Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pooches: Good Habits Our Dogs Have Taught Us

 Spying on a friend's Facebook page the other day, his status noted how he had an amazing exercise walking routine that was eventually thwarted by the winter weather. I told him he needed to 'get a dog' and that obligation would keep him on track. But beyond the obvious exercise benefits, I started thinking about some of the other less obvious benefits there are to having dogs.

1) Our dogs help us keep a clean house
Most people think having dogs makes your house dirtier, but I've noticed the opposite. It is because of our dogs that we keep things put away neatly, avoid clutter, and clean up all food and dishes immediately. I learned this the hard way when I first adopted Miss M and she mistook one of my favorite pairs of heels for a nylabone. And if we ever forget to pick up any clothes from the ground, our pooches are sure to remind us. This is what happens if one of our coats falls off the hook:

2) We get more done during the day
Remember the idea of being able to sleep in on the weekends? We don't. With our pooches' time-telling superpowers we are awoken early each morning to Miss M's "melodic singing" telling us we have forgotten to feed her and she needs food immediately or she might wither away. And if that doesn't work, Mr. B knows that shoving his big, luggy head on our bed is a sure thing. The positive thing is that we do like getting our day started early to avoid crowds, and it's a great feeling to have our chores done by noon.

 3) We have become friends with our city-neighbors
I remember having neighbor friends when I grew up, but neighbor friends are a little bit different in the city. Normally, you don't have them. There are just so many multi-unit buildings on a single block that most people don't care about being neighborly and just go on their way. At least that is what I thought, before we had dogs. All of a sudden, a new world of city-neighbor friends was opened. We've met families that have lived on our street for generations, we're being excitedly greeted by the elderly man down the street that doesn't speak English, and we're meeting all the biking hipsters and other dog people. Having the dogs has given people a reason to talk to us. We've become more recognizable. And I really enjoy being a part of a community.
These are the things we've thought of. What am I leaving out?
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Unknown said...

We've experienced a lot of the same things. My kitchen is a lot cleaner now, as is our table due to the counter surfers. Those two can reach a long ways too!!

lindsay said...

I agree with all of these! We definitely wake up earlier, spend more time outside and have less clutter as a result of our pooches!
Our dogs have opened up a new world of dog friendly travel, dog friendly restaurants etc....we love them! It takes a little more creativity to travel an go places with them but it is worth it!!!

Faye said...

You couldn't ask for two cuter taskmasters! Especially love the photo of your "alarm clock". :-) And yes, Willie the pit bull gets me walking every day--cleaning not so much.

Anonymous said...

it's no wonder they say dogs are good for your health!
gonzo seems to have a distaste for people who smell like cigarettes, so maybe he would be good at keeping a recent quitter clean?

H Ski said...

I completely agree with the cleaning and get things done. Dogs are great alarm clocks. I also love that I have met many people in my neighborhood when I am walking with Lola.

Kate said...

Melanie hates it when we stay up late, so she makes sure we get enough sleep and go to bed on time each night. She "sings" to us too if we don't come up to bed!

Tucker The Crestie said...

What did you ever do before Miss M. and Mr. B? I love the coat picture, by the way!

Tucker The Crestie said...

What did you ever do before Miss M. and Mr. B? I love the coat picture, by the way!

Brenda said...

Love the face of your alarm clock, lol!! :)

Two French Bulldogs said...

True, mom walks more and our house is spotless. We also learned we know doggies names but not there human's name. BOL
Benny & Lily

Kari in Alaska said...

Sleeping in has not happened in the past 4 years in our house either :)


houndstooth said...

You've come up with a great list! I think it's made us more responsible, too. There are things that we can't just blow off anymore because we need to take care of the dogs.

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

It's so true! They don't wreck our stuff anymore but the habit of picking things up off the floor has stuck! I'm very happy about that too because I like when things are up off the floor ;)

huser630 said...

Great list! To add to it, my dog has taught us the following:

1. Keep toilet seat down
2. Vacuum often
3. Dust more
4. NO sleeping in (which is ok as we are morning people)
6. More love in the household
7. Pet friendly visitors

The list could go on, but it is amazing how we change our lives, sometimes in ways we aren't aware of, when we haev dogs. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

brooke said...

Id agree to most of those things. Though we've been lucky in that Darwin hasn't (yet) been destructive with our clothes/shoes (she did chew the heel of one of my shoes, but only once) and we leave our shoes in the hallway by the closet and she never touches that stuff.
Darwin has got us out an about more (hiking, snowshoeing, trips to the coast) which is really nice.
And I have to say even with her blog, I feel like we've met a bunch of great people and dog lovers and it's another great community.

Corbin said...

I've taught my parents a thing or two... definitely about the cleaning up after dinner - hehe, although, I wish they didn't learn that one!

h(eather) said...

Ah, we know number one all too well. We can't even leave dishes in the sink or Rude Dog will pull them out!

Kitty+Coco said...

Our friends say that our house is as clean and white as a surgery room. My two wouldn't even bother a shoe or anything like that now, but boy did they as puppies. The habit of making sure NOTHING is left out has stuck. Works out great for me as one day we might have a baby, and we will already be baby-proofed. Also, as someone with social anxiety, the dogs have totally helped me overcome it. I mainly love how everything is on a schedule when you have pups.

Darwin said...

I agree on the cleaner house since Darwin joined the house. I notice that we try to stay home more for meals, it saves money and we enjoy spending more time at home.

Road Dog Tales said...

We TRY to get Mom & Dad to have all these good habits. We have a fenced yard, though, so they can let us out and go back to snoozing :) As for cleaning up the house - HA!

The Road Dogs

the booker man said...

oh yes, everything on your list is true! my house is definitely cleaner because of my dogs. i vacuum daily because of their fur, and of course, no food can be left out or it will be gone as soon as my back is turned. as for the "alarm clock," my bed is pretty high off of the ground, so asa and booker can't really reach their faces over the side. instead, asa likes to beat her tail against the closet door, and booker likes to shove his nose behind the curtains and let light in. :)

the booker man and asa's mama

p.s. -- it was a strawberry rhubarb pie!

Anonymous said...

I've taught my mom that there are more impawtant things than just sitting on the couch watching tv. Specially when it's warm. Cuz she has to get up to let me outside about a jillion times a night. And then I look at her all cute-like and that makes her want to come outside with me. So she gets some fresh air. And then sometimes I let her chase me so she gets exercise. Yep, I've taught her some good habits, all right.

Oh, and I luvs the pictures of Mr. B's big ol' head and Miss M getting luvins!

Wiggles & WAgs,

HoundDogMom said...

Oh, my have the hounds taught me to pick my S**T up. Oh, don't forget to place the remote control up high some place. And if you need help with your counter cleaning just holler and I will send Winston to you for a week or so. BOL Sniffs, The HoundDogs

ForPetsSake said...

Hehe - thanks for posting this, it makes me thankful that I have dogs even on those 4 am emergency bathroom run mornings ;)
Seriously, though, we are just more of a family with the pups!

bitt said...

My cat does that with my coats. I sure do get furry!

My dogs never wake me up early! But I like it that way.

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