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aka ‘How to know your dog owns you.’

  1. You can’t eat without sharing a small bit of your food with him/ her.

2. You talk to your dog over the phone, when you’re travelling.

3. Or you’ve set up a live webcam feed and you check on him every 2 hours.

4. Because you always feel a twinge of guilt at travelling without him.

5. But you make up for it by spending about 50% of your shopping budget on treats and toys.

6. You ask for a scientific poop report from the dog walker, when you’re back.

7. A scientific poop report includes details on colour, texture and consistency.

8. And that’s when you realise that the word ‘gross’ doesn’t exist in your vocabulary, when it comes to your dog.

9. You understand your dog’s vocabulary — the pitch, tone and length of every whine, grunt, sniffle and bark are as clear as actual words, to you.

10. You’re (secretly) convinced that your dog can actually speak, but refuses to do so because of an ancient canine pact.

11. You know your dog understands everything you say. Even when you’re not talking to him.

12. This is dangerous, because you could be discussing bath time or medicine with your partner, and you have to remember to refer to it obliquely, like ‘the act of washing with soap and water’ or ‘the ingestion of healing substances.’

13. You (sometimes) avoid catching your dog’s eye, especially when discussing the above, because you don’t want to see the dramatic look of betrayal in them.

14. You may be nervous before a presentation, a date or a root canal, but at the vet, you’ll be the picture of calm, confident composure — because that’s what your dog needs you to be.

15. You find yourself to be a better, calmer, more compassionate and happy person when you’re around your dog.

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