Furry Friday: Secret Dog Owner Behaviors (SDOB)

There once was a Sex and the City episode that dealt with the SSB: Secret Single Behavior. Those quirky things that are fine to do when you’re single but a partner would find just weird. Drinking straight out of the bottle and leaving one’s jeans at the front door if the legs got a soaking from a sudden downpour are a couple, but they’re not all “I get to be messy” behaviors. Examining one’s pores in the mirror, an obsession with the VS Semi-Annual Sale or eating odd snackage (like pretzels and havarti) for dinner qualify.

When the puppacita climbed on top of me in the middle of the night last evening, snuggled up and went to sleep — thus ensuring that she’d found a place in today’s Furry Friday — I began thinking about the Secret Dog Owner Behaviors. They don’t really cross into the SSB, because obviously the men I get involved with must love animals, too. People often randomly ask if the puppacita (Chi-Chi, my 5-pound Chihuahua) sleeps in the bed with me, and perhaps it’s odd that I find that an odd question: Why would she NOT? I don’t even know what crate training is. I just know that the puppacita belongs curled up with me, not in curled up in a box.

What are some other SDOB? Swallowing my pride, which is overshadowed by the love for my pup, here are several I’ll admit to:

  • Dog Adventure Day: This is usually a Saturday, or when I similarly have the time to take her out for “adventure,” which to a 5-pound dog means something wild and crazy like the park or pet store, shopping or sightseeing, and often culminates in a shared meal like a turkey burger at a patio restaurant. How do these begin? I say to her in the morning, in a certain tone of voice that she probably recognizes, “Are you a dog who loves adventure?” Wag, wag, wag, wag. “You ARE a dog who loves adventure. I KNEW it!” Happy dance and she runs for a leash. And there’s a jingle that accompanies this, as well. And, of course, a hashtag: #DogAdventureDay

  • Speaking of the dogs at restaurants: I just won’t eat at a place that tells me to tie puppacita outside the railing or even make her sit on the ground. It’s in her bag, on an extra chair pulled up close to me, or nada. In the photo above, she’s angling for some poor businessman’s lunch at American Tap Room.
  • Or me at a restaurant trying to get special food for the dog: I once held up the Subway line by trying to convince them to sell me just one of those containers of the chopped-up chicken. They insisted I buy a full sandwich. I won.
  • Sing-songs: I sing Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” to the dog. Well, she is my little sunshine. She even has a hoodie that says “Little Sunshine.”
  • Speaking of those dog clothes: I’ve bought such a wardrobe for her that I needed to build a special closet rack for those tiny hangers, extending the height of the closet door and composed out of the wire frames for a back-of-the-door panty rack. It’s separated into T-shirts and tanks, dresses, sweaters, hoodies, coats, and accessories.
  • Cutesy words: Instead of pee and poop, I ask if she needs to go “wysiwig” or “poh-poh.” Sounds better? I don’t know.
  • Sugary sweet routines: When I come home, she does her happy dance, and I take her out to whizzy, as I carry her downstairs I whisper to the puppa, “Did you have a tiny day?” Before we go to sleep, I whisper, “I love you, tiny puppa.”
  • Anything for my puppa: I’m pretty sure the number of open bags of dog treats in the kitchen is about to surpass the number of open, half-full bottles of Philosophy shower gels ringing my oval tub (and THAT is an SSB).