Thursday, July 31, 2014

Don't Apologize For Dog Hair & Muddy Paw Prints

We live in a 2 family home. The apartment upstairs has been vacant since February. A couple of days ago that changed. The new tenants have a dog. My wife and I both exhaled. Dog people. Yes! There is an unspoken camaraderie among those of us who are fur parents of dogs. We understand the dog hair, barking, jumping, muddy paw prints, stinky landmines, getting licked, etc. I'm guessing there was a sense of relief when they heard barking coming from downstairs. There. Is. Always. That. Sigh. Of. Relief.

The following day I packaged up some biscuits. A welcome bag of sorts. We wanted to let them know that it wasn't necessary to tone down their dog's noises. We understand dogs will bark at 3 a.m. if they smell something in the air from an opened window. On occasion, they get the zoomies. It's not necessary to panic if their dog jumps on us to give us a friendly hello...even if it leaves a muddy paw print on our shirt. Exhale. Relax. Let your dog be a dog. No stress. No worries. Let the dog-bark-because-they-heard-a-squirrel-fart commence. We're not going to slip into hysteria if your dog licks our hand or face.

That set the tone and broke barriers. Their dog is 80 pounds of pure love and sweet goofiness. Earlier today, after loading the car with some biscuit love for the Ledyard pound, the big nugget of love jumped in our car and sat on the backseat beside the biscuits. He jumped out. Then back in. We stood there laughing. I wonder if his owner expected us to be irritated or annoyed. We told him it was okay. He's a happy dog. Full of life and energy. And, he was simply entertaining us.

Over the months, when we deliver biscuits, it always amazes us how many people "apologize in advance" for their dog simply being a dog.

"Please excuse the dog hair on the sofa."

"Don't mind the hair on the carpets. I haven't vacuumed yet.

"Our Fido likes to give a lot of kisses. He might leave lick marks on your glasses. I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry if Fido got dirt on your shirt. He rolled in mud today and I didn't gt a chance to bathe him yet."

"You're covered in hair. I'm so sorry. Let me get you the lint roll."

"Don't mind the windows. Drool. They look horrible."


We get it. There was a time when we did the same thing...especially to non-dog people. We've had a few people who've cringed at the sight of dog hair on their clothes after sitting on the sofa. Or gave that look when Coco tried to lick their face. We apologized.

But then...we stopped. What exactly were we apologizing for? This is our home. We have 2 fur kids. This is their home too. Regardless of how many times we vacuum, there will always be dog hair on the sofa, chair and carpet. Both of our fur kids like to sit on your lap. If they get to know you, they might even lick your face. When you're eating something they like, they'll sit there and give you the look of guilt. We feed our fur kids healthy, dog-safe people food on occasion when we're at the table or on the sofa and we don't sterilize our hands afterwards.

Stop apologizing. All of you. Stop. We've made deliveries to houses and left with dirt-laden paw prints on our shirts, shorts and skirts, surprises on the bottom of our shoes, lick marks on our glasses, copious amounts of dog hair on our clothes, etc. It doesn't bother us. We continue on with our day whether it's a trip to the grocery store or Staples to purchase hair still covering our clothes, the remnants of paw prints on our shirt or our skin smelling like the faint smell of wet dog.

We're not fazed by this. Ever.

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