I love my dog as much as the next person, but owning a dog isn’t always glamorous (as, say, owning a cat?). If you have a dog, you can probably confirm these 20 things are some of the more challenging aspects of dog ownership:

1. Few things in life are more humiliating and heartbreaking than when your normally loveable pooch ferociously barks at an innocent group of children who you just overheard saying, “What a cool dog!”

2. When you take your dog for a walk and it poops on someone else’s property, part of you is seriously concerned that both you and your dog will be killed by some curmudgeonly old man with a weird landscaping obsession. These forbidden poops always take longest and typically require multiple squats or lots of butt-scooching in the grass while you’re having a panic attack on the sidewalk. Did those curtains just move? He’s coming to confront us. THE END IS NIGH!

3. Speaking of poops, every time your dog goes number two, it always smells worse than the last. There are never any dog poops that “aren’t that bad.” You could puke after one whiff every single time.

4. When you’re taking your dog for a walk and you can’t control him or her for any reason, you assume everyone’s judging you. (Everyone is.)

5. You could easily make a list of human beings you like less than your dog, and it wouldn’t be short.

6. It is absolutely essential that you ask your dog lots of questions like, “Who’s a good boy? Does someone need a treat? Do you have to go outside? Where’s your bone?” (And when your pup responds to these questions in any capacity, you count it as further evidence that your dog is a genius.)

7. Sometimes when you see other people thoroughly petting your dog, you get oddly possessive and jealous like, “Only I scratch his ears like that…” or “Please don’t kiss my dog’s head. That’s my domain.”

8. You feel conflicted your dog won’t go to the bathroom in the rain. On the one hand, you try to empathize with his or her plight; you wouldn’t want to pee in the rain, either. On the other hand, you’re standing outside with a handful of plastic bags, you’re cold, and you just want him or her to stop being annoying and go potty.

9. On some level, you judge people who use pooper scoopers. Only wimps need a mechanism to collect doggy dumps! That’s what hands are for!… until the day comes when you use a plastic bag that has a hole at the bottom, and you consider converting to the pooper scooper immediately.

10. When you toss a piece of food or a toy and your dog doesn’t catch it or can’t find where it went, you feel embarrassed on his or her behalf.

11. Eating with a drooling dog staring at you is probably the most effective diet method out there.

12. You’re still not sure exactly how you feel about buying clothes for your dog. A handkerchief isn’t that different from a collar, right? A little jacket for winter might not be so bad…

13. You feel an overwhelming obligation to defend your dog (along with its breed, size, coloring, etc.) from any and all haters.

14. You’ve kissed your dog on the mouth and/or nose at least once, and it was totally normal.

15. You always inform your dog where you’re going, how long you’re going to be gone, and whether you’ll be home late or not. If your plans change, you feel guilty because you lied to your dog.

16. When your dog makes any kind of mess in the house, you feel astonishingly betrayed. When that mess involves something getting ruined, you experience a crisis of conscience in which you want to hate your dog for messing up your stuff, but you also feel guilty for being upset because “things are just things” and your dog is family. (But seriously, you really loved those shoes, and in that moment your dog was a jerk for chewing them.)

17. At some point in your history as a dog owner, your dog has pooped somewhere when you didn’t have a plastic bag on hand. To this day, you’re still trying to make amends for the fact that you left that turd behind for someone to unwittingly discover while out for a leisurely afternoon stroll.

18. You’ll never feel more uncomfortable than when someone refers to your dog as your “fur baby.”

19. Sometimes you’re a little terrified by the satisfaction you get from chasing your dog with the vacuum.

20. If your dog is allowed on the furniture, you’ve lounged/slept/sat in an awkward position to accommodate him or her, until it gotsuper uncomfortable and you pushed them off as nicely as possible while apologizing profusely.

Originally published on Thought Catalog.

6 thoughts on “20 Things All Dog Owners Know To Be True

  1. So many could be applied to kids…apart from the clothes thing (it’s definitely ok to clothe children, although personal styling may still be judged) and being pet by strangers.
    And no 17. I was once chatting to a friend on a park bench with her 3-year-old daughter playing behind us. What we didn’t realise was that her daughter had chosen to take a dump on the grass. At least with a dog you’re prepared to have to scoop poop. But instead we just fled. The poor park keeper definitely didn’t get paid enough that day! :-/

  2. I can relate to some of these, even though I don’t own a dog. Two of my coworkers have regularly brought their dogs to the office, and a lot of these I can relate to. I felt so guilty when I got one of the dogs super hyped to go on a walk and then decided not to because I didn’t want to leave him outside a store by himself (especially because he’s not my dog). I felt soooo bad. He looked at me with sad eyes and whined at me. 😦

  3. I often look at my dogs and wonder what dumbass thought it’d be a good idea to let these beasts come into our houses. They’re like a round of golf. So aggravating, expensive and stupid, but then one or two little things make it all worthwhile so we get suckered back into doing it again. Or something.

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