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The most animals I ever had living with me was 2 Malamutes, 4 cats and I forget how many SPCA foster kittens in the spare room kitten nursery.

Now I am sitting here with one kitten. No dog. No grown-up cats.

{However, an extraordinary 12-year old ginger boy cat who lives behind us with a lovely cat family has, since the day after Bubba passed away, taken it upon himself to visit with me a lot and even slept with me one night. He’s a very remarkable cat!}

Living without a dog is just the weirdest kind of living.

I was talking with one of my neighbours the other day who has had a lot of dogs in his life and has 3 at the moment, {a senior hound dog, a young Labrador and an even younger Parson’s Terrier} and we were talking about when you get another dog after your dog dies and how all that happens.

He said he’d done it various ways from waiting ages until he couldn’t bear it any longer and rushed out and got a dog that day and another time immediately got another dog. He was saying that getting a puppy is great when your older dog has died.

His point was the sheer, unbridled joy a puppy unleashes following the loss of a long-time companion.

I thought I’d share with you what this limbo, foreign No Dog space is like. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:

1. There is no woo-ing, barking, howling, panting, scratching, or talking. No claws scrabbling on wooden floors or excited digging at carpet. It’s really supernaturally quiet.
2. Nothing gets knocked off the coffee table by a wagging tail or dancing/jumping about.
3. You can spend the whole day in your home, not go out walking and not feel in any way guilty about not having walked the dog yet.
4. You can take a bite out of any food and just casually leave the rest anywhere at all and it will not be stolen from you.
5. Your floor becomes very disgusting because you have no canine vacuum cleaner.
6. You can spread out over the whole bed and not end up on the edge or squashed because you don’t want to disturb a dog’s Zen-like sleep.
7. You go around looking spotless! Your clothes have not a single muddy paw streak, saliva drool, fox scat from patting a dog who’s rolled in it. There is not a single dog hair on your clothes. Your gloves smell of laundry detergent and not dog. You feel a bit too fancy.
8. You miss the smell of dog poo. No, really, it’s bizarre to not smell dog poo when you and dog poo have had such an intimate relationship what with the frequency of picking it up and the checking of consistency and the worry of having enough poo bags on you when the poo turns runny half-way through a walk and all the rest of it.
9. You feel crest-fallen when you discover a new public bin in an ideal place and yet have no poo bag to put in it.
10. There is no sudden gag-worthy smell and cry of “Oh no! the dog’s farted” while leaving the room any more.
11. No one greets you at the door when you come home. You notice your hallway is really big.
12. When you wake up uncharacteristically early you have no dog to take out and no thrill of seeing your dog loving such a miraculous change in routine. Nor do you have the vicarious pleasure of early morning dew, night scents and sunrises at the beach.
13. You have no idea friends have come to the door and left {this happened to me today} because you only respond to someone at the door when your dog tells you someone is there by running to it. Otherwise you have no idea no matter how many times they might ring the doorbell it doesn’t occur to you it’s your doorbell ‘cos there’s no dog getting excited.
14. You continue to cook more food than you need but there is no dog to give it to and you’re left feeling a lot of food is getting wasted. {I’ve been putting it out for the foxes.}
15. You continue to leave a little of your french toast or whatever you’re eating on your plate for the dog and then nearly cry.
16. Your whole house is unbelievably tidy! This is very pleasant but the worst thing is that it begins to smell completely different. Your home smell no longer includes dog. From a smell point of view it’s like being in the house of one of your non-dog friends. So weird.
17. There are no dirty dog toys on the sofa. No-one proudly brings you a smelly stuffed toy and suggests a swap for a treat or to suggest you play a while instead of whatever you’re doing.
18. No-one puts their head under your right arm and lifts your hand off the keyboard or mouse and leans on your thigh when you’re in the middle of writing something on the computer as I am now.
19. You don’t get paw-whacked anymore.
20. Dog equipment; collars, harnesses and leashes really do look like bondage gear to non-dog people when you hang them on door handles or leave them on tables.
21. When you look up from the book you’re reading or turn around while cooking, you don’t see a dog smiling at you with loving eyes and realize they’ve been waiting patiently for this moment.
22. You lose half your perception because you’re not seeing a situation – e.g. the approach of a strange dog – through your dog’s eyes as well as your own.
23. There are no sudden outbursts of giggling or laughing or guffawing or oooing or aaahing over something hilariously funny/daft/sweet the dog just did.

OK. I could be writing this list all night so will stop for now and go to bed.

24. You don’t announce “OK, time for bed!” to anyone, you just go to bed, quietly and with no paws padding behind you.

What differences have you noticed in the times you’ve been dog-less?

* This title is a wee play on the wonderful Life With Dogs


One thought on “Life Without Dogs*

  1. Pingback: Being adopted by a stray | Beef Casserole for the Dog's Soul

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