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Forced extraversion May 13, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in pets.
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I had no idea that owning a Newfoundland puppy meant that all kinds of people would talk to me everywhere I take her.  I’ve got the conversation down pat:

Stranger, bending down to pet Gigadog: “Oh, how cute!  It looks like a little bear! And it’s so fluffy!  What kind of dog is it?”

Me, or Mike: “A Newfoundland.”

At this point, we have one of two responses:

“Oh! I love Newfoundlands! I’ve never seen a puppy before.”  Then they pet and love all over it.

or

“Is that a big dog?”

To which we respond something like, “She’s three months old and weighs about 40 pounds.”  At this point, their eyes bug out.

In the past six years I’ve been going to Petsmart or Petco, I’ve maybe asked to pet a dog once or twice.  It really blows me away how almost everyone I pass will come up and want to see the Gigadog.  And almost everyone has the same reaction about how she looks like a bear.  I had no idea that having a puppy forced one to become so social.  On the other hand, it’s really nice to see people smile and be happy and goofy just because of a dog.

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1. Kari - May 14, 2011

Nothing brings out the “awwwww” in strangers quite like a puppy. We got the same thing with Emerson, except our two reactions were “OMG is that a Bernese Mountain Dog?!” Or “What kind of dog is that?” Followed by “Burmese Mountain Dog? Is that a big dog?”

Of course, I am an extrovert and love to talk about my pets so this was never an issue for me 🙂

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2. Kari - May 14, 2011

Nothing brings out the “awwwww” in strangers quite like a puppy. We got the same thing with Emerson, except our two reactions were “OMG is that a Bernese Mountain Dog?!” Or “What kind of dog is that?” Followed by “Burmese Mountain Dog? [*I cringe*] Is that a big dog?” To which I always replied “It’s Bernese actually. And his father was about 120 pounds, so… Yeah he’ll probably be pretty big.”

Of course, I am an extrovert and love to talk about my pets so this was never an issue for me 🙂

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mareserinitatis - May 21, 2011

What I really can’t believe is how tall he is. Fortunately, Gigadog shouldn’t be tall…but she’ll definitely be big for a dog.

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3. Amy - May 14, 2011

Rosebud has done the same for us. She looks like a 8-9 month old lab puppy but is actually around 1.5 yrs old (imagine full grown black lab at 35lbs). So our conversations go more like this: “How old is your puppy?” “She is around 1.5 yrs old so she is full grown” “Really, she is so small for a lab. What is she mixed with?” “We aren’t sure”

In the end, Dogs really do force socialization with random strangers.

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4. FrauTech - May 18, 2011

It would be more fun to develop sarcastic responses like, “it’s not a dog, it’s an octopus.” or “Dog? Oh you mean my human-eating wolf.” “Well obviously it looks like a bear, I mean it’s HALF bear, still working on getting it to stop eating people’s children.”

I’m not pro being mean unnecessarily, but I am a little in support of messing with people’s heads when possible.

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5. Chris Gammell - May 19, 2011

While I realize this is on the opposite end of the canine/feline spectrum, I still feel it’s relevant to passerby’s reactions: http://xkcd.com/231/

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