I know there are millions of people in the world who think dog lovers are a bunch of weirdos.
They think we're ridiculous because we want our dogs to have a comfortable bed to sleep on and good health care for a long and happy life. The general public thinks we're out of our minds because we're basically looking out for their overall well-being the way one does for kids.
And that's the part some don't understand. They ARE our kids. They're just covered in fur.
Haven't you stared into a dog's eyes? Do you not see someone? Can you not see their soul piercing right back at you?
Blame it on the Oxytocin if you don't feel the connection...
Granted, dogs are a different kind of "kid" for me, however, there are people out there who literally treat their dog like actual human beings. No restrictions, way too much freedom, and zero training...
And then there are people who once hated dogs who are constantly converting into dog lovers. It happens all the time. You hear of stories where people who've never owned a dog in their life simply because they didn't care for animals; then, all of the sudden, they adopt a dog and start a business around their new doggy-love. And we're constantly hearing stories about dogs who inspired their humans to make 180's in their life for the better.
Aren't these the same kind of things humans have been known to do when a child comes into their life? They're inspired to make life changes because they find purpose. Humans observe kids, the way their personalities are and become inspired at how genuine and innocent they are. How they only live in the moment. Dogs are no different. Dogs ONLY live in the moment.
Obviously, owning a dog will not teach you how to raise a kid and having raised kids will not teach you how to raise a dog. There is some overlap, though. I can go on-and-on about how similar dogs and kids are, but they are two completely different things at the end of the day.
But I admit, there are a few things dog lovers do that make us come off a bit coocoo. Having been around dogs most of my life–owning my share of dogs, attending dogs shows and owning dog related businesses–I've come across, met, and made friends with thousands of dog owners.
And just when I thought I offered a lot for my dogs like extra special treats on their birthday, there are some over-the-top-things that make me wonder if that person is sane.
Throwing random dog parties are always awkward. Some dog owners invite all their dog-friends, have tons of stuff to drink, eat food and cake–the dogs mostly. There's music, doggy-games, and all sorts of activities for the dogs to engage in.
Themed Dog Birthday Parties
Full blown dog-parties with hosts, chefs, and lots of presents that get opened at the end of the event. Dogs' lives are too short so a part of me understands. But still...
Dog Television - DogTV
If you're not aware by now, there is DogTV. Literally, television programs that have been scientifically modified for dog vision and hearing. For $4.99 a month your dog can now be entertained while you are at work.
Dressing your dog in anything more than a collar might seem excessive. Some dog owners dress their dogs up every single day because they feel their dogs would be naked, otherwise. Some dogs have closets full of clothes--twice the amount of their human.
Dogs hold a true soft spot in the family so much now, I've witnessed dogs eat on booster seats at the dinner table. Bib and all.
Please don't make me explain.
If your dog is vegan and you're not, that's pretty weird. I've come across dog owners who have their dogs on vegan diets but take no part in it themselves. No true explanation, other than stating it's the 'thing' to do.
Pushing your dog around in a stroller instead of walking them is still something I have a hard time accepting. Though there are special cases–recovering dogs from surgery or senior dogs who are a bit immobile–all dogs capable of exercising should be exercised with a normal walk.
Dog Social Media Accounts
If your dog has multiple social media accounts and you participate in none as a human being, you my friend are weird!
A few things that are starting to see light... meaning, it's reasonable and vital to have these things for dogs in this time of age
Dog health insurance
Like human health insurance, you can save huge by having a decent plan for your dog, should you ever need emergency vet care.
Using seat restraints, barriers, and car hammocks are important because dogs can be a nuisance to drive with if not properly trained to ride in a car. Restraints can also save your dog in most car accidents from serious injury.
It's a proven fact we all need good sleep to live a long and healthy life. Orthopedic beds are no different for dogs. They allow for their sore bones and muscles to rest at ease over memory-foam goodness while also aiding large breeds of dog who are prone to musculoskeletal problems.
Grain free diet and purified water
We are now more than ever conscious about holistic manufacturing and how greatly it can affect our health and overall well being. We all want the same for our dogs. And grain is no good in a dog's carnivorous diet. Grain has been linked to many allergic reactions in dogs amongst other health related issues.
Dog life jackets
Dog life jackets are finally starting to see the light in the dog community. Some dog owners still think they are silly. Personally, I never let my dogs play in lakes or moving-water without one. Play outdoors as much as I do and you'll run into a few experiences. Read here why dog life jackets are important.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing anything you want in life, especially if it isn't hurting anyone. It's your life and you do what your heart desires. That's what life is all about. I live thinking that as long as a dog owner provides the essentials life is good for a dog. What they do after, can only be better for the dog--assuming the human's heart is in the right place.
One thing dog owners need to understand is, dogs should not be treated like humans. All I'm saying here is, there are a lot of behaviors dogs can't process in social settings like we can. They don't care for material things or develop hatred because others have more than they do. Don't think for one second that you need to constantly buy your dog material things, because unlike humans, dogs can care less about the quantity of things they have. Instead, focus on their health, mental well-being, training and safety. Owners who focus on material things for dogs, on average, have misbehaved dogs.
Give your dog the right kind of love. Don't get caught up in the craziness.