As I’ve mentioned before in this space, my wife, my two kids and I share our household with four dogs. How this happened is a story for another day, once I figure it out myself — it was all kind of a blur, like a roller-coaster ride, or college.
Regardless, somehow here we all are, and it’s a predicament that’s gotten me thinking about all the things we dog co-habitators find completely normal that other people — people who don’t have to vacuum three times a day, and whose doorbells don’t trigger a high alert consistent with a DEFCON 3 potential nuclear disaster — might see as at least slightly unusual.
With that in mind, I enlisted my kids — Jackie, 11, and Timmy, 9 — to help me compile a handy list of signs that may indicate you fall into that first group, the one in which at least one member of your household is fur-covered and more than casually interested in butt-sniffing. If even some of these are true, you may be beyond help.
You may be living with dogs if:
1) You’re walking around with dog food in your coat pocket.
2) You’re walking around with plastic bags in your other coat pocket.
3) Your car smells like it just rolled in something gross.
4) Your car is full of fur.
5) Your kids are full of fur.
6) Your furniture has that chewed-in sort of look.
7) There’s a heavy object on top of the lid to your kitchen trashcan.
8) You own a device designed for propelling tennis balls great distances.
9) You know what a “Snausage” is.
10) You know where the butcher shop keeps the spare bones.
11) You own at least one product that spells bones “bonz.”
12) There are bones (and/or bonz) under the couch.
13) When you go for a walk in the woods, you’re always on the lookout for a really good stick.
14) The cat food’s gone and the cat didn’t eat.
15) You can’t sleep because someone’s licking your feet.
16) You can’t sleep because someone is lying on top of the covers like a sack of sand.
17) A bark is your alarm clock.
18) You keep a towel next to your front door.
19) You’re sitting on the living room floor because there’s no more room on the couch.
20) Your living-room floor is covered with stuffed animals that are missing limbs, eyes and heads.
21) Your living-room floor is covered with pee pads.
22) Your living-room floor is covered with what living-room floors get covered with if you forget to put down the pee pads.
23) The cookies are missing.
24) After the snow melts on your front lawn, you find socks.
25) There are paw prints on your kids’ homework.
26) Kong is no longer just the name of a giant monkey.
27) Someone has to guard the turkey.
28) You’re walking when it’s raining.
29) You’re walking when it’s freezing.
30) You’re walking when it’s boiling.
31) You’re walking, period.
32) You have a bright orange jacket with matching scarves, and you’re not a hunter or Gisele Bundchen.
33) Your every shoe is a chew toy.
34) You’ve ever filled a bathtub with tomato juice.
35) Your best friends love you more than life itself, and smell like they just rolled in something gross.
Of course, there are a lot more than just these 35. For our next installment, we’ll be featuring your suggestions of signs that you may be living with dogs. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and remember: Unwanted hair and smells is a small price to pay for all that love, right?
Now if you need me, I’ll be in the living room. I’ll be the one sitting on the floor.