Over the years with Dog Quality I have had the privilege of speaking with so many people from all walks of life and it has made me realize that dogs are the ultimate equalizer. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do for a living, it makes no difference if you are "cool" or "nerdy" (thankfully since I pride myself on being a big nerd) because when it comes to our dogs we are all the same. Of course not everyone with a dog is what I would call a dog person so when I describe the unification that happens with dogs, I am reserving this for dog people. Those people that consider dogs as part of their family and would do anything to ensure their safety, health and happiness.
You could be a CEO of a blue chip company or a university student just starting out, but we are all just dog people and somehow, because of our love for our four-legged family members, all that other stuff just disappears.
I came from the corporate world so I especially love seeing people letting their executive guards down when the conversation centers around their dog. You truly get to see the real person, someone who is putting their dog's needs first and it is very touching and reflects a softer side not necessarily shown in the workplace. Of course this refreshing display of genuine love for someone other than themselves is not reserved only for corporate america, but for all walks of life. We become better people overall because of our dogs and when that shines through, my hope in humanity is restored.
As our dogs reach their senior years, I'm not sure that everyone could foresee having a conversation about urinary or bowel incontinence or mobility challenges, but dog people never flinch because if a diaper or socks or a stroller will improve the quality of life for their dog, then that is what they will make sure they have.
When helping our customers find the right product or size we hear the cutest things and some things stay with you always and when they are said they are often said without thought because they come from the heart. Just simple things that put a smile on my face.
Cute things like letting us know that their dog is sleeping and they will need to wait until he/she wakes up before measuring. Or that their dog was just carried upstairs to bed, but they will take a photo tomorrow. Or that you and your dog have grown old together. These sweet comments make my day because it shows me that the people saying them truly know their dog(s) and that they deeply care. I think back to these comments often and I love feeling that I am surrounded by like-minded people who care as much as I do about the well-being of our dogs.
So the next time you are out and about and come across people with dogs, remember that regardless of what they are wearing, driving, saying or doing that we are all fundamentally the same thanks to our shared love of dogs.
Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.