"Companionship," a perfect word for thinking about dogs. Of course we all know what it means but It is worth exploring its origins a bit. The "panion" part comes from the Latin "panis" or bread, so the word "companion" literally translates to "the one with whom you break bread." Such an intimate and close event, breaking bread together. Now regardless of whether your canine etiquette rules allow for lucky crumbs under the table, scraps begged from your plate, or even a lick of your daughter's ice cream cone, you're probably not digging into the kibble bowl with a cereal spoon. But the word companionship does perfectly describe life with dogs, doesn't it? The intimate parts of life, shared.
They're staring at us when we wake up waiting to be let out, they come up to our knee when we're in tears, they listen sympathetically to us prattle on about the goings on of the day. "What are we going to do now, Dusty? Shall we go for a walk?" "Did you just say walk!?!?" The cocked head and perked ears say. They are underfoot while the family mills around the kitchen after school. They know your rhythms and get up to stretch a minute before you stand up from the table, because that's the time you go for a walk. They're sitting at the door listening for the car pulling up at the end of the day. They are with us, they know us. It is a unique place that our furry companions hold in our lives.
It takes work
Some might say dog loving is a selfish endeavor, that we just have the creatures for our own satisfaction, but dog owners know it's a two-way street. They enjoy our company as we enjoy theirs. Yes they live for us, but we also give our lives for them. And it's not all fun. There's the throw up on the carpet, the chewed up chair leg, the constant deposits of fur on the furniture (is that's why they call it fur-niture? Eh, maybe not … but we digress). They need to be exercised. They have to go out multiple times of day, rain or shine. In some ways it's like living with an eternal toddler that never grows up. It is inconvenient! But that's the point. It requires something of us. Deep down we have some innate desire to care for animals.
Bringing a bit of wild into our world
We love to draw nature into our homes: house plants, cut flowers, kids' terrarium with collected frogs, pumpkins at Thanksgiving and trees at Christmas. We have some deep down desire to connect with the natural world and dogs are just the perfect fit. They fit that relational cuddly need, the communicative and clever enjoyment, the protective role, and for thousands of years that specialized working role. They find a niche in every part of our lives. As writer John Eldredge says, "If you don’t like dogs, there is most likely something deeply wounded in your soul.”
In dogs we find a mirror of ourselves in some ways. Yes it's simplified and purer than we as adults can attain to very often in our complex and busy lives, but it is an image or echo of something deep down in us that perhaps we feel we should be: ecstatic about the arrival of a bowl of the same tasting food every day, unabashedly pleased by a kind word or pat on the head, obviously ashamed when caught doing something naughty, able to fall asleep in a second when we're tired but happy to launch out of bed at the suggestion of a ball being tossed for us. Ah the life of a dog.
But, just as they get to come along for the ride in our lives with heads joyfully sticking out of the window, we get to join them too. The necessity of walks gets us into the woods and we wonder what they smell on the trail. We run around in the yard a bit more sillily than we would otherwise. We lay on the floor and lazily scratch behind their ears. And who hasn't seen the most hardened, life wearied, retired businessman cooing and baby talking to his favorite Rover. They pull us into the joys, needs, and rhythms of their lives. Our lives are enriched.
A Companion for the Companions
Really it is a way of life, living with dogs. Some parts of it unavoidable, some you couldn't live without. That's why we talk at Dogologie about being "companions to the dog lover lifestyle." Loving dogs (loving them well we should say) takes work, it takes commitment, it takes time. You have to let it shape your life, your budget, your schedule. But of course the rewards are worth it, and the work itself is good for us too. So we come alongside. We're your companions in your doggy companionship. Our products are all thoughtfully chosen to add to that style of life that is so enriched by having dogs in it, but also to support you in the work it takes to care for a dog. Why do we do it? Well, we at Dogologie are the textbook cases of people who love shaping their lives around and enjoying the fruit of having dogs and are happy to provide you with everything you need for the journey.