Not every dog lover can have a dog. But every dog lover can act like it.
Perhaps this is you. Perhaps you are unable to adopt a canine friend, but inexplicably behave as though all the dogs in your life — your friends’ dogs, your siblings’ dogs, dogs you pass on the street — belong to you.
If so, you might be a dog aunt: the thirsty sibling of the dog mom.
A dog aunt abides by one overarching truth: that not having a dog does not stop her (or him) from having a dog. Thus, a dog aunt will treat all dogs as if they are her own: taking selfies with them, observing important events in their lives, constantly volunteering to spend time with them, and posting dozens of photos of them to Instagram.
(Of course, there are also dog uncles, etc. We’re just using “aunt” as the default. And yes, cat aunts are also a thing.)
Not sure if you’re a dog aunt? Please refer to the checklist below. And if you are, there’s still hope for you. The first step is admitting you don’t have a dog.
1. You are always somehow free to dog-sit.
And if you are not, you will change your schedule.
2. You no longer refer to dogs as, for example, “[Owner’s] dog Bubbles” Instead, you simply say “Bubbles.”
No one challenges you on this anymore. It’s not worth it.
3. You are often asked “how your dog is.”
You talk about dogs so much that this seems like a reasonable question.
4. You have responded to the above question without admitting you don’t have a dog.
Perhaps someday you will have a dog, and then you will not be lying.
5. You know what kind of food your friend’s dog eats.
Is it grain-free? Is it organic? Is it damp and from a can? You know it all and you know how much it costs on Amazon. And, obviously, you are aware of the dog’s digestive issues.
6. Most animals (squirrels, fish, birds) remind you of dogs.
Squirrels are furry like dogs. Fish love to swim like dogs. Birds are animals, just like dogs. You are healthy and well adjusted, like a happy dog.
7. You have timed your commute to work to coincide with a particular dog’s morning walk.
Nothing like 8:15 a.m. on the corner of St. Thomas and Covington, baby!
8. You have timed your commute home to coincide with a particular dog’s evening walk.
The days you work late are devastating.
9. That dog’s owner has altered their schedule to avoid you.
Deep down, you know this happened.
10. You take more selfies with dogs than many dog owners do.
Gotta get your kicks somewhere.