How adopting a dog made me a new person

When my jealous cat died, he took my one real reason for nothing Dog add to my relationship with the grave. Being the homebody and introvert that I am, these animals are the four-legged equivalent of the kind of people I can’t stand: expansive, ridiculously happy, and constantly seeking attention. They also stink. But you know what they say: love is compromise.

After some heartbreaking scrolling through adoption ads, we had chosen a five month old beast. My love was excited to welcome her, I not so much. Despite this, I spent many hours watching films such as Beethoven, Oliver & Co. and Commissioner Rex to revisit, I can see the bloody images of White dog and Cujo can’t get it out of my mind. Never mind that I would probably become what I had always loathed the most, the perfect incarnation of the dog generation; young adults who have no respect for their parents’ fixed image of life (house, garden, child) and would rather have a dog than a baby. Those drinking kombucha at a sidewalk cafe explain to you how Buddy (the dog) takes CBD while casually feeding the same dog—the last thing no well-behaved human would take because it’s rude—vegetable tempura. In Belgium, around 32% of people under the age of 34 own a dog. And 67% of them think it’s okay to have their face licked by a sniffer who also sniffs donkeys. From the same kind of people who dare to preach when your skincare routine consists of less than nine steps.

Like a pair of Salomon shoes or a Kangol beret, an Australian Shepherd/Shiba Inu/Goldendoodle/Brindle Dachshund is irresistible fashion accessories stay, but also a sign of social status; too bad you don’t have the same look with a Pomeranian, Weimaraner, American Stafford or a chihuahua rat. Also brand names haven’t missed this new marketing opportunity: your little freckle can now also wear Jacquemus, Moncler or Carhartt. Wow.

When the time came, I saw a rather clumsy creature puking excitedly in the back seat of the car, only to eat it back at the same speed, asking myself why I was doing this to myself. Four months later, I can’t help but realize how much my life has changed. I changed.

Here I am with my VOMIT, Vincent Marchal has become my dog ​​guru, my feed is filled with rolls of goldies and sponsored posts for dressage apps; I am seriously considering entering a canicross club and instead of dried tobacco there are now bits of dog biscuits at the bottom of my pockets. I also discovered the magic of conditioning (Pavlov was a genius) and resented every little unworthy bitch we passed on the street. The conversations with my love are also only about the amount of dog poop and the fact that my hands look like the skin of an albino crocodile through the leash. My wardrobe is now filled with practical pieces (a shapeless parka, rain boots, muddy sweatpants full of hair – as a dog trainer you have no style). I also no longer have a problem with the ridiculous amounts of money I spend on toys that she will probably bite into in a few hours. I even looked Nom D’un Chien (van rtl ed.) in its entirety, despite the absolutely bad direction.

Now I think people who don’t like dogs no longer deserve to exist. And fireworks? It’s pure torture. I would draw guns if a bar is not equipped for dogs and curse the so-called cleanliness of Brussels. Your cold fries, dirty napkins, pizza crusts, apple cores and leftover alcohol are all snacks that my four-legged friend will happily gobble up. My ideal holiday destination no longer looks like a sunny island, but a week in the Ardennes with my love, my dog ​​and a fireplace. I can see us strolling through the woods hand in hand as we l’Hymne de nos campagnes by Tryo sing and watch the dog chase squirrels. Once walking down the street was a scary affair, now going outside is like a trip to Care Bear Land. Are you tired of being single? Forget Tinder, get a dog. I have never been contacted as often as now with this pet. It seems that if you have a dog, people automatically see you as a friendly person. People smile at me for no reason, ask me about her race, age and name. Some come to pet her (dog consent, another big topic to talk about), hug her and give her kisses.

But the ultimate experience is the park. Even with a fine of 350 euros hanging over my head (there are not many parks for dogs in Brussels), there is nothing better than seeing around thirty animals running and playing freely. You really feel like part of the community, a tight-knit group of inexplicable dog and owner duos. Cord in hand, you’ll inevitably end up talking to someone. I hated the shallow talk, but I don’t recognize myself anymore. Sometimes I’m even the one to start the conversation. And if we don’t have much to say, we just smile at each other, how sad it is that our dogs fight with each other. A funny fall later, the conversation breaks out again. Within a few weeks I know the character and name of every dog ​​in the neighborhood, casually ignoring the first names of the owners I chat with daily. But I can recognize their dog’s barking from a distance.

In addition to a dog making you more active and social, it also gives you a sense of security. When I get up on Sunday at 5.30 after a DPA (urgent pee alarm), I often come across shady types. When she senses I’m uncomfortable, she growls at them (makes her look like a half-hyena, half-wolf hybrid). With her by my side, I’m no longer afraid – and we all know how scary that can be as a woman.

And for the not-so-pretty side – yes, we’re talking about turds – well, you get used to it. Bon, it’s still awkward waiting for your four-legged friend to finish shitting. And your dignity – even behind 2343 stools – surely suffers when you kneel for the eighth time to pick up the soft, warm stuff and carry it in a bag the thickness of a roulade. But let’s just say it warms your hands. And honestly, is there anything better than the pride of a perfectly shaped turd? Before you know it, you’ll be congratulating your dog on his modern Rodin. And the bad smell of wet dog? Well, it stinks. But you don’t feel it anymore. It is now YOUR fragrance too.

So is having a dog a bit like having a child? According to this study: 46% of dog owners see their pets as their offspring. So yes, somewhere in America you will definitely meet the fools enjoying themselves puppy shower or something. And yes, I also get those angry looks like the surprised mothers on the plane when my dog ​​barks for no reason in the tram. Okay, my living room is colonized by a ridiculous amount of toys and looks like a playground. And yes, I feel personally attacked when someone says she was raised badly and I want to castrate the little Jack Russel every time he comes to harass her in the square. Maybe I’ve even gradually forgotten my boyfriend’s name – “give the ball back to dad” – and sleeping is no longer something we do together, but three of us, and we have to hit each other when we do something wrong. want privacy. But my dog ​​also makes me think twice before throwing my love away because he didn’t wash his forehead properly (because even though I write my dog, it’s actually his dog when I leave, that goodbye dog). to the side, Spain has just proposed joint custody of pets in case of divorce.

On the other hand, my body is still the same, I don’t make milk or worry about setting up a nursery. I don’t want to think about his girlfriends or his grades at school, and I’ll never be offended because he calls me an old fart. I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night worried because I’ve given someone a more than unstable future on a sick planet who will outlive me and didn’t even ask for it. So yes, you may end up feeling like you or your partner are some kind of parent and that you are raising someone. For me, cuddling just helped channel my maternal instincts into a little creature, with the comfort of knowing I really didn’t want a child. I am not selfless or brave enough to dedicate my life to raising someone in the hope that they will be better than me. I’d rather have a loyal friend who eats my books, pees in the middle of the living room, and then asks for belly rubs, and who really doesn’t know who I really am.

Finally, owning a dog is an empowering act. Dogs love without expecting anything in return, they are always happy to see you and help to give your life a routine. The amount of human qualities they seem to have helps take your mind off things. Studies show that they have an impact on you physical and mental health. If you suffer from anxiety or loneliness, it can really help – but don’t have children for the same reasons. And basically, yes, I’ve changed, but I still don’t like people that much. So now, when I’m bored, I have an immediate excuse to leave: I’m going home and walking the dog.

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