Here are some of the most pressing ones:
1. Referring to my sister and brother-in-law as Rosie’s parents i.e. “Rosie, do you miss mommy and daddy?”
2. Talking to Rosie is a high pitched sing song voice and saying thing like, “Rosie, do you see the birds? Do you know what a crow is? I bet you wish you could fly.”
3. Taking bad pictures of Rosie and then posting on social media.
4. Telling family both what you did during the day and everything that Rosie did and ate and how cute she was and wondering why they don’t care that much about Rosie.
5. Bragging about how pretty Rosie is at the dog park in an underhanded way. “Is that your dog? She’s beautiful!” “Yeah, Rosie’s my sister’s dog. I’m just the dog sitter, but yeah she is gorgeous. Purebred.”
6. Planning my day and life around the dog, avoiding staying out too late because I need to go back and give Rosie night cuddles.
7. Picking up dog poop and forgetting how disgusting / weird it is.
8. Thinking life with a dog is better than any other life that could possibly exist.
9. Feeling very proud for very small things, like if Rosie plays with another dog at the park, or does a good job fetching. Telling family members about her small accomplishments.
10. Obsessively try to get Rosie to make friends at the dog park and talk to her in that high sing song voice, “Rosie, go play with that dog! She’s the same size as you. Be friends!”
11. Talk to Rosie even when there are other humans around. Ignore the other humans.
12. Thinking Rosie and I have a spiritual connection that spans species and life expectancies.
All in all, it’s been fun. I’m not ready for a furry pet yet, but I’m sure I’ll overwhelm Deb with attention when I get back to SF next week. She’ll need strength.