Karen B. London
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No Dogs: What Would You Miss?
I'd miss the little things

If I had to live without contact with dogs (shudder!), there are so many things that I would miss. Besides the obvious and main benefits of love and companionship, it’s the little things I think I would miss about dogs.

I would be sad never to have their tongues on me, especially in the morning when they poke under the covers and give a quick lick to my toes or nose. It would be sad not ever to look in the rearview mirror of the car and see nothing but a dog’s face. I would even miss having dogs step on my foot and continue to stand there, seemingly unaware of my discomfort.
I love seeing dogs twitch when they dream, and stretch while on their backs with their front paws bent up like they are begging. I enjoy the crazy backwards sneezing of dogs, and the way they jump straight up with all four feet off the ground when they get excited. I would really miss the endless excitement of each and every walk, and the way so many dogs act like this walk, this very one, is the highlight of their entire existence.
There are so many more little things that I would miss in the absence of my canine friends. What would you miss about dogs if you could no longer be in their company?



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 Kendra Rhoton | November 8 2010 |

Oh so true! Thank God for Dogs!

Submitted by Pamela | November 8 2010 |

What a horrid thought! A world without dogs!

I'd miss the way they smell like doritos when they sleep. And watching them follow the scent trail of a treat that bounced off their nose and rolled under the furniture.

I'd miss that stiff frozen posture when they've spotted a raccoon on the fence. And I'd miss that sharp, deep woof that says, "I need to go out! Now!"

I'd miss seeing my socks magically moved from the hamper to the dog bed. And I'd miss all the fun pictures and posts on blogs from people who love their dogs as much as I love mine.

Submitted by Ann | November 23 2010 |

I love your post Pamela, thank you writing just the way I feel about my dogs! And "smell like doritos" made me laugh, you are a lucky girl. I wish mine smelled that way. Unfortunately mine have a little gas from time to time and smell much different...oh well, I love them anyway.

Submitted by Claudia Kawczynska | November 10 2010 |

I would miss a day without surprises. I feel fortunate to share my life with 4 dogs, for other-than-human beings, so every day I feel like I am learning more about another species. How wonderful can that be?
And living with 4 dogs also means that I am treated to being a part of their interactions, their pack, watching their social interactions, which seem to have a new flavor every day.

Submitted by Angela | November 15 2010 |

When I moved to attend university, I had to leave my dog with my parents because of the lack of non-discrimination laws in my province (BC, Canada). The city I moved to had a 0.1% (yes, point-one of a percent) vacancy rate, so landlords had their pick of tenants--and they would not pick a young girl with a 60lb wolfish dog. So I have been forced to live dogless for the past few years, and what I miss the most is the quiet companionship they provide... just sleeping nearby while I work. A close second is being gently woken up by a big black muzzle laid on the bed six inches from my face. No noise, no bouncing, just gazing at me until I open my eyes, and then she smiled and wagged her tail.

She is now gone, but hopefully there will be another dog soon.

Submitted by Frances | November 16 2010 |

Too many things to list, but to take a couple: sharing their joy in a walk through fields and woods, when it is as if the world is newly created for our delight each and every day; the little squeaking grunting noise made by a small, sleepy dog, when she begins to wake up and stretch.

Submitted by Amy W. | November 16 2010 |

I would miss dog toys on the living room floor and finding rawhides and tennis balls in my bed.

Submitted by CollieMom01 | November 18 2010 |

What I would miss most is our morning ritual of saying "hello" to each other. Both my dogs sleep in kennels (one is still a pup, so the door is closed but the older dog sleeps in his kennel with the door wide open) so once I get up and make the bed, feed the cat, and brush my teeth, I greet the pooches and we head downstairs for a quick trip outside and for breakfast. Both dogs expect to be petted and kissed on their big Collie noses before we go down the stairs, and I enjoy the interaction as much as they do. It's a ritual we perform every morning, and one I would miss terribly in their absence.

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