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December 16, 2014

What will the Neighbors Think?

When you have pets your personal definition of “normal” expands quite a bit. Recently a friend stopped by and met Eko and Penny for the first time. As we spoke he interrupted me to say, “Um, are they okay?” The question seemed quite silly, the pups were clearly happily at
When you have pets your personal definition of “normal” expands quite a bit. Recently a friend stopped by and met Eko and Penny for the first time. As we spoke he interrupted me to say, “Um, are they okay?” The question seemed quite silly, the pups were clearly happily at play. But upon further review of the photo evidence I could see how one might not recognize the pups’ behavior as “normal” play. 16.1

I thought everyone knew this is what two happy dogs look like?


My “normal”


As the old saying goes, “Love is smacking  your big brother in the face”


“Oh what, Will? You want us to pretend to be prim and proper?”


“Hey everybody, look! I’m Will, I walk on two feet!”

I sometimes wonder what my neighbors must think when they see two large mammals battle and chase each other around my patio like nutjobs. I never really considered it anything other than normal.


“Ooh, look, the Jones’s bought new porch furniture.” 


“We’re happy, Will. Don’t worry about the Jones’s!”

I’m not particularly self-conscious (shocking, I know), but I’m now thinking about all the “normal” parts of my life with dogs and laughing at how absurd they might have once seemed to me.

I know I’m not alone here, so fess up. What normal part of your life with pets might cause others to do a double take?  

Comments for What will the Neighbors Think?

  1. dashlilly says:

    Ha!! Yes!! Lilly’s favorite game is to chase Dash and bark at him. And she barks loud and quite annoyingly… I am sure onlookers and next door neighbors without dogs think she is killing him!

  2. meANXIETYme says:

    We’ve never had dogs that like to play with other dogs. All our dogs thought they were people and turned their noses up at other dogs. Now that we have two that play (plus my parents’ lab), we were shocked at how much noise and teeth and biting and trampling and pushing and fur flinging goes on.
    Three years on and it’s no big deal anymore. Guests are still shocked at how nonchalant we are when the dogs are making a ruckus in the yard, generally in a fury of snarling and snapping and biting and rolling on the ground.

  3. Penny’s face in the first photo! PRICELESS! My parents were speechless as they saw that Easy gets his supper in bed (and they are dog people and are far away from normal) :o)

  4. fredrieka says:

    the look on Penny’s face is “What the heck are you making all that noise for!”

  5. Victoria says:

    yep playtime sounds like murder and mayhem and scares the normals – also when muffin barks (when we are in the car) she sounds like a bear and scares the crud out of everyone in earshot – i know her bark means i am scared and a funny looking person (because only i am not the funny looking person to my dogs) is coming this way…

  6. derrycats says:

    Our dogs are quite elderly and don’t alarm anyone much, but watch a couple young cats wrestle and bite each other and you’re got scary stuff if you’re not in the know. Lots of sound effects…the play ones sound back but are quite different from the real fight stuff.

  7. mk22llewis says:

    This is so true. My dog loves to bite other dogs cheeks! And of course have it happen to her in return.

  8. PigLove says:

    Snorts! People have to adjust to our ‘normal’ with us anipals around. What might look like we are fixing to take over the world, turn the house upside down running the Nascar race inside for someone, is mom’s oh they’re okay standard. Snorts.

  9. Marcela says:

    Lol. They both look ferocious, but to us, pet parents, that is how they play therefore we don’t pay much attention to it, but others will. You are right. For us, that is normal. In my case, it’d be the fact that when I visit my family it goes this way, “invite me, and that is an automatic invitation for my furry companion.” Otherwise I won’t go, period. Yes, to me that is normal, but to those that don’t have dogs this is very “normal.”

  10. Eeqmacaw says:

    Does this look familiar? The other day I was out walking with Nikki and mentioned to Donna one of my walking buddies that Nikki’s brother Chessie was coming for a visit. We both noticed that every time I said his name she perked up and started looking around for him.So from them on I refered to him as Mr.C.

