If you read my blog, you probably own dogs, or love dogs, or want a dog. Or, you are one of my few non-dog readers keeping tabs on me through my dog-related exploits and posts. If you are the latter, you probably know my name is Lydia, and I blog under the name Miss Muddy Paws, and knowing these facts puts you in the minority.
My new condo is filled with dogs, and the people on the end of their leashes seem incredibly friendly and welcoming. My neighbors (of the human variety) regularly walk dogs for one another, and swap dog sitting duties if someone is going out-of-town. I have gotten to know them quite well – on the first floor, we have Marley, on the second floor there are Jessica Simpson and Milly and Hush, the third floor is home to Gus, and a pitbull, whose name escapes me. I can also name eight of my neighbors in other buildings.
When I walk around the corner, Retrievers in-leash, I can hear people talking, “There’s Hush-Puppy, and the other one is Milly. They live on the second floor of X building.” I’ve quickly learned which dogs are ones that can play with mine, and which are a little less-social. In my interactions, I sometimes garner little tidbits about their owners. The hound Hush loves to play with has an owner that works most weekends; Jessica Simpson’s owner adores Colbert and disapproves of my “Warning: Dog Bites Democrats” magnet on my car; Gus’s owner is engaged; the husky-mix is owned by a man who drives a BMW; Marley’s owner recently re-did her hardwood floors; Nellie’s owner has top-secret clearance. If this sounds like LSAT prep, it’s not, it’s my life.
I’m sure at some point in time, we’ve exchanged human names, but the names we most frequently use are our dogs’. Most of the details about our lives come from exchanges about our dogs, and a conversation almost never leads with human-questions, unless it has to do with the weather.
Having dogs has afforded me the opportunity to get to know my neighbors, I know them much better than my non-dog-owning roommate, Sydney, but do I really know them? Or, do I simply know the canines of the condo complex? It’s one thing to know the names of the dogs at the local dog park, and not their human counterparts, but, has this been taken too far when the same holds true for my neighbors?