Inside looking out: My life as a dog
In my next life I want to be a dog.
Of course, I want to live with a family who loves me and takes care of me.
In fact, while birth rates continue to decline in this country, pet ownership has increased by 50 percent over the past two decades, and at latest count, nearly 80 million families in America own pets.
Here’s the first reason why I want to come back as a dog. A pooch in the room gets immediate attention like no human being. Walk into any dog home, and you pet the pooch before you settle in with the people.
You want more reasons to be a bowwow? Max the Labrador wags his tail, and we are happy that he’s happy. I wag my tail and you have no idea if I’m happy or I’m just being stupid.
Betsy the beagle runs up to you and licks your face. You like it and you laugh. How about if I lick your face? I’d better duck from the slap I’m about to get.
You lie on the floor and Skippy snorts his cold nose all over your head. You push him gently away, but you really don’t mind. I snort my nose all over your head while you’re sleeping and you might smash my head with the nightstand lamp.
Speaking of sleeping, who was it that first said, “I worked like a dog today?”
When’s the last time you saw a dog work at anything other than dragging its lazy self from the couch to the blanket on the floor and then onto to your bed to get its 16 hours of naps each day.
In fact, a recent survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 42 percent of all dog owners allow their canines to sleep in bed with them at night, and many are married couples.
If husband and wife should argue, hubby goes to the couch, the dog stays in the bed with the Mrs.
Another old saying that holds no truth is, “I was sick as a dog.” Dogs certainly get sick, but they rebound quickly and go on to eating a pound of beef.
Then there’s the backyard poop patrol. Somebody has to shovel or bag it up.
If you’re worried about germs and hygiene, you can buy special toilet paper for dogs to clean his behind so Sparky doesn’t come into the house and slide his rear end on your brand-new carpet to wipe himself.
We love our pets. They don’t talk back. They don’t ask us where we’ve been when we roll in at 2 a.m. If we ignore them for too long, they don’t get mad at us. In fact, we are the ones who become sad if we’re not with our pets for any length of time.
The website “HypeLife” reports, “If given the option, most millennial pet owners would choose to bring their pets to work and are even willing to take a cut in pay for this perk.”
Let’s go a little further with our love of pets. There are pet-friendly restaurants so you can dine with your golden retriever or your siamese cat, and neither will offer to leave the tip.
Going away and you don’t want to leave your Yorkie home alone? Book a pet friendly hotel.
With the holidays upon us, you can buy jewelry engraved with images of you and you and four-legger. Get two so you and Sport can each wear one. Oh, don’t forget to wrap his present, too.
Now I’m not complaining about how we treat animals better than we treat some people, I’m just explaining why I want to be a dog next time around.
Imagine a life in which you never work, sleep all day, get fed, take your owner for a walk, and bark at nothing every now and then just so that the humans in your house think you’re keeping everyone safe.
If I roll over on your kitchen floor, would you give me a treat?
I hope my owner names me “Writer” or I guess I’ll settle for “Ryder.”
Maybe I’ll see you in my next life at the dog park. I’ll be the French bulldog and I hope you come back as a female foxhound, but you’d better smell me first just so you know it’s me.
Rich Strack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.