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 Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.