My older sister loves to tells this story about how I used to share food with neighborhood dogs when I was a kid. She says I didn’t just give them the food, but I literally shared it bite for bite with the dogs. Those who know me aren’t surprised by this story. My love for dogs has been growing my whole life and my life aspirations include adopting allll the dogs and becoming a crazy dog lady.
The greatest reason for this obsession? My dog, Gabbar.
He has been my faithful sidekick and best friend for the last 11 years and there is nobody I love more. Two years ago, I moved to Portland to be with my husband and of course, brought Gabbar with me. I requested a puppy from my husband for my wedding gift, so a few months later, we adopted Zeke from a local shelter.
Being alone in a new city can be difficult – especially for an extrovert like me – but I found all I had to do to get some interaction from humans and dogs alike was to take my dogs along. People who wouldn’t look at me twice when I was alone would stop to chat whenever my dogs were with me. It amazed me how strangers would open up to me and trust me with their stories just because of my dogs. These strangers would confide in me about their terrible day, their childhood dogs, relationship problems, losing their dogs, bringing home new dogs, and basically anything that brought them to that moment when we crossed paths — all while petting my dogs. It was like there was a magic in my dog’s fur that made strangers open up to me.
Recently, I was walking my dogs through a park when I met tourists from Shanghai. Their eyes lit up as soon as I came into sight and they began talking excitedly to each other. While I struggled to understand them, it was clear that their excitement was for my dogs. While I let them pet my dogs, they pulled up pictures on their phone of their labrador back home. We continued to tell each other about our dogs despite the language barrier. And that’s when I got it.
Dog owners share a bond with their dogs that only other dog owners can understand. It doesn’t matter where we’re from or what language we speak — just like humans and dogs. Not only do we love our dogs, but we love to talk about them. And me? I could spend my whole day exchanging stories about dogs.
And that’s where this idea started.
I started this project to combine my two favorite things: storytelling and dogs. I want to tell the stories of our furry best friends and the impact that dogs have on us and our lives. I want to explore the bond humans have with their canine companions and why we matter so much to each other. I believe dogs spread happiness wherever they go and my hope is that this project will do the same.