I talk to my dog. Raise a hand if you also talk to your dog. I used to only talk to my dog when no one else was around. After all, people might think I am a little bit “off kilter” if I get caught talking to a dog, right?
Well, in the year 2013 I decided to drop any doubts and preconceived notions about who I am, my love for my dog, and I am proud to talk to my dog in public.
“Do you want to go to the park with mommy?”
“Ooh, this looks like a fun toy. Do you like that one?”
“Some drivers really get on my nerves, Dexter.”
Those are some of the things I have said aloud to my dog over the past week, and if you talk to your dog, you are in good company.
Diane Stresing is a Fidose fan and a fellow dog mom who knows all too well what it means to talk to your dog. Stresing is the author of a book I recently discovered in my perusal for a good book to read while traveling. Are you looking for a kindred spirit, someone to share their experience of dog speak with you, and a fun, light but memorable book, Dumb Things We Say to Dogs: and other things I can’t keep to myself.
Dumb Things We Say to Dogs is a collection of essays by a self-described mundane, middle-aged soccer mom, Buckeye girl, and dog lover. We beg to differ: Stresling is anything but mundane and her book is a lighthearted and fun peek into the things we all experience with our dogs. The other essays are related to Stresling’s life, comings and goings, anecdotal insights into everyday wonderings, and a whole host of witticisms on life.
Case in point, here’s an excerpt from the book:
Before I was a dog owner, I considered myself a friendly, approachable person. In retrospect, I realize that I was horribly closed off from my neighbors. Why, I’d never talked to Topper’s parents, and didn’t know Quinn had a cat in the family. I wasn’t sure where Boomer lived (six houses down, on the right) and I had no idea that Holly and Hoot had an adopted brother named Jack.
I look at my neighborhood—the whole world, in fact—from a very different perspective these days. That is, from the end of a leash. Thanks to Spike (and his boundless enthusiasm for exploring the neighborhood) I know who gets up early and who works late all along our street and on the side streets for several blocks. I have a clearer idea of what is “public” property (that’s where I let Spike go, you know) and what isn’t (the tree lawns of people who don’t have dogs, for example).
Thanks to Spike, I note that the mailman brings not only bills, but bones as well. Thanks to Spike, I am never at a loss for words when I meet a new face on the street. Generally, the new face turns to Spike, hand outstretched, mumbling a few words of good-doggy. Good-doggy never fails to break the ice. Other times, I find myself smiling in spite of the fact it’s the fourteen-hundredth time I’ve heard, “Who’s walking who, there?” Ha, ha. Yes, it’s trite and worn out. But it’s good-natured, well intentioned, and it makes me feel more connected to the folks I meet as Spike walks me down the street.
Unfortunately, all these warm fuzzy feelings have a downside. While my dog has introduced me to many neighbors, who have become friends, there’s still something we cannot do. We cannot call each other by name. I know the four people in Scooter’s family on sight, and I know all five who share Lizzy’s home. I know their walking schedules. I know where Angus will be while his family is on vacation. Once I saw
Boomer’s mom at the grocery store, but I couldn’t catch her eye and I couldn’t call her name because…well, because she’s Boomer’s mom, as far as I know, and you can’t toss out, “Hi, Boomer’s Mom!” in the cereal aisle. When I see Topper’s family at church, we greet each other warmly, but there’s a funny pause after “Hi.” It’s a blank space, where a name should be.
It’s not just me. This is a pervasive problem in our odd society. We have code names for each other because we are not exactly friends. We are members of the same pack. I know very well that down the street, in any one of several houses, a conversation has transpired along these lines: “Spike’s mom said he got a squirrel yesterday!” “Spike did? Really?! Uh, do you remember their names, honey? I asked once, but I forgot and I’m embarrassed to ask again…”
*excerpted from “BY THEIR DOGS YE SHALL KNOW THEM” essay
I consider myself a dog mom and many Fidose of Reality readers relate to that sentiment. If you have human kids, this book is also about parenting kids but it’s also about life in general — which is made oh-so-much better by having a dog you can talk to, right?
These 100 and some odd pages of goodness and from the heart writing is worth your time in checking out. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite gifts to give mom for Mother’s Day, and this is definitely high atop our list.
Gift yourself with a slice of smart writing peppered with a behind-the-green curtain look at the up’s and down’s of life and how telling your dog makes it oh so much better.
Note: We were not compensated for this review; we like to share pet products and books that make our tails wag.
Question: Do you talk aloud to your dog and do you care if other people can hear you?