Adrian Barich: Owning a dog (or three) makes us much better people

Not having a dog doesn’t mean you have a bad life. However, I can guarantee a better life if you get a dog.

Being covered in dog hair generally means your life is full, and now that everyone is getting breeds crossed with poodles, even shedding isn’t a problem.

Last week I met some classic dog combinations. Check out a Yorkiepoo, a terrier crossed with a poodle, or a Pomapoo, a Pomeranian crossbreed. Labradoodles are also hard to beat if you want a slightly larger dog.

But I digress. Yes, I am a dog lover, and the breed I prefer are pugs, the clowns of the dog world.

These are the times when you wish you had a job where you could be completely anonymous.

No matter what kind of day I’ve had, my three pugs will greet me with a joyful welcome. Today they are the only ones who acknowledge that I came home from work.

And I imagine you’re all thinking, why three pugs? What a fool! But it wasn’t planned that way; it’s a happy product of the pandemic. Someone got stuck abroad, and we ended up owning a third dog.

Camera icon Adrian Barich with his three pugs. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Sunday Times

One thing you probably don’t know about pugs is that a group of pugs is called grumbles. And my grumbles are a common sight in my suburbs, although I’m sure many people drive by and think there’s Barra, what an idiot: three dogs.

But as someone once said, the pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor, and he was seen at Easter on one of our regular walks. That day, Easter Sunday, Hattie, the younger fawn pug, decided to stop outside the local church and answer an urgent call from nature.

Unfortunately, the local parish also had a sausage in that spot, and since I also had two coffees in hand, the local parishioners approached me and tried to help me with my dilemma.

This wasn’t too bad until Lilly, the older fawn pug, decided she had to do number two at that time. And you can imagine my embarrassment when Bean, the black pug, tried to get overly affectionate with Hattie, who was done with her dog poo by then.

These are the times when you wish you had a job where you could be completely anonymous.

But mostly, my pugs are charming, cute, and loving, and with the clownish looks, they are loved by many people.

And yes, before you say it, I’ve heard that line, “they say owners end up looking like their dogs”. As a former athlete, I don’t have a neck, either.

Either way, if we can all be more like our dogs, we’ll all be much better people; there’s no doubt about it.

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.