inside dog?

The other day when I had a pseudo-contest, in which I invited readers to attempt to come up with a fancy new tagline for my blog, I became painfully aware of the fact that I have never explained WHY I named this little corner of Internet Heaven "inside dog." Also there was suggestion of two – and only two – things to add to my blog's header: turds and dogs. And while I talk quite a lot about both poop and canines here … it wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

And thus, since I have wandered too far down the NaBloPoMo path to quit now (and yes I realize that by the time this post publishes I will have missed two days, OH WELL), I shall regale you with the very Fancy and Important story that inspired in the name of this blog.


Once upon a time I met a man named John. John enjoys backpacking. Which means? That if he has to carry the equivalent of his own body weight in a satchel strapped to his back and topped with a guitar nine miles uphill? Dig a hole to go poop? Not shave? Stink like a locker room after a team of football players have run their second summer practice of the day in full pads and also vomited all over one another? He's as happy as a hog in swallow.

Me? On the other hand? While appearing to be a tough, athletic girl (which I am) also have a, uh, softer side. A side that wipes her armpits out with baby wipes and then reapplies deodorant in a pinch. A side that does a special dance when a bug or snake or lizard of any kind gets a leetle too close. A side that does not skip showering a single day unless ordered to do so by a doctor and is being babysitted by nurses so that I – I mean she – cannot disobey. My favorite smell is clean laundry. If there's even a hint that I might be throwing up any time soon I bust out the Lysol wipes and disinfect the everloving hell out of my toilet. I can be caught Swiffering the floor on an almost daily basis. I wash my plastic flip flops in the washing machine. I own a carpet cleaner for two area rugs. I do not enjoy, uh, smells. I DO NOT LIKE DIRT.

We moved to Texas as a married couple in 2004 with my dog Henry (who came to live with me in 2002). Up until my marriage to John shortly before our move, Henry enjoyed a life of sleeping on the bed with me, lounging on couches, tearing up whatever he felt like without any consequences, HE WAS SPOILED (and you can tell what kind of disciplinarian I'm going to make as a parent already, can't you? Sheesh). Also, I lived in Illinois where the winters are very cold. People in the Midwest – unless they are farmers who keep their farm dogs in the barn at night – don't have dogs that live outside year round. If you leave your dog outside in the winter? You have a dogcicle in the morning. It doesn't make fiscal sense and also it makes your children WEEP.

Anyway, when we moved to Texas and people found out that we had dogs (we soon adopted Juicy, WHY DID WE DO THAT?!), the following question was always: "Are they inside dogs or outside dogs?" Because of the warmer weather, because of the fact that Texans are weird, WHATEVER I have no clue WHY, some people had dogs who lived outside, some had dogs that lived outside, and some had both. The concept that you would have a pet dog that you didn't let inside your house just blew me away. I remember going to someone's house and seeing that they had a weird little chihuahua running around and being later told that they also had two golden retrievers who lived in the back yard. Wha? Is this some form of dog discrimination that I don't understand?

As you can probably guess, our answer was always "inside dogs." Because I am a little over the top when it comes to having babies – er dogs – in the house.

Let's back up: Once my soon-to-be fiance unwittingly took me on a three-day backpacking trip. I made it to the top of the nine-mile switchbacks carrying my backpack plus another (long story involving my future father-in-law being doubled over with a kidney stone … why yes he was on the trip too! And had a kidney stone the size of your pinkie nail sitting on his kidney!), my too-new boots full of my own blood, IN THE RAIN, to sleep in a tent with NO TENT POLES, ready to strangle the man – whom on that morning I had been desperately in love with – for DOING SUCH A THING TO ME. All I can say is that if the trip hadn't involved the presentation of a diamond ring TO ME, the relationship would have been in severe jeopardy and Sydney might never have been born.

Engagement 089

Engagement 056
(Flashing my bling at King's Canyon National Park. May 2004.)

And so, somewhere between that fateful backpacking trip and our move to Texas where some people had inside dogs and some had outside dogs, it became a running joke in our family that I was the inside dog, and my husband was the outside dog. I can be an outside girl under the right circumstances. I can eat granola and wear fleece with the best of them, I like camping because there are s'mores, I like doing things outside, I just don't enjoy being dirty or cold for even a short period of time afterwards. One of my favorite things is when you get home after a long day of doing stuff and take a shower and put on clean jammies and just lounge around watching movies or reading (or, you know, BLOGGING).

And thus? The blog is named "inside dog."


5 thoughts on “inside dog?

  1. Nora says:

    Very cute story…. someday I’ll tell you about my Hart County family… in Kentucky, people vary greatly from county to county… most people in our county are educated, thoughtful, well-to-do, etc…. Hart county is full of… hmmmm…. a different breed. My Hart County family likes dogs…. lots of dogs… and cats… and they like to keep them outside…. on chains…. lots of them….

  2. Heather - Live Inside My Bubble says:

    Cute story. 🙂
    And, being a fellow Midwesterner, I also thought to myself while reading your post … wha? dogs live outside! How cruel! But I guess it makes sense if you live in a part of the world where it isn’t frigid 2/3 of the year.

  3. Jana says:

    I thought it was that old Groucho Marx joke. You know: Outside a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Of course, inside a dog it’s too damn dark to read.

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