You’re either a dog person, or a person with a dog. You can’t be both.

Four-legged friend. Canine companion. Your best mate. Whatever you want to call them, we’re a nation obsessed with dogs. Australia has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the world and we’ve now welcomed them into our cafes, workplaces and even some hotels.

But a discussion here in the Mamamia office this week proved there are two very distinct tiers of people in this world: people who have dogs and “dog people”. 

Did I, basically, just write the same words in a different order? Yes, I did. But make no mistake they are verrrrrrrry different. (Technically, there is also people who don’t like animals but we can ignore them for the sake of this argument because they are clearly monsters).

Watch a thank-you letter to dogs. Post continues below. 

People who merely “have dogs” are the ones like me. I adore my dog, Millie. I feed her. I walk her. I tell her she’s the goodest girl and rub her belly. But it’s what I *don’t* do that separates me from the “dog people” of this world.

The ones like my colleague who drinks from a mug with the words “ask me about my dog” on it. She was telling me about how she was banned from bringing her dog to her former office because she chased the delivery man (the dog, not my colleague) and I mentioned my poor elderly dog would be terrified to be in a room full of people.

“I didn’t even know you HAD a dog,” she replied.

I suddenly realised I hadn’t once referenced her at work. Am I… a monster? Or just one of the few normal ones here What followed was a debate about exactly what traits make you a “dog person”. 

So here’s our definitive list:

  • You’ve had your dog in your Facebook profile picture at some point.
  • They sleep on, or in, your bed.
  • They have more than one item of clothing.
  • You want to get matching Christmas pyjamas (or already have them) and you buy them a present each year.
  • You know your dog’s star sign. (No, Bear is not being a d**k because he’s a Pisces and it’s an Aries moon, he’s just bored.)
  • If your dog joins your Zoom call when you work from home, you wave their paw like they actually know how to say hello.
  • Your dog is on some sort of specialty diet or requires food delivered in a specific way. My friend admitted she packs her dog’s breakfast into a container and then hand feeds it to her at the park each morning. “She refuses to eat it out of a bowl, she’ll only eat it if I hand feed her,” she admitted. Sorry, what? My dog will eat food from literally anywhere.
  • You have an Instagram account for your dog, or at the very least think about how much you wish your dog had a phone so you could communicate with them while you’re at work.
  • You do the voice for your dog. One friend said, “We’ve got a voice for each of our dogs, because they each have their own personality.” (Okay, I’ll admit I have done this one before, but it’s a rarity).
  • You’ve referred to them in a way that would make people believe you have a child. Something like: “I’m so exhausted, Frankie kept me up all night because he had a sick stomach.”
  • You’ve travelled further than your own suburb to take your dog to a new dog park because you thought they’d enjoy the new experience.
  • You have curled up in their bed with them before.
  • Your dog usually has a long and strange breed name like a cockapoopugadoodle (which sounds super cute by the way).
  • You’ve given them a pupcake for their birthday and made them wear a party hat.

Regardless of how many of those traits you just ticked off in your mind, I think we can all agree dogs are pretty bloody wonderful. Some of us are just more nuts about them than others.

Feature Image: 20th Century Fox.

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