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5 Unexpected Ways Dog Adoption Changed My Life

With GhostBuster in the house, I now examine poop, ignore lipstick, and wipe up drool like a pro.

Michael Leaverton  |  Nov 3rd 2014


I knew that getting a dog would change my life in many ways — although some were more predictable than others. Of course I figured I would be busier and my house would be dirtier. Both of those predictions have come true, as GhostBuster goes on four walks per day and his abandoned fur eventually choked our trusty Roomba to death. I’ve accepted that this dog sheds like it’s his job, but having a layer of hair on my floor is just one of many ways in which life is different since becoming a dog owner. Here are five unexpected ways in which adopting this dog has altered my daily existence.

1. I am a professional drool wiper

In addition to constantly losing his hair, GhostBuster is also a consistent drooler. My husband jokes that we gave him the wrong name — he should have been called Slimer. GhostBuster may be genetically predisposed to drooling, but my kitchen floors sure weren’t engineered to survive nasty splats of doggy spit. The inexpensive laminate is incredibly sensitive to moisture — the fake hardwood will bubble up if it gets wet, so we have to be super vigilant about mopping up GhostBuster’s drool.

This whole drool thing also makes it really hard to cook in the kitchen because the minute GhostBuster smells something good on the stove, the saliva floodgates open. I guess I shouldn’t blame my doggy buddy for appreciating my cooking (my husband sure doesn’t).

Since the drooling doesn’t just happen in the kitchen, my husband has decided that GhostBuster’s bandanas now serve a double purpose as drool bibs. Instead of running to get a paper towel every time the dog’s mouth starts leaking, my husband just uses the handy triangle of fabric GhostBuster is wearing. It’s gross, but convenient, and it’s certainly not something I would have imagined myself tolerating before we got a dog.

2. I have witnessed 1,000 percent more doggy lipsticks

Not that kind of lipstick.

Not that kind of lipstick.

While the bandana spit bibs gross me out, it’s GhostBuster’s lipstick that makes my husband feel sick. He pretty much freaks out every time it happens. “Ah, gross! Buster, put it away buddy, put it away!”

I can totally understand why my husband is so repelled by it — it seriously looks like something out of a horror movie, although I don’t have much to compare it to. I can honestly say I never saw many doggy lipsticks before I adopted GhostBuster. Even in the early days after he joined our family, other people kept seeing the lipstick but because I was usually standing right beside GhostBuster — holding the leash — I never noticed it.

Now, I see it all the time. Like every day. It happens at the worst times, like when we’re meeting a new neighbor and their dog, or while children are around. I find it’s best to just ignore it (if possible). That way it disappears within a few seconds and no one has to get all awkward about it.

3. I am overly interested in dog poop

When a guy's gotta go, he's gotta go.

When a guy’s gotta go, he’s gotta go.

Of course I knew I would have to pick up dog poop if I adopted a dog, but I never imagined that I would spend this much time analyzing dog droppings. When we first adopted GhostBuster, I couldn’t even scoop a poop without gagging, but four months later his waste is a hot topic of conversation in our house.

Whenever my husband or I come home from walking GhostBuster, we give each other a poop report.

“He went three times,” I’ve called out from the back door. “I had to use four bags and a napkin!”

Thankfully, I no longer have to carry extra napkins on our walks, as GhostBuster’s digestive health is improving and things are firming up a bit. He still does like to do his business in three piles, though.

4. I’ve completely rearranged my decor — for the dog

The living room looks kind of crowded with an extra couch, but GhostBuster is happier.

The living room looks kind of crowded with an extra couch, but GhostBuster is happier.

One of the most exciting parts of moving into our house after years in overpriced (and usually freezing-cold) apartments was finally buying grown-up furniture. Of course, we bought our living room set a few months before we got GhostBuster, so while my lovely, yellow corduroy couches are cat-proof, they’re not exactly built for drooling dogs.

From day one, I said GhostBuster would not be allowed on the yellow couches. He was allowed to be on the couches in the basement and the sunroom (the cheap and wipeable ones), but the nice sofas were off-limits. Eventually, my husband started to feel sad for GhostBuster and decided to bring one of the basement couches up into my picture-perfect living room, annihilating my carefully chosen decor in the process. My living room is a bit more cozy now that it houses three couches instead of two, but my dog is happy (and he doesn’t even try to go on the yellow couches now).

5. My cats have yet another cuddle buddy to choose over me

GhostBuster is Ghost Cat's favorite pillow.

GhostBuster is Ghost Cat’s favorite pillow.

As if it isn’t enough that my beloved Ghost Cat chooses my husband’s lap over mine, now that the dog is up on the couch, both of my kitties are all about interspecies cuddles. When I adopted GhostBuster, I never imagined my cats would be getting quite so cozy with the lovable Lab. Sometimes all three of them will ignore me entirely and just snuggle in a big animal lump at the other end of the sofa. I would be jealous if it weren’t so darn cute. Of all the ways my dog has changed my life, the way he has hijacked my cats’ affections has to be the most adorable.

How has your life changed since your dog entered it? Tell your story in the comments.

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About the author:  Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten and GhostBuster the dog make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, bad cook, and former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.