Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dog Culture

I grew up with the knowledge that I didn't belong to a demographic or a "culture" - I wasn't greek, or catholic, or a cape bretoner, or a newfoundlander, or Irish - my family wasn't particularly close and it was very small.

I never really belonged to any group or identified with anything - and it always bothered me. I wanted to belong. I didn't want to give in to my nature and just become a loner, I wanted to "be" part of something.

I became a Buddhist, I sold Mary Kay - yes, I sold Mary Kay - I tried to find ways to inculcate myself into some social group so that I wouldn't feel so alone in a world that is just so huge when you don't have a built in culture to support you and keep you safe.

I didn't think it would be dogs that would give me my "culture" - my demographic, my chosen way of life, my own set of shared values with my compatriots, my own myopic way of looking at the world that is shared by most others in my culture, and a shared sense of togetherness because of our love for the animals we've chosen to not just spend our lives with - but to live our loves around.

To think that "dog culture" doesn't exist is to delude yourself - because it certainly does.

When you google it - not very much meaningful comes up - but that's going to change in the years to come. People like me are growing in numbers every day as we get our message out - that live lived gently with dogs is a good way to live.

And that even if the dog is far less than perfect, that's okay - just accept the dog for what they are, and go from there. Sometimes bad habits don't need to be cured, they just need to managed and everyone kept safe and worked around - you are living your life for your dog, so if everyone is safe there's no problem.

It's all about building a positive relationship with your dog and spending time with them, and when you spend time with your human friends - that too is focused around the dogs - whether it's going to dog events or buying dog stuff.

By the time I die I want everything I own to have a dog on it. To me, that is dog culture.

I don't know if it is a family - because dog people are crazy and we're always fighting - but people involved in dog culture do know one thing - they love their dogs more than life itself, and that's something that we can always agree on. And that is good enough. We love them so much it may start the next world war. But hopefully not. But it might. That's what dog culture is like!


  1. Dog people are good people.

  2. Interesting post Joan. Hanging out with dogs and dog people does provide a deep sense of community. One thing that I love about dogs (all animals for that matter) is that they keep us grounded and in touch with our instinctual nature. I may disagree with some dog people, but I always have a deep respect for those who love their dogs and are committed to their relationship with them.