Karen B. London
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Sharing Life With Dogs
Little moments bring closeness
Little shared moments matter

It’s the togetherness that makes those who live together and share their lives feel like a family. That’s what’s so great about having a dog in the house. The close proximity makes us realize how much a part of the family the dog is.

When you share the same space, you are literally sharing your lives. The way that we live with our dogs—literally WITH them—means that we have the same sorts of interactions with dogs that we do with other humans in our household. We step on each other’s feet by mistake, bump into each other in the kitchen while getting ready in the morning, share food, open the bathroom door on each other, head out together to bring in the mail or the paper, nap with each other, and share a good stretch in the morning.

None of these little events even touch on the bigger aspects of togetherness: hikes and runs together, attending training classes, playing together, and all the other ways we spend our days in tandem. Sometimes simple things like sharing a water bottle after a run or looking out the window together at the rain make me feel more connected to a dog than other activities do. It’s in these seemingly inconsequential moments that the reality of sharing our lives is most obvious.

What little parts of your day that you share with your dog make you feel especially close?


Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Beth | August 2 2012 |

We have "family spoon train" time on weekend mornings. I move to the middle of the bed, our dog Oscar lays down in front of me, and my husband snuggles up behind me. All three of us lay there and "spoon" anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes before we get up for the day. More often than not, it's the best part of my weekend and the thing I look forward to most when I'm away traveling for work!

Submitted by Judy Stove-Wilson | August 2 2012 |

When I go to collect and split firewood, our Dane-mastiff puppy (pretty huge already, at not-quite-6 months) insists on picking up sticks too...then she goes for a massive joyful zoomie round the wood-heap, because it's just so much fun to be out doing stuff together among the trees!

Submitted by Russell Hartstein | August 5 2012 |

I love topics such as this http://www.funpawcare.com/2012/06/09/why-own-a-dog/ Pets bring immeasurable value to human life that it is hard to put in words.

Russell Hartstein CPDT Dog Training Miami

Submitted by Caroline | August 6 2012 |

What a heartwarming article! And all very true. I could not imagine my life without dogs. Our walks, training, playtime and snuggle time puts so much joy to life. My favorite part of day with my pack of angels is mealtime. When I fix them their mix of natural balance food for dinner, I can see their appreciation.

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