A short while back, I wrote a blog entry about striving to be who my dog sees. The pup at the center of the piece was my beloved cattledog, Ranger, who has since said his elder goodbyes (rest in peace, my sweet angel). His legacy lives on in my two amazing little chihuahuas, Aurelia and DaVinchi, who cutely demand that I live up to their expectations every single day (which I humbly and lovingly do, no questions asked).

Yet in this time of isolation, we have a lot of up and down days, and my role as parent is always under my own scrutiny and microscope. It has made me realize just how very hard we are on ourselves as parents, pet or otherwise. We set such high expectations; yet we rarely give ourselves any credit for what we do and who we are to them as parents and beyond. At least that’s the boat I’m in. It takes an awful lot of convincing to reflect upon what we mean to them; but I think it is valuable to remember, not in an egotistical way, but in a way that lends itself to self-appreciation, further encouragement, and fuel for us to do even more.

They gift us with so much love. So, let us honor that love by feeling special for how they truly see us… and then love them even more for it. First, let me just say, without even knowing you, that you are an awesome pet parent. They think so, and so do I, just for you taking the time to read this piece. Please enjoy the lift.

How Your Dog Sees You (a reflection from their perspective)

To them, you are…

1) A Champion

You are my Champion for so many reasons. You get home and let me out. You bring me food. You are my reason for happy. My butt wiggling is for you. In my eyes, you can do no wrong, except maybe not share your dinner.

2) The Breadwinner

You literally bring home the bacon. You impress me with how deftly you open that can, scoop from that bag, hand out treats, and cook that chicken. In fact, you do it so well, and you have all kinds of food laying around. You must not need that….right?

3) An Adventurer

You are the rogue leader, my Adventurer on the trail. You lead us into fun and danger, like the wayward bunny hopping through the field, or the crazy bird that keeps dive-bombing us. You protect us, though I think my barking helps. You lead me through puddles, onto beaches, and into sweet mud. You even let me roll. And when we get home, you brave the waters of the tub to make sure I get clean. I don’t quite know why you do this because the mud is so great. But maybe you just like getting wet. Here, I’ll shake some more.

4) A Cuddler, Playmate, and Friend

You snuggle me. The importance of this I cannot stress enough. But I will try to show you with my sloppy kisses. Then, you take the time to play with me. I get that you clearly love my toys as much as I do; I can tell, because you keep trying to get them from me. But then you let me have them in the end. This must mean you’re my truest friend and that you really love me.

5) A Conqueror (of the vacuum, etc)

You are fearless. You control the vacuum-monster. You use crazy tools with deftness, like the sweeper-broom and the fly swatter. You chase things like bees and bugs. And then you reassure me that it’s okay when other doggos and people go by outside through the see-through space. You are the master of this domain and I love you for it.

6) A Regulator

Although I kind of wish you would let me get away with more stuff, like drinking from the refillable bowl in the bathroom or chewing on the arm of the big plushy chair, I respect that you have to keep your order. You are the Regulator.

7) A Rule Maker and Breaker

As much as you are the Regulator who makes the rules, I also love how you can break them at a moment’s notice. You must have so much power. I love how “get off the couch” means get off the couch until you change your mind and snuggle with me on the couch. Or how “no” when I give you googly eyes at your dinnertime eventually leads to “oh, okay,” and then me getting something. It’s bit confusing, but I love you anyway. No one’s perfect. I’m in awe.

8) A Weird Poo Picker Upper

I’ve always thought it was weird that you pick up my poop. But I guess if you like carrying my scent around, it must mean that you must really really love me and want to protect me.

9) A Slovenly Beast, A Little Crazy, but Fun

You’re kind of messy and all over the place. And, lately, you kinda cry a lot. But that’s okay. I still love you. In fact, I want to protect you. I love that you are weird. And that I can comfort you. And that you leave out socks and underwear and things that I can get into (especially trash cans). It makes me feel special.

10) Everything

You are everything to me. I love you just because you are you. You are mine. And there’s nothing better.