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What does your dog say about you?

On a walk with Denali

When it comes to exercise, I don't care about my appearance. My recently cut hair is pushed out of my face, and the clothes that are the comfiest and most weather-appropriate are the ones I wear. This morning, for a walk with Denali, it was a pair of cropped leggings and my husband's middle school letter sweat shirt. I grabbed a water bottle, leashed up D-boy and set out without a single thought about what the two of us look like.

That was until I saw a man, at least 6 feet tall and well-muscled, walking a small dog. I mean SMALL. I am pretty sure it was a papillion. It just looked so weird, and I couldn't help but wonder about him plus the dog. Was he walking his girlfriend's dog? Was he afraid of bigger dogs? Does he just like pretty little things?

Of course, as I thought those things, I couldn't help but wonder what people thought of me plus Denali. Denali is more than half my size, when you consider weight. On all fours, he comes just past my knee. On hind legs, he puts his paws on my shoulders. "What's this short little woman doing with such a big dog?" others might think.

After all, what does owning Denali say about me?

According to an article on Modern Dog Magazine's website, big dogs require lots of exercise (don't have to tell me twice) "so owners of such dogs are generally those that like to be active in the outdoors, people who are probably more interested in sports than in designer drapes."

People with smaller dogs? Well, they can sometimes be concerned with tidiness at home and don't want the dirt, hair and slobber that comes with a bigger dog.

Have a pure breed? You might be more of a planner.

Like to look good? "People who get dogs that require special grooming, especially fancy clipping - such as Poodles - are often people who care a great deal about their own appearance and grooming," Stanley Coren, a noted psychologist and author of several popular dog books, told the magazine.

What does your dog say about you? E-mail and include a photo of your pup (as a JPEG attachment).

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