  11. This was awesome! Some fantastic pictures and yes if you didn’t know them one would think they were going to kill each other. 😉

  12. I’ve had a number of people ask about the scrapes on Khoi’s right side. Neeka must be left-pawed because that’s the side she always chooses from which to take Khoi down; hence his right side being the target. It alarms people to see teeth gnashing and leg or neck grabbing with the occasional death roll, but they always come out of it with wagging tails. If he wasn’t running back in to start the “battle” again, we would be concerned. Besides, we can tell Neeka “easy” and she’ll back off a bit…..until Khoi attacks during the lull. Sneaky little guy.

  13. Emmadog says:

    Mom says when she got her first dog, she was a bit self conscious, but at this point, she doesn’t care what people think or are saying. It is a bit like humans with mini humans, the first one is pristine clean, prim and proper, but by mini human number four or five, it all goes out the window and dirt, messes, odd play, all becomes normal and no longer phases the human parent. Mom keeps a “tight leash” on us, but no longer worries about every little thing like she did with her first dog.

  14. Lana says:

    The first two pictures are exactly how my two Rhodesians play with each other – a lot of teeth, eyeballs, face slapping, skin tagging and general wrestling. My girl loves to put her paw between her brother’s eyes and poor boy just stands there while he is patiently thinking what to do next that would cause his parents yelling at him. Strangely enough, they play differently with other dogs (much less teeth and slapping), but their Ridgeback friend gets the same treatment…. 🙂 Thank you for wonderful pictures, it is so much fun to watch them play.

  15. Great action shots. Scary and fun. Since I don’t have a brother or sister, mom gets crazy looks when we walk down the street and she’s talking to me like I’m human. I like it, but some people think we’re weird.

    Love and licks,

  16. Kyla says:

    Our good neighbors have dogs-like Lilly the rescue greyhound. They already know. The bad ones aren’t dog friendly.

  17. oh this made me laugh! Ours would be Dakota barking out the window like a nutcase….often…at NOTHING…….

  18. I am sure my neighbors all think I am nuts when I pull the alpha card out in the yard and stand tall and start saying “oh I don’t think so” ” that is enough out of you ladies” etc…that and when I talk about my Kids and never think twice about the fact that they aren’t two legged and my friends have to explain that to people who don’t know me 🙂

  19. I had a similar reaction years ago when I lived with a pair of related cats (brothers). They would wrestle on the floor and to the untrained eye you might think they were hurting each other. Twenty minutes later they were curled up together on the couch, giving each other a bath.

    Here’s my confession: I kiss my cats on top of their warm, furry heads. They return my affection with the feline version, a gentle head butt.

  20. It’s a very special noise she’s making: When everything is settled (food in her belly, warm couch, my husband nearby) and a hard day’s work done, she makes this noise: Kind of buzzing, dark sound, exhaling, extremely loud.
    To me ist sounds like ” darling girl feels like heaven”- to friends it always sounds like “OH MY GOD! She’s not going well, how may I help. Is it Asthma? Where is the doctor, call 911, IMMEDIATELY!

  21. OhMelvin says:

    Jake’s diaper changing!!!

  22. I’m always up for teaching Edwardo (aka Eddie the Grump), and Ms Gracie Sue the finer points of “How to be polite and neighborly. #1) no pottying on neighbor’s lawn. I don’t CARE what you say, there’s no excuse! #2) Eddie, being polite does NOT INCLUDE chasing and any and ALL cats from area, #3) Gracie Sue, no more LOUD BARKING when we first get out the door! For the 100th time: it’s a TREE! #4) You moaned and whined to go out. Ok, Gracie Sue, you’re out. Now do something meaningful.
    ,but keepl walking, probably wishing she belonged ANYWHERE but where she is right now. Eddie, ahhh Lil Eddie. Eddie is, as usual, oblivious … right until we jag

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