Seven Surefire Ways to Spot Another Dog Fanatic

You can easily imagine the scenario:  you’re stuck in a waiting room at the local clinic or maybe the DMV.  The magazines are all at least 3 years old.  The radio is playing some jazz-stylized versions of hair band hits from the eighties.  The woman sitting next to you is focusing her meager attention on something of incredible importance on her so called smart phone while completely ignoring her 3 preschool aged children as they terrorize your fellow victims.  Your only hope of maintaining sanity may very well be to spot another dog fanatic to whom you can turn for moral support and distraction from this melee.  But how do you spot them?  Here are my 7 best ways to spot another dog-nut!

1.      Dog Hair!  We all have it.  It sticks to our clothes, our shoes, purses and anything else capable of holding a mild static charge.  The type and amount of hair can also be a clue about the age and breed of the dog.  I am occasionally approached by strangers who strike up a conversation with something like, “hey, I see you’re wearing your yellow lab today too!”

2.      Eau de Dog!  No, I’m not suggesting that you try sniffing anyone’s butt!  However, those of us who spend entirely too much time in the company of dogs do bear a certain, shall we say, “fragrance” that is recognizable by all dogs and, yes, by some people too.  A strong odor can signify several things and must be approached with utmost care.  If you detect a foul smell it could be the person has forgotten the lumpy pet waste bag in their coat pocket.  Proceed with caution!

3.      Potty talk.  One sure sign of a committed dog fanatic is their ability to discuss dog doo in settings that others might find inappropriate.  I knew I was beyond help when I realized one day that I was exchanging my thoughts on stool consistency with a fellow dog nut while we were waiting for a table at Olive Garden. We drew some stares from others who were waiting, but I think some of them were dog nuts too. (hey, is that Aussie hair on your purse strap?)

4.      Jewelry.  Especially earrings, little silver Scotty dogs, bones, paw prints, etc.  If she’s wearing a golden paw print locket, you can be reasonably certain that she didn’t inherit it from her great grandma.  She’s a committed dog nut!

5.      Clothes.  T shirts that say things like “I Heart my Havanese” or “Dogs Rule, Cats Drool”… you know… that kind of thing.  I really liked the T shirt I saw emblazoned with the words, “My Labrador is Smarter than Your President”.  I could sense that this person’s energies were vibrating on the same frequency as mine and I struck up a conversation immediately.    NOTE:  Yes, I know, some of you partisan pooch lovers are dying to know which administration was in power when I was charmed by this clever slogan.  Honestly people!!  We’re talking about Labs here!  Does it really matter?

6.      Tattoos.  It should be fairly obvious that the guy who has his dog’s name tattooed on his neck is probably a true dog nut.  I just get confused when they have FIDO tattooed on their forehead.  Is Fido their dog or would they like to be called Fido?  In such cases I always sneak a peek and try to see if they’re wearing a studded leather dog collar.  If so, I avoid conversation and just growl quietly.

7.      Dogs, for dog’s sake!  The true mark of a bonafide dog nut is that they have dogs with them.  Everywhere.  All the time.  They’ve arranged their entire life so they can be constantly surrounded by canines.  They are almost always smiling.  They don’t obsess about what went wrong yesterday and they don’t worry too much about what’s coming next.  They are doing their best to live in the moment with their four legged friends.  Their biggest regret is that they don’t have a tail to wag.  Befriend this person as soon as you can.  You need their friendship as much as they need yours.

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