This morning, I was awakened by the magnificent yawning breath of Satan. That’s right, little Miss Gorgonzola was sitting next to me, tail wagging, panting her skanky catfish-smelling breath right in my face. At 7:30 am.
While I love my dog dearly, it is exactly this type of behavior that lets me know I did the right thing in kicking her off the bed last night onto her own doggy cushion, even though we did have a Battle of Bed Mountain for about 15 minutes before she gave up trying to get back on the bed and settled down for the night. And it got me thinking of how much my life has changed since adopting a dog in Italy. Before Zola there were days of lazing around in bed sleeping in till noon, late night bar crawls that lasted until 6 am, and now my life is filled with poo bags, vet visits and daily walks where my dog is more popular on the streets than Roberto Benigni.
You know you’re a dog owner in Florence when…
You know the exact location of every trash can within a 2 kilometer radius.
You can pick up your dog’s poo without needing a bag. Even if it means rooting through nearby garbage for a plastic bag or piece of cardboard. BECAUSE YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE, DAMMIT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO ROOT THROUGH THE TRASH YOU WILL NOT BE LIKE ALL THOSE OTHER DEADBEATS WHO LEAVE THEIR DOGS SHIT ALL OVER THE SIDEWALKS!
You can also slink off in the opposite direction from your dog’s poop when you don’t have a bag, because you’re sneaky…
Every coffee shop, bar or restaurant near your house keeps a supply of dog biscuits behind the counter in case you come in with your dog.
You have at least 2 lint rollers in your house at all times.
Your dog is given at least 5 treats a day, no matter how many times you try to tell that lady who stops you in the street, “No, she’s too fat. She’s supposed to be on a dieta!”
Every time you leave the house, you pretty much have to take the dog or it goes apeshit on you.
Suddenly your dog’s bowel movements become a hot topic of discussion between you and your parner. “Look how much she just pooped! Look at it!”–>real life conversations.
Having to walk your dog when you’re hungover at 7:30 am means sweatpants, sunglasses and flip flops. Even in December. You don’t care how many stereotypes you perpetuate or weird stares you get from the Italians, you aren’t getting dressed for shit.
You’ve honestly tested the limits of how long you can sleep in before your dogs pees in your bed.
When you’re on vacation, you find yourself checking your phone at least 10 times a day for messages from your dog sitters to see how your puppy is doing.
You also find it more fun buying things for your dog while on vacation than for your friends or family.
You pretty much know every neighborhood dog within a 3 block radius of your house.
All of your black clothing is so covered in pet fuzz that it kind of resembles a stuffed animal.
Swiffers are the shit. Enough said.
Your dog has at least 2 different collars (one for summertime, one for wintertime) and you secretly wish you had like, 10 more.
All of your friends greet your dog first before acknowledging your existence. This usually goes for strangers, too.
You’ll defend your dog to the ends of the earth, and actively encourage him/her to pee on the doorstep of that crazy old lady hanging out her window who yelled at you that one time.
Hanging out with a snoozy pup by your side and a bottle of wine in front of the TV suddenly doesn’t sound like such a boring Friday night anymore.