Dog Ownership Bests: My Top Ten

Ramona, doing her best Eminem impression at the El Rey drive-through window. December 30, 2012.

My friend Alicia Cuello asked me:

What are the ten best things about having a dog?

  1. Cuddles: Dogs will snuggle at every opportunity. Bonus: They’re super soft and warm.
  2. Play: My dog reminds me to embrace silliness and find my inner kiddo—and willingly joins me any moment I catch the whim, indoors and out.
  3. Exercise: I walk Ramona at least twice a day. And if I ever want to just get out and wander a bit, she’s game. Even better: She introduced me to all my neighbors.
  4. Fun: My dog tries to make everything fun: walks, baths, mealtimes, car trips. In the process, she inspires me to find my own every-day, small-moment joy.
  5. Simplicity: Ramona loves chasing squirrels as much as she loves going to festivals. An empty water bottle makes her just as happy as a fancy toy. She reminds me that the simple things comprise most of life’s joys.
  6. Blindness: Ramona doesn’t care what I look like or what I’m wearing. She thinks I’m pretty fantastic, even in my comfiest ratty jammies.
  7. Forgiveness: We all make mistakes. I cut Ramona’s fingernails too short. I snapped at her for no fault of hers. She forgives me straightaway and holds no grudges.
  8. Companionship: Ramona ranks hanging out with me more highly than any other possibility. And she’s a great listener.
  9. Admiration: Even when I haven’t done a darned thing, Ramona thinks I’m the bee’s knees. Everyone should have a creature so overjoyed at her mere appearance.
  10. Grounding: A common thread in all these points? A dog reminds you about what truly matters.

Okay, dog lovers: What’d I miss?