The Odd But Completely Endearing Things Our Readers Do Because They Love Dogs

If you have dogs, you've likely been trained by them to have some slightly strange habits. Our readers know all about this.


A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to some of our readers who see no problem in sharing a bed with their canine companions. (Do You Sleep With Your Dog? Dogster Readers Say “Yes!”) Today we cast a wider net and include many other things that some might view as odd. These full disclosures were replies to a post from our fearless leader, Dogster EIC Janine Kahn (The Odd But Hopefully Endearing Things I Do Because I Have a Dog). So, what constitutes “odd?” Here are some keywords for clues: lipstick, ice cream, ad-hoc serenades, sock-tugging, spoon-feeding, something called “Naughty Teddy,” and the Pee-Pee-Poo-Poo-Potty Song.

We’re not making this up.

Reader Web_babe5 says: My Basset puppy is obsessed with my socks, usually while I’m wearing them. We call them the evil sock monsters that are trying to eat my feet, and he has to save me.

He’ll tug and pull on the socks (sometimes getting toes in the process) until he manages to get my foot free. Then he’ll shake the sock and maybe chew on it a little, then looks at me with the adorable proud look on his face like, “I’m so good. See, I saved you from those evil sock monsters!” The funny thing is, he only does it with me.

Reader Heidi Murray says: Our dog recognizes my work uniform and knows we won’t be back for a while so he can take over Dad’s chair. We tell him to be good, have a good puppy day, and that he’s in charge of the girls (our three guinea pigs). My husband has more serious one-on-one talks with the dog, but I have walking songs for him like:

We’re walkin’, can’t you see,
We’re walkin’, just you and me
Walkin’ down the road, with my shaggy dog,
We’re walkin’, can’t you see
We’re walkin’, sniffin’ trees
We’re walkin’, we have to pee …

Reader ALANFAN44 says: My Chihuahua, Dixie, does not like to eat his dog food. … One day he needed to take medicine with food, and the vet suggested I feed him a little jar of baby food with a spoon. I tried it and it worked. So I thought, why not try with dog food?

It worked very well — and still four years later I feed him daily with a spoon. My husband thinks Dixie likes the special time alone when I feed him. It only takes about 10 minutes. All I know is he is happy and healthy, so I keep the ritual going as long as it works. [Editor’s Note: This one really made me smile. –Janine]

Reader Susan@CMH says: My fur babies (two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and two cats) get new toys and special treats for Christmas and their birthdays (I usually skip the cards since they can’t read, but sometimes get the musical ones). My dog is named Libby, and I sing her the jingle from the old Libby’s pumpkin-pie filling commercials, or the melody of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with wacky lyrics I make up to suit the occasion.

Reader Gapurplescorpion says: I have conversations with the oldest of my four dogs, Dakota. I’ll ask her what happened while I was at work. She barks her reply, and I usually will counter with “Oh my goodness! What happened next?” More barking ensues. When I would take her with me to visit my parents in Ohio, my mom would do the same thing! Dakota loved visiting her grandma, and my mom loved having her there. My mom passed almost a year ago, but knowing that my dog was a bright spot in her last years warms my heart.

Reader mona liza estrella says: I own an 85-pound 1-year-old Alaskan Malamute whose kennel name is Cafe, but whom we have decided to name Poco. I got him when he was 2 1/2 months old. He has certainly grown since then. He has a full mask, which makes him look quite fierce and wolf-like, but he is as playful and loving as any small breed.

On hot days, I buy him Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen. We live in the Philippines and summers here can be terribly taxing, most specially for my dog who has a triple coat. I know ice cream might not be that good for their tummies, so I take a Dilly Bar out of its paper wrap and eat all the chocolate but allow Poco to lick all of the vanilla ice cream. He just loves it and would even follow all commands I make just so I would give him the pop immediately!

Reader Bubblegum and Beer says: We had a Pit Bull girl who just recently passed of old age, and she would stand in the bathroom while my sister and I put on our makeup. She soon learned what “pretties” were. We used to ask her if she wanted “pretties” — lipstick, lip gloss, or maybe a bit of blush that you would never be able to see on her — but she liked it so we obliged.

She also had “pretty necklaces,” a strand of fake pearls we would put on her as she pranced around the house. Dang, I miss that beautiful girl! One of my fondest memories of her was when she was a puppy and only with us for a couple of weeks. I half-joked to her that she should bark once if she was pretty — and she did. Then I went on to tell her she should bark twice if she was very pretty — and she did! An entire house full of people heard it, and we all would repeat that to her throughout her life.

Reader Sallymcastro says: I am also the proud owner/companion/”servant” of two adorable Italian Greyhounds. Here are just some of the ways, my “boys” are spoiled:

+ If their pet nanny is not around, and I absolutely have to run an errand without them, then I inform them precisely when I will return home (and I do believe they understand).

+ Before exiting the house, I have to pay a certain “toll” to the older one — I have to give him one of his doggy treats before closing the door.

+ I leave them with wonderful soothing sounds, playing through an iPod, via a playlist I created especially for them (they like jazz and opera).

Reader Ness says: Oh lord, where do I start? Smeegle is a Welsh Border Collie and is mad as a hatter. He honestly doesn’t know he’s a dog. One thing that Smeegle does is to tell untruths. If I feed him, he’ll then go to my flatmate and basically say “Oh I’m hungry, I need dinner” and look sad. (Well, he doesn’t speak, but dog lovers will understand what I mean.) Then when we say, “You’ve eaten dinner, you little porkie pie teller,” he goes really soppy and shows us his bum.

“Naughty Teddy” means he’ll run and find his Teddy and shake it and shake it as if it’s been naughty. When he wants attention, he will slap you. Jump on the sofa or bed and just get his big old heavy paw and whack you with it. If that fails he’ll do a squeaky little “bow” instead of a bark to get one of us to do it back to him so that he can run and get Teddy so he can tell it off.

Reader Nmoore says: Me singing to my Airedale Terriers is probably a crime in and of itself. Each evening, just before bedtime, we all go out and I sing the Pee-Pee-Poo-Poo-Potty-Potty Song loud enough my neighbors can hear if they’re outside too. So far no one has called the police, and it does work to get bathroom duties done quickly.

We’re gonna go peeeee
We’re gonna go pooooo
We’re gonna go do our doodie-do.

Got any more little confessions to make, dear readers? Let us know in the comments!

All Illustrations by the always awesome Nigel Sussman

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