If there is anything I’ve learned about dogs from both living in DC and being a dog trainer, it’s that the combos of dogs and humans that love each other unconditionally are never two in the same. Now that the weather is nice, the dogs are out in full force around the city. I see dozens of dogs every single day.
Many people who love animals have a preconceived idea of what a dog owner should look like. I love the variety of dog owners I see here in the city. I have a friend who runs the Facebook Page Dogs of New York, a page that celebrates New York’s dogs and the people who love them. It was inspired by the blog Humans of New York and I highly recommend you check it out. The photos highlight everyday dog owners and help to open your mind about the people out there who truly love their dogs as family.
When I saw a gorgeous pup the other day at my favorite DC park, Meridian Hill, I decided to go up and talk to the owner. He told me her name was Storm and that she was the best thing to ever happen to him. Storm sleeps in his bed and goes everywhere with him. When I asked if I could snap a picture, he said, “absolutely!” and immediately grabbed Storm to pose. How stinkin’ cute are they!?
I was so energized by my short conversation with Storm’s dad that I am thinking I might start talking to more DC dog owners I find, just to learn more about who is out there loving their dogs. The folks of Dogs of New York have gone even a step further and created the “Brooklyn Ruff Riders” to support local pet owners. To learn more about the Brooklyn Ruff Riders and support their initiative, head to their website! I so wish I had the time to start a program like this in DC. Supporting pet owners is the first step to keeping animals out of shelters, and I know that’s where the need is greatest. Maybe one day!
Yesterday evening I headed back to Meridian and didn’t talk to anyone, but captured this pair doing some fabulous training in the park. I’ll be honest in saying when you work at a shelter and see so many animals without homes, you forget that the overwhelming majority of owners are out there loving and caring for their pets. I love being re-reminded of this on a daily basis. It helps me keep the open mind that I need in order to continue making a difference.