6 Things I’m Learning about Relationships from Owning a Dog

I am infamously bad at romantic relationship and/or I have had infamously unsuccessful romantic relationships. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to get it right. My (non-romantic) relationship with Bruno, the wonder dog, has been pretty darn successful, though. The past four months of dog ownership have been both challenging and super great. Bruno is seriously adorable and he loves me like crazy (can you say mama’s boy?!). Might I dare say, that I love Bruno more than any man I’ve ever dated???? I mean, how could you not with a face like this?

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And even though he’s a dog and I’m a hooman, I think I’m learning quite a great deal about how to have a relationship with people, romantic or otherwise.

  1. Patience – Because Bruno is part Beagle, he likes to smell EVERYTHING. (Side bar: one of my Halloween costume ideas for him is Sherlock Holmes because he’s *always* on the case.) It can be super duper annoying that a walk that should take only 10 minutes takes 15 because he wants to smell (and pee on) every bush, plant, and dead branch. I’m admittedly an impatient person in life in general, so when my dog’s instincts kick-in, I’m working on taking a breath and hanging tight for a little longer than I’d prefer. What’s an extra five minutes when I’m outside with my favorite pup?
  2. How to read body language – Now that I’m a #crazydogmom, I read all sorts of articles about dogs. Recently, I read one that reported on a study about dog behavior. Scientists asked dog owners to record all of their dog’s behaviors throughout the day & then categorized them by movement. For an easy example, when a dog lies on the floor on his side, he wants to be petted. I learned that when a dog looks from you to an object, they’re saying they want that particular object.
  3. No one is perfect, no matter how much you want them to be – When I was still in “doggie daydreaming” mode, I fantasized that I’d get a dog to help keep me company at all of the things I wanted to do but didn’t have a parter to do them with me, i.e. go to concerts in the park, try new restaurants, watch drive-in movies, etc. Bruno just isn’t that kinda dog. He’s actually kinda crazy. I love him, I do, but when he’s around other dogs, he barks unless he can say hello. He does not sit still when we’re doing anything fun (though, saying that, he is an *awesome* dog to work from home with since he just lays right next to me while I’m pounding away on the computer). Bruno is the doggie for me, but he isn’t everything I dreamed he would be.
  4. Love can be a powerful thing – It’s been a reallllllly long time since I was in love with someone. And now that I reallllly love Bruno, I am starting to realize again why I have been pining away for it all of this time. It’s kinda magical. No matter how many times I have to vacuum in a week, I still love him unconditionally. Yea, I might get mad at him when he barks ferociously at other dogs and I’m sure he wishes we could go on 10 walks a day, but we love each other nonetheless.
  5. Compromise – A contributing factor as to why I’m not so great at relationships is probably because I haven’t been in a “real” one in so long. And when I am dating someone, I’m terrible at compromise. But, every walk Bruno and I take teaches me a little bit more about compromise. Do I want to average 12,000 steps a day in winter? Not really, but I’ll do it because it’s what my Boo wants to do.
  6. Laughter is key – I have laughed more in the past 4 months than I have in the past 14 months. Bruno is silly and happy making me laugh out loud every single day. When was the last time a man did that?! (hint: it’s been a long time!) So, even though I’m learning to compromise, finding a man who makes me laugh is non-negotiable. 

Thank you, Bruno, my pet, for teaching me so much and for all the laughs. And for now, until I can find you a papa, I’m happy with it being just you and me xoxo

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