It is no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love the dogs. My dog, your dog, random dogs I never met. I love them all. They are weird and wonderful. Some can be jerks, it’s true, but they are just misunderstood, I am sure of it. They just haven’t met me yet. I have fairly successfully rolled the Facebook algorithm to show me more dogs than anything. Even more than things Amazon wants me to buy. That’s quite an accomplishment.

First, of course, is my girl Zelda. She is my weird and wonderful animal. She is a rescue, and a rescuer. She hates squirrels, is annoyed by bunnies and yells at kids walking to and from the elementary school around the corner. She turned 7 in April, and I hate that I see signs of her aging, but she still has spunk and a plenty of whack job in her yet. There is a small florist shop that opened nearby, and they have a doggy water dish out front. Zelda could give a crap about that, because they also have a jar they keep stocked with little Milkbones in it. It took one time. Now whenever we walk in that general part of the neighborhood, she pulls me over that way for her treat. We did see a kitty inside the shop one day, and they had a stare down for a moment, but it was truly all about the treats. As the vet told me one time, Zelda is very food motivated. My true spirit animal.

What kind of got me thinking about the dog thing this morning is my neighbor’s dog, Bailey. Bailey is a new dog to the ‘hood. Their older dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge last fall. I never really knew that dog, because they didn’t have him out that often, he was a back yard dog, and I don’t know them well enough to go stalk their yard. Plus he was pretty quiet, not a barker. So this spring, I saw them out talking to the other neighbor guy, and they had a puppy. So I went over to say hi and meet the new dog. Bailey. He is a Kane Corso, so even as a puppy a bigger baby. We’re friends now, me and Bailey. They take him for walks and stuff, so he is a little more visible. The past week or so, when I come home from the gym in the morning Bailey is sitting in their little front porch window, and he kind of gruffs at me. I love it. It isn’t a bark, or a growl, more like a “Hi” short and sweet. So I say hi back, and he runs away and comes right back. It cracks me up.

I drive to work every morning, it is about 6 miles and takes me approximately 13 minutes. I drive through a lot of neighborhoods, less on the busier streets. And since I drive the same path every day about the same time, I have gotten to know that habits of people that I see regularly. There’s an old guy that walks near City Park, and he is usually right on schedule. There’s a lady I see walking and reading a book over the College Avenue bridge. And there are the dogs. I kind of gauge my how my day will be by how many dogs I see on my commute. Anything less than 6 and I might as well pack it in for the day and just call in. I average about 10 dogs. There’s a sheep dog I see regularly, that’s always a good day. In colder weather, I see fewer doggos, and that is understandable, I just hope they all know I miss them.

We go on at work quite a bit about how we wish we could bring dogs to work. Our boss, who is an incredible guy in so many ways, isn’t having it, and that’s ok. I get it, we are there to work, not run the doggy day care. Very occasionally however, a dog shows up at the office, and we all lose it. We are like whack jobs. One day somebody’s wife had to drop off something, and she had their dog with them. So we are all running out back of the warehouse to go meet and pet the dog. Sorry about your roof, but there’s a dog here! Last week, the boss actually did bring his dog to work, because they are selling their home, and there was a scheduled showing, and he had to bring the doggy along. I made it over to his office twice to pet the dog. I told him we could watch it over in the call center, if he needed a break. That was a no go. I was bummed. But we were like a bunch of geeked out kids about a dog being there. It was a good day. Even better than when we get donuts.

Having a pet is commitment. You don’t just get to drop everything and do stuff, you have to plan. But to me, it is great, because when you have the right creature in your life, you get a lot of love, and fur. I wanted a dog for years before I got The Zelda. My situations didn’t always lend itself to having a dog be a part of my days. But things shifted, I grew up a little and being in a house made it more plausible, and she and I found each other. If you can, I highly suggest having a pet, whether it’s a dog or a cat or whatever your creature of choice is. But know it’s commitment, and you are now a caretaker for another soul. They count on us. But the light they can bring is all worth it. There are lots of rescues, and places that look for loving homes for these fur babies. Check one out if you feel ready. I will always support and champion these organizations, because without them, I don’t get rescued by my whack job girl Zelda. On that note, I better go walk her stinky butt. The aroma is rising.

But before I go, Tell Your Dog I Say Hi!!

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