You know you are a dog person when...

  • You have pot-holders, t-shirts, key chains, checkbook covers, refrigerator magnets,
    artwork, greeting cards, garden sculpture, etc. with your breed represented on it (Bonus
    points granted for commissioned work).

  • You save up for months before a specialty show in order to round out your collection.

  • You buy premium quality dog kibble for your dog, but live on take-out, frozen pizza, and
    blue-box macaroni and cheese yourself.

  • You buy vitamin supplements for your dog and administer them daily (wrapped in cheese if
    necessary), but consider yourself fortunate if you remember to take your own more than
    twice a week.

  • You have more dog beds, chew toys, collars, leashes, harnesses, and dog crates than you
    have dogs (Bonus points if you've kept puppy collars, toys, and crates for "the next one").

  • You've memorized you dog's pedigree at least 5 generations back (including coat colors,
    kennels, and personality descriptions)--but know next to nothing about your own parentage.

  • You meet someone when out walking your dogs and you introduce your dogs first.

  • You meet other people with dogs, and remember their dog's call name after 30 seconds,
    but don't get the owner/handler's name until you've met them 2 or 3 times. (At which point
    you know the dog's registered name, lineage, show history, and probably only the first
    name of the owner/handler. Last names take 3-4 meetings unless you've heard about the
    people from other dog people first.)

  • Your dog gets a deep cut on the pad of his foot and gets emergency medical attention at
    the vet; but you break your toes and settle for taping them together with duct tape and
    taking some aspirin to kill the pain.

  • Your dog gets regular checkups every 6 months, but you've lived in the state for five years
    and don't have a doctor yourself. (Score double points on this one if you have a reserve vet
    lined up for your dogs as well.)

  • The word "bitch" becomes non-derogatory and flows naturally in most conversations.

  • You have a plastic kiddie wading pool in the back yard, but no kids. (Double points if
    you have a pool for each dog.)

  • The dog's kibble is stored in 45 gallon garbage cans, and the water is kept in a bucket
    with it's own drip tray under it. (Score extra if you have had a water tap installed over
    the bucket to save time, or [for longhaired breeds] if you keep a towel lying
    permanently on the floor to soak up drips and squeegee around with your foot.)

  • You slipcover all the furniture in a complementary color to your dog to make it easier
    to hide/remove the dog hair.

  • You use kennel disinfectant in the house.

  • You have a case of Summer's Eve disposable douche in the house for emergency
    treatment of a skunk attack. (Extra points given if a male friend picked this up for you at
    the store.)

  • You don't think twice about trading licks of an ice cream cone with your dog.

  • Your family has resigned themselves to the fact that you're bringing your dog to all
    holiday gatherings (or you don't bother coming at all).

  • Vaccination and licensing records for all your dogs are in perfect order, but your
    checkbook hasn't been balanced in months, and last year's tax records are nowhere to
    be found.

  • You keep license tags from dogs long gone to the rainbow bridge.

  • You justify the purchase of a larger vehicle or house because of the dogs.

  • You change jobs so you can spend more time with the dogs.

  • You justify the addition of a male friend in your life so you can have someone around to pet sit when you go away on business travel.

  • You justify the addition of a male friend in your life so you can have someone to hold the dogs when you're out walking in town and want to run into a store to buy coffee or ice

  • You plan all vacations around dog activities/events. ("Well, our breed specialty is in
    upstate New York this year, let's get out the map and see what else is interesting in
    that area..." or "Let's go on a walking tour or Savannah so we can bring the dogs
    along--now what hotel chains allow dogs?")

  • Your dog gets his teeth brushed daily, scaled weekly, and dental cleaning at the vet's
    every 6-12 months--and you can't remember your dentist's name.

  • You've memorized the vet's phone number. (Bonus points if you have his home phone
    memorized as well.)

  • You become paranoid about keeping ID on your dog at all times (collar, tags, microchip,
    tattoo), but don't bother to carry any ID yourself.

  • Your parents give up on grandchildren and start to refer to your dogs as "your kids"
    or your children." (Bonus: they start to call them "our granddogs.")

  • 90 percent of your Internet connection time goes to the dogs (seeing what's new when
    you enter your breed into the browser, reading up on multiple lists, checking out
    photos, sounds and FAQs, etc.).

  • You have kiddie gates permanently installed at strategic locations in the house--but no

  • You have nose prints on all glass surfaces--windows, doors, inside the car, etc.--and
    you leave them there because cleaning them seems so futile at this point.

  • Your dog gets sick and you sleep next to him in a sleeping bag in the kitchen in case he
    needs to go out.

  • You take a sick day from work to take care of your dog.

  • You take bereavement leave when you dog dies.

  • Relative solidity of dog excrement is a suitable topic for discussion in mixed company.

  • You carry plastic "pickup" bags and an extra kennel lead in your purse, pocket, and car
    at all times.

  • You talk about your dogs the way most people talk about their children.

  • You go to pet supply stores on weekends because it's one of the few places you can
    take your dog.

  • You take your dog for rides in the car; and treat him to a drive-thru window burger at
    McDonalds on special occasions.

  • You celebrate dog events (new dog, dog birthday, finished championships, etc.) by
    throwing catered parties with lots of people--but you ignore your own birthday.

  • Your license plate, license-plate frame, or bumper sticker mentions your dog or breed.

  • You lecture people on responsible pet ownership and breed rescue whenever you can.

  • You don't work late or socialize after work because you have to get home to take care
    of your dog.

  • You have hundreds of pictures of your dogs on your desk at work, in your wallet, etc.,
    but none of your family or yourself.

  • You keep 2-liter bottles of water and a water dish in the car at all times.

  • You keep the heartworm medication in the refrigerator in the "deli drawer."

