25 things I learned from my dog

The topic of this “Let the Dog Out” series has been a bit heavy the past few weeks, so I decided to lighten things up a bit by coming up with 25 things I’ve learned from my dog Oreo since adopting him from the Bangor Humane Society in May. That is, after all, the reason I’m writing this “Let the Dog Out” series — to share all I’m learning about dog ownership and also to gain insight about dog ownership from readers.

I’ve received many emails from readers over the past month or two, and one really got my attention. A man wrote to me about how he thinks many people need to take pet ownership more seriously. I understand where he’s coming from. I’ve witnessed a few of my friends adopt a dog, realize that they weren’t prepared to train or care for it, then bring it back to the shelter. And while that’s sad to see, what’s worse is when people decide to keep the pet even though they don’t have the time or energy to properly care for it.

So much for light hearted … My point here is, If you’re not a dog owner yet, but you’re considering becoming one in the future, prepare for some changes. The following list, while a bit silly, is just a glimpse of how a dog changes a person’s life. Yet, I can tell you now, after learning to live with Oreo (in relative harmony), I can’t imagine what I was doing before, living without a canine companion.

So, here it goes:

1. A pizza box can be left unattended only at an elevation of 6 feet and higher.

BDN photo by Aislinn Sarnacki
Oreo, a pit-bill mix, runs with a toy after playing in the mud on Sept. 13, 2013, at his home in Brewer. Later, his owner would become equally muddy in her attempt to clean him.

2. White pants are a waste of money.

3. The definition of edible is broader than I initially thought.

4. Don’t leave underwear on the floor.

5. The cat’s litter box must be accessible to the cat, but not the dog.

6. I’ll never suffer a sick day alone again.

7. Vacuums are evil.

8. Squirrels are evil.

9. Fireworks are evil.

10. Carrying a bag of poop in public results in strangers giving me looks of appreciation or looks of disgust (depending on the stranger).

11. Rain=muddy dog=muddy me.

12. Chocolate goes on the top shelf.

13. Laptops make good pillows.

14. Books make good pillows.

15. I make a good pillow.

16. I actually have two shadows. One is furry.

17. Tomatoes are good, peaches are not; green beans are good, onions are not.

18. The “no human food” law is extremely difficult to follow.

19. Tug-of-war can and should be played for hours.

20. Not all chew toys are created equal.

21. I need a bigger bed.

22. I need a bigger lap.

23. Playing favorites is OK.

24. I will never want for kisses again.

25. I am my dog’s “momma,” whether I like it or not.

Feel free to send your own “Things I’ve learned from my dog” list at asarnacki@bangordailynews.com or simply post in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

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Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.