You’ve always been a fan of pooches, but you never really classified yourself as a dog lover. Perhaps it’s been years since you last owned a pet or maybe you’ve never actually had one, but always entertained the idea. Either way, if it’s your intention to get serious with a doggie mom or dad, you need to learn to have much more than just a passing fancy with pups.
People who call themselves dog lovers do so because they truly and unconditionally love their pets. Their dogs are members of their families, and they often treat these pets with the same care and respect that they’d give any other beloved human. If you are going to be a part of their lives, you will be expected to exhibit the same kind of behavior.
Of course, it is unrealistic to expect that you will become a dog lover overnight. It takes time to cultivate a relationship with anyone – human or canine – and it requires a lot of bonding, understanding and patience. There is always the chance that you might not fall as deeply in love with the dog as you do the date, and if that’s the case, you’ll need to learn to make compromises to keep things harmonious.
First and foremost, always remember that the dog came first, and if you would be so uncompassionate as to make a doggy parent choose between you and their pet when there’s a bump in the road, you can expect your behind to leave skid marks as it’s thrown out the door. If you truly believe that you, your date and their dog cannot “make it work”, then it has to be you that gracefully bows out.
All relationships have their ups and downs, and what makes the successful ones so magical is that the partners are willing to recognize their unique issues and address them. If you are unhappy or concerned with something that is occurring in yours, speak up. Perhaps it drives you nuts that the dog has a place next to you at the breakfast table or that you constantly have to stare at its rear end while sitting on the couch during movie nights. These are definitely legitimate concerns, but you can only expect change if you ask for it. Rather than demand that these behaviors simply cease, come up with some alternatives. Suggest that the pup have his own, special spot to eat or that he have his meals before you and your partner sit down. To help free up space on the sofa, offer to spend a weekend creating a comfy doggy couch so that the pooch can sit near you two, while still having his own space.
Learning to live with a pet – especially a pet that isn’t your own – can be a difficult endeavor. But remember that it’s a must if you want to spend time with a doggy lover. You aren’t expected to know everything this type of life entails, and it is okay to ask questions. When you work with your partner and their pet to make the space you all share as happy and as comfortable as possible, you are building the foundation for a lifetime of love.