Shout Out to the Dog Owners

…who find their pockets full of weird chicken jerky dust, little crumbs of it stuck in the seams, and now, they’ve got to turn the pockets inside out to get it all out of there.

… who found out that the dog was sleeping on their fleece after they got on the bus to go to work, that nice dark blue fleece, the one that is now fuzzy with dog hair in a perfectly contrasting white.

… who apologized from across the street while their dog strained at the leash and barked but “We’re working on it, sorry,” oh, I know, I know.

… who pulled half a dozen plastic bags out of their backpack while searching for a pen.

… who picked up and put down every single ridiculous little holiday accessory, the antler headbands, the elf hats, the Christmas sweaters, the Yoda outfit, okay, that one’s funny, at the novelty rack in the pet supply store.

… who said “No, he’s doing GREAT,” while watching your hesitant little dog figure out what to do when a much bigger dog, still a very well behaved one, tried to sniff his butt at the dog park.

… who tucked a dog between their feet at the dog friendly cafe or bar, occasionally handing down a little nibble of something something as a reward for said dog sitting calm and quiet.

… who had their dog stand still and wait patiently while we calmed down enough to keep walking, double shout out to the dog owners who let us include their dog in our training exercises.

… who cooed sweetly at a certain barky pup while he alerted the staff to their arrival and cooed again when said barky pup understood that the situation was now under control, he could stand down, “Oh, isn’t he a good dog, then?”

… who re-gifted their toys and rejected treats and sent sweaters, some hand-knitted, and t-shirts, and asked us when they would get to meet this particular dog as though he was going to sit down at the kitchen table and tell his story rather than check the situation out and then, head back to his crate in the bedroom because if a dog can be an introvert, this is that dog.

… who pulled rain pants on over their flannel jammies and took the dog out for a walk in the dark and blustery fall/winter weather, because twice a day, rain or shine, that’s what a dog needs to be happy.

… who left the party kind of early to drive home because the dog needed let out he’s probably fine but if we head out now there’s time to run him around the block before bed.

… who shook their heads at the chewed up drain stopper or souvenir that was on just too low a shelf or the sock dragged outside or the knocked over Christmas tree or the little muddy footprints across the kitchen floor or whatever it was, I guess it was kind of funny if you think about it.

… who recognized the dog-shaped space in their lives and headed to the shelter to find the dog that fit, maybe slide him in there sideways and rotate him, okay, good enough, good enough.

… who reached down when they were sleeping and scratched a doggy little belly, making the dog grunt just a little, and sigh, and then, everyone went back to sleep.

Shout out to the dog owners.

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