I have been an animal lover my whole life. I adore animals. Every species, breed, age and colour. My mom reminds me of the long car rides I spent begging my parents for a dog as a kid. Unfortunately, for me and my parents who had to put up with my incessant whining, my little brother is allergic to animals. He’s allergic to the point where he can’t go to houses where cats live. He’s allergic to the fur, dander and saliva of dogs. Hypoallergenic was never an option because of the severity of his allergies.
Despite my lack of dog ownership as a child I still think I’ve spent more time with animals than without in my lifetime. I’ve done a lot of paid and unpaid dog walking and dog sitting. In University I was a volunteer dog walker at the Veterinary College and walked and socialized hounds in my time between classes. Animals like me and I like them. I also feel that I am fairly knowledgeable about animals. Horses I’d say I’m an expert on. I’m pretty comfortable with my understanding of dogs too. However, when I got my first dog, not my first pet because I’ve had Boomer since 2007, I was in for a few surprises.
The first time Harley burped it nearly knocked my socks off. Boomer doesn’t burp. Horses have very different digestive systems than we do. But dogs burp. Who knew!
Dogs Do Yoga
I’ve done downward dog for years in yoga. I knew it was inspired by dogs but I didn’t realize to what extent! Every morning when Harley wakes up she does a series of stretches (sun salutations?) including downward dog.
Dogs Express Themselves in Groans
Horses groan too so this shouldn’t have been a surprise but I often find myself laughing at Harley’s disgruntled groans and moans, particularly when she’s sleepy and doesn’t want to get up. Boomer groans when he’s happy and when he’s annoyed. He also hums happily to himself when we’re on a trail ride which I haven’t seen Harley do… yet.
Dogs Really Want to Understand You
Dogs have a surprisingly large vocabulary. A quick google search says about 150 words. What I find surprising, and endearing, is the way Harley genuinely tries to understand me. If I make eye contact with her and say something she looks at me with this earnest expression of trying to understand.
I’d love to hear what your dog does that suprises you and is, in any way, just adorable.