Ok, I admit it: we are dog people! We love dogs, heck, we have four of them. I often think of them as the best thing that's happened to us since moving to Greece and I am 100% sure that we were adopted by them and not the other way round. So... here goes, the ten things I love about (our) dogs:
When you have a dog (or a few dogs) coming home is always wonderful. It doesn't matter if the best holiday of your life has just come to an end, you still look forward to coming home. The reception is always warm and they are always super-excited to see you. Which links onto...
2. The Way they Greet Me
I love the way the dogs greet me! Whether I am coming home after a 30 minute outing, or returning home from a two-week holiday, whether I am simply getting up after a night's sleep, or letting them in after their dinner there is a tonne of unconditional love being poured out. There is not a chance that our dogs won't come to the door to greet us, won's show excitement and joy at seeing us again (even if they only just saw us a few minutes ago...)
3. Running/getting outside
We love the outdoors anyway and even if we didn't have dogs we would walk and run on the mountain. However, doing so with dogs is just 100% more fun. From the moment they see me lacing up my running shoes they know. They are fantastic company to walk with and (again) I love how they come back to check in every now and again, but love to run ahead, explore, climb and sniff everything and everywhere.
...about pretty much anything. But especially walking and getting outside. But also for working in the garden, playing with balls, having breakfast... pretty much anything. Their excitement makes me appreciate my life so much more! They truly live in the moment!
5. Grooming and Petting
Ok, I do spend a lot of time moaning about the hair (and yes, it is everywhere in our house, no matter how often we hoover). But I love grooming them, brushing and stroking them. And I love how they love it. Of course there is the Science bit, all about oxytocin and how owning a dog can make you and keep you healthier here and here. And although that's not the reason we have dogs, it's certainly a bonus!
6. Being Loved!
Unconditionally. Ok, so they might show it a little more just before feeding time, but I honestly think (and there are studies to prove it) that there really is a bond between us. Woof!
7. The Company
Dogs are such great company. Even in the middle of the night, when tummy ache wakes you (and your spouse would rather sleep than hold your hand) your dog will come and keep you company. I love those nights, when for some reason I cannot sleep, and I lie there, usually with Spencer, our black doggy and spend hours stroking him. I think he loves it too.
8. Playful at any age
We do have a lot to learn from them, I think. They do tend to be more playful as puppies, but even adult dogs, even old ones, like our big boy Fifi, can play with the best of them.
9. The Smell of Dog
I have a confession to make. I love the smell of dog. Yes, you read correctly, I love the way my dogs smell (which is not the same as other dogs, I think). I still don't like the smell of wet dog, though!
10. Dog People
We love meeting other dog people and, in my book at least, there is something instantly appealing about people you know have dogs. There is ready conversation and, in general, it is a useful tool in judging (!) potential friends. There are, it seems, certain characteristics, a kind of "down-to-earth-iness" about dog people.
So here it is, my ten things I love about (my) dogs. In fact, I could have kept writing and writing, but here are some pictures instead...