Dog Lover or Dog Person?

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January 4, 2014 by Julia West

This holiday, Aaron and I drove out to NY to visit family. As it often happens on long drives, our conversations meandered in random directions. As it often does with me, the conversation turned to dogs and we hit on this question:

What is the difference between a dog lover and a dog person?

Here is my answer:

Dog Lovers are those who genuinely care for dogs and feel they are a member of the family. This encapsulates the informed moderates to the well-meaning but clueless, and everyone in between.

Dog People are those who not only love their dogs but also live part-canine lives. A large part of their world (some might say all) revolves around dogs, which shows in everything from their hobbies to their social media feeds. They are passionate about veterinary care, breeding, training, and all things dog. There are also subsets of Dog People, usually people dedicated to a particular breed or activity. Personally, I know cadres of Boxer People and Performance People.

I fully embrace that I am not simply a Dog Lover, I am a Dog Person. A large portion of my time, both mental and physical, will be dedicated to dogs. I go beyond loving dogs as family. A portion of my soul is canine.

Aaron is a Dog Lover. While he loves our dogs and tells the occasional dog story, they are an average-sized portion of his life. He counterbalances my fervor, while understanding and supporting my passion.

Which are you? Why?

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