As women reach their late 20’s/early 30’s, some experience a strong yearning to have a baby—a phenomenon commonly known as “baby fever.” But I’m suffering from something else entirely. Let’s call it “doggy fever.” Has anyone heard of it? Because I’ve got it bad, and the only cure comes in the form of a four-legged, tail-wagging, furry bundle of joy. My Instagram feed is filled with more photos of dogs than humans. (Check out some of my favorites: dailypuppy, spartacuspup, and retrieversgram. You’re welcome). I’m constantly trying to fight my urge to photograph every cute dog I see while out in LA —and there are a lot of them. Just call me the puparazzi. I literally can’t walk past a dog adoption because I don’t trust myself enough to not make an impulse buy. I know I can’t have a dog right now (for reasons I won’t bore you with), but how great would it be if I did? Here are just a few things that could be a lot more fun with a dog in tow.
1. Going for a Walk
Los Angeles is nothing like New York, where I used to live. People don’t walk for the sake of walking. They rarely walk as a means of transportation and would sooner drive down the block than slip on their sneakers. I often want to go outside for a walk because the weather is never not postcard-worthy (or, rather, Insta-worthy), but I feel strange about it because the only other people walking have dogs by their side. It’s like going to the dance without a date: You can go, but you’re going to feel a bit uncomfortable.
A few weeks ago, I went against one of my dating “no-no’s” and accepted a first, blind (well, unless you count the deceiving photos from their online profile) date on a Friday evening. It was bad. Because it was a Friday, I couldn’t throw my arms up, give a mock yawn and proclaim, “Boy am I tired. I’ve got to get going, early meeting tomorrow at work!” I had no out. A dog could have been my out. People with dogs get out of doing things they don’t want to do all the time (almost, but nearly not as much as people with children) because they have to “get home for the dog.”
3. Coming Home
I recently moved into my own apartment. No more roommates. Just me and my stuff. All mine! While I love having my own place, every now and then I would enjoy some interaction—not with another human, but with a dog. There’s nothing like coming home to a dog who is just waiting to shower you with love.
4. Talking to Myself
Lately I’ve noticed my tendency to talk out loud when no one is around. I’m pretty sure I’m not crazy (although if I was, would I know?), but sometimes, I think I’m alone and then realize there’s someone else in the bathroom, or my car window is rolled down and the man in the next lane is looking at me like I’m a wacko. But if I had a dog, he could be my cover: He would mask my seemingly crazy habit. Talking to myself? No! Just my little labradoodle. . . Isn’t that right, Patches?
5. Meal Time
I know you’re not supposed to feed dogs human food, but as far as I’ve seen (and I grew up with dogs), a fallen piece of food here or there won’t hurt them. It would however, certainly help me! I tend to drop things a lot. You can tell my weekly meal plan by the contents of the food scraps on the kitchen floor. If I had a dog around, he could help me present my place as the home of an adult. An adult with clean floors. An adult with clean floors, responsible enough to be a dog owner!
Dyana Goldman moved from New York City to Los Angeles to pursue a career in sitcom writing. You can find her most weekends hiking in Runyon Canyon, taking sneaky photos of your dog, or at the Melrose Place Farmers market, making a meal out of free samples. While living in LA she has worked on several shows, including Entourage, Happy Endings, and Growing Up Fisher. She received baseball hats as crew gifts from all of those shows, but none of them fit on her child-sized head. She has a blog that she sometimes writes on at Write Turns and Wrong Ones and you can follow her on Twitter @DyanaGoldman.