  • You're willing to drive an hour in a snowstorm to make it to obedience class, but can't
    be bothered to drive the 30 minutes to a friend's house for dinner or to visit.

  • No one wants to ride in your car because they know they'll get dog hair on their

  • You don't mind it when you find dog hair in the sink, tub, embedded in the carpet or
    your clothes, or mixed in your food. (Take an extra point if you don't bother trying to
    remove the hair from your food--extra protein right?)

  • Half your laundry is dog blankets, sheets, and beds. (Bonus: Your dog was sick on them
    and you have to sneak into the local Laundromat at midnight to do the wash.)

  • You never think about how much money you spend on the dogs (or how much debt you
    could reduce by not having them around).

  • You reach into your pockets for change, and liver treats, dog kibble, and pickup bags
    fall all over. (Bonus: You've done this in a classy establishment.)

  • You pick up _other_ dogs' excrement when you go on walks in your neighborhood.

  • All of your charitable donations go to dog-related and humane society groups.

  • You've conducted a taste test for dog kibble by buying multiple brands of food and
    evaluating your dog's interest in each one. (Extra points if you made a party out of it
    and invited other friends and their dogs over. Or tasted it yourself.)

  • You've had long meaningful discussions with your friends on the best way to trim your
    dog's nails, but have never had a manicure or pedicure in your lifetime.

  • Your personal calendar has notations in it for heartworm medication, vaccine and
    license renewals, obedience class, breed club meetings, local shows, sale days at
    Cherrybrook, etc.--but few or no family events.

  • Tax rebates go to "the dog fund" or a spending spree through the supply catalogs.

  • You get birthday cards for each of your dogs from family, friends, and the vet. (Bonus
    if you keep them on the refrigerator for more than a month.)

  • The total "poundage" of canines outweighs the total poundage of humans in the

  • Your dog does something wonderfully cute, and you call your friends to tell them about
    it. (Bonus: The call is long distance, to a non-dog person, and you keep them on the line
    for more than 2 hours.)

  • You are unbelievably pleased to receive a dog item (any dog item) as a gift--especially
    from a "non-dog" friend. (They really cared even if it's not your breed.)

  • You'll buy anything with your breed on it--even the mug with the Malamute on it that
    looks like an anemic Siberian Husky, or the Greyhound keychain that looks more like an
    IG. (Note: People owned by rare breeds are very susceptible to this disease.)

  • You order a tailor-made dog blanket to keep your aging dog warm, but don't wear
    anything yourself that didn't come through a production line.

  • All of your furniture came to you second hand or via curbside discard, but your dog
    crates are top of the line, industry premium.

  • You consider dog crates to be an inspired form of interior decorating. (Bonus: you use
    them as end tables in your living room.)

  • You spend more time and effort grooming your dog than yourself. (And it shows--your
    dog gets more compliments than you do.)

  • Books and movies are ruined for you if the dog references are incorrect.

  • You've considered moving into the kennel since it's cleaner than your house.

  • You have a bad day and decide that your dog is the best "person" to talk it over with.

  • The sound of any liquid hitting the floor two rooms away at 3 a.m. is enough to launch
    you out of bed; but otherwise you can sleep through a ringing telephone, the alarm
    clock, earthquake tremors, etc.

  • Your mood today depends on how yesterday's training session went.

  • The highlight of your day is spending time with your dog.

  • You spend a fortune to visit another country, and spend all your time visiting kennels.
    You hate posing for pictures unless you're with your dog.

  • You chirp, cluck, whistle, make kissy noises, and give "stay" and "heel" commands to
    your car. (Bonus: if you do this and give the "beg" command to your male friend.)

  • Most of your social life is with other dog people.

  • You run out of books to read on your breed/interest and hear about a new book being
    released in another country. You call every person you know and start to figure out
    exchange rates, query the Internet, etc. to obtain it.

  • You watch simply awful movies because your breed is either featured in a cameo scene
    or there's a 3-second camera shot during a crowd scene. (Bonus points awarded if you
    move through the scene frame by frame or in slow motion, or if you watch the rest of
    the movie.)

  • You get so frustrated about the lack of cable TV in your area that you get a satellite
    dish or direct feed so you can watch the Westminster Kennel Club Show on the
    Madison Square Garden network.

  • You know more about canine nutrition than human nutrition (and it shows).

  • All of your clothes have dog hair on them, even when they come back from the
    Laundromat or dry cleaners.

  • You're willing to pet sit, but not baby sit for friends.

  • The only thing your friends, colleagues, and passing acquaintances say to you when
    they see you is, "How are the dogs?" or "How many dogs do you have now?"

  • Your dog gets his coat stripped/trimmed more often than you get a hair cut.

  • You save every dog magazine you've ever bought.

  • If a conversation with your family includes: "Are dogs all you *ever* think about? They
    are running your life--all your money, time, friends, vacation, and holidays are spent
    with the dogs. Even your house and car!!..." and you can still smile.

  • Your vet, back-up vet, emergency vet clinic, and obedience instructor are all
    programmed speed dials on your telephone.

  • Your photo Christmas cards feature your dogs (humans optional).

  • You have memorized the addresses of your breed association, local clubs, and the

  • You have extra dog collars and leashes on the walls, grooming tools on the TV and
    sofa, dog beds strewn across all flat surfaces, kibble crud around the base of your
    cabinets, chew toys everywhere, dog-fur dust rhinos skidding across the carpet, and a
    long line of drips from the water bucket to the living room across the hardwood
    floors--and you don't care. (Bonus and automatic win if you have important company
    coming and you ignore all the housekeeping in order to groom the dogs before
    company arrives.)

Rose Edwards
e-mail address here
419 North Superior Ave.
Baraga, MI. 49908