What Were the First Signs You Were a ‘Dog Person?’

by Lisa Lanser-Rose

Terri and I were talking yesterday about how young we were when we first knew we were ‘dog people.’ We were so young, we don’t remember the stories ourselves. These are stories our parents tell.

Playing_With_The_DogI was four. We didn’t have a dog, but one day my family went to the beach with another family who had a boxer. I ignored the other children and played with the dog. She liked to swim and went into the water. I followed. Everyone watched, amazed, as I copied her and swam for the first time–a dog taught me how to dog paddle!

Terri was also very young. Her family went to visit friends who had two fearsome German Shepherds. The owners shut the dogs in another room and warned everyone to stay away from them. Sometime later, they noticed Terri missing. Alarmed, everyone went looking, hoping she hadn’t wandered into the dogs’ room. They found her there, in her little pink dress, curled up asleep between the two big bad dogs!

When did you—or your family–first realize you were a dog person?

21 responses to “What Were the First Signs You Were a ‘Dog Person?’

  1. I will find the picture of that moment, Lisa. So glad my parents took one, I was too young to remember.

  2. I was also 4. While other little girls had dolls and teddy bears, I had stuffed dogs toys. It wasn’t until much later that we convinced my mom that a dog would be a great idea. She got the hint when I habitually had dogs “follow” me home. She finally caved and we got our first dog, a mini poodle named Andy…

  3. I remember, to this day, getting our first dog, Fella, at a animal shelter. He was an Essex spaniel and the people were there to surrender him. They gave him to us with his leash, collar and food, so he never actually got inside the shelter! That was 53 years ago!

  4. We have always had dogs( our first ,a Standard Poodle, was brought home when I was 2) and I never realized until I was older that there were people in the world who weren’t dog people…I just figured some people just hadn’t found their dog yet…funny how we remember some thoughts so vividly…LOVE YOUR BLOG!

    • Thank you, so much! Love your comment! That is SO true–it still surprises me when people recoil from a friendly dog, or, for that matter, any friendly animal. I wonder–are you even FROM this planet? On Earth, we love animals, right?

  5. Tom Long
    It was the summer of my 7th grade year and all my siblings were in Missouri. Mom worked a lot and I was alone a lot. Mom let me have ?Ginger”. Themost loving and loyal family member I ever had. I still miss my gkrl to this day I love dogs because of her

  6. I think I was born a dog person – lol!! I was too young to remember but my family had a German Shepherd named Rusty and my dad always tells me I would crawl all over him and never leave his side. My first real dog was given to me and my brother by our godparents. He was a Cockapoo named Muffins, now actually when I think back he was a lot like Chase!!! Was bitten by him when I was 13, really out of no fault of his own. He was sleeping on his beanbag and I went and layed by him and I must have startled him and zap he bit me on the lip (6 stitches) still have that scar but I still loved him!! When I was 9 I broke my arm falling off a bunk bed and he was the first one down the bedroom(was never allowed down there – mind you)to check on me and alerted my parents! Have had 5 more dogs since then – Midnight, Shadow 1, Shadow 2, Toby and now Chase!! Don’t think I will ever be without a dog!!! 🐶

    • Great stories! You reminded me of the time our fox terrier bit my little sister. She was holding Patches still and making raspberries in her face. Patches gave her every warning, and my sister got in trouble for the bite, not the dog. I’m with you. I’m not fully myself unless I’m in partnership with a dog.

  7. I’d I’d been bugging my folks for a collie(blame Lassie!) , when my mother saw there were collie puppies at the local humane society she took me up to pick one out. There were 3 lovely collie pups there and a 1 ½ year old mix that wasn’t nearly so adorable but had huge soulful dark eyes. Large, retriever type, maybe shepard too , but those eyes had me. I was under the impression if the dogs weren’t adopted within 3 days they were put to sleep. I knew the puppies would be adopted no problem, I was worried about Ms. Soleful Eyes………….. She was already spayed and housebroke so I was able to talk Mom into “Mutt”. She went home with us and for years kept up with all 7 of us kids. Horseback riding, hiking, fishing, whatever we did, she joined us. After all those years we still recall her fondly and I’m still I sucker for large soulful eyes.

  8. Aw, these are all such sweet stories!! I have to say, this is the first blog I have ever sat down to read, I have read several articles so far, and I absolutely love it! I was about two years old when my family adopted Morning Glory, and this is one of my first memories. One day my family was all outside, a van drove up to the bottom of our really long driveway, and a big yellow lab jumped out, and ran up to me before the van even pulled in or stopped. When she got to me, her whole body was wagging, and she licked my face all over. I don’t remember the next part, but my mom said I used to have her lick my face every morning and night, to wash my face, and my mom would then make me wash it again (with real water). I grew up with her, and always saw her as a big sister, protector, and my best friend, rather than a family pet. We lived in a very rural area, and there weren’t very many kids around. A lot of the time it was just her and I in the big outdoors, when my older brothers were off doing their own thing, but I loved every minute.

  9. I was shy, nervous of my own shadow and my mums solution was to bring me to pick out the family dog. All I remember is falling in love with them all,luckily only one fell in love with me and came home with us. Have been hooked ever since.

  10. My family always had a dog but I really became a dog person, more specifically “Border Collie” admirer, when I was 11. My mom had to take the cat to the vet so I went with her. While there, the vet asked about our senior dog, Duke. My mom told him that Duke had passed at home several weeks prior. The vet looked at me, smiled, and said he would be right back and left the room. A few minutes later he came back in carrying a box. In the box was the most adorable puppy I had ever seen. The vet said to my mom, “if after a few weeks you decide you don’t want him, you can bring him back”. It was love at first sight for me. Bandit was a Border Collie/Spitz mix; all white body with a black mask. For the greater part of 13 years I did everything with that dog. He was so easy to train and being just a kid at the time, I didn’t know what I was doing but I taught him tricks, frisbee, to go over homemade jumps I made with sticks and rope, accompany me off leash on long walks in the woods; He was just the best dog. After he passed, and when I was ready to get my next dog, I knew I had to get a Border Collie. Bandit just made me fall in love with the intelligence of the breed. 🙂

  11. I have always been a dog person! Growing up, I was not allowed to have a dog, but many of my neighbors had dogs and I still remember them all: Nicki, the shepherd mix puppy; Brittany, the rottweiler; Pookie, the cairn terrier; Duke, the shepherd/greyhound mix. My neighbors were kind enough to let me come over and play with their dogs whenever they were out in the yard. My first pets were cats, which I also enjoy, but I got my first dog just over a year ago and Shamrock is the dog I’ve always wanted! We definitely learn a lot from each other.

Whatcha thinking? Gimme that! Grr! Grr!

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