Open Letter to “The Dog”

Dear Lucy,

Let’s get one thing straight: this is not a love letter. I only use “Dear” and your first name because Chris hates it when I refer to you as “the dog.”

I feel like I really need to clear the air. There has been a lot of crap between us that has gone unsaid and unacknowledged in the last two years. And, after doing some research, I now understand that you will not likely be called to doggie heaven anytime in the next ten years–so I better get used to having you around.

The bottom line is that YOU ANNOY THE LIVING DAY LIGHTS OUT OF ME. It’s not really any one thing…just the “dogness” of you.

When Maisy did her one year of research and concluded that a hypoallergenic Portuguese Water Dog was THE dog for our family, I went along blindly and with a great deal of apathy–my bad. Your presence in our home has taught me some very basic truths. Hypoallergenic does not mean “odor less.” Basically you stink. ALL THE TIME.  Yes, yes you do. You have nasty dog smell. Period. You also fart. Nasty, nausea causing dog farts.

Then there are your “habits.” Here is a brief list of the things I loathe the most–see if you can work on them.

1. Picking up dog shit. I am a 41 year old woman with an advanced medical degree and numerous awards on my wall. Frankly, scooping up your steamy sticky craps with an old inverted Wegman’s bag makes me want to kick you.

2. Cleaning up dog puke. You know that chocolate muffins, Irish butter, and sweet and sour chicken don’t agree with you. Could you show some restraint?

3. The barking. In a 24 hour day, I get exactly 14 minutes of quiet time. No kids. No husband. No phone. I used to sit with my coffee and plan my morning in peace. Now, I sit with my coffee and listen to your loathesome whining as it escalates to barking. When I finally let you up stairs could you slow down? Chasing the cat around a t 545 am is  so obnoxious. Perhaps we should have a “first cup” rule like I do with the kids. No one is allowed to bother Mommy until she has finished at least one cup of coffee.  Can you handle that?

4. About the “Mommy” thing. Let’ s get another thing straight right now. I am NOT your mommy. Further, I think it is downright creepy when people refer to their pets as children. I did not give birth to you, I did not choose to purchase you, and I have no intention of nurturing you in anyway. I don’t think anything you do is cute or worthy of space on my camera card or Facebook page. I am not judging others, just explaining to you my feelings on the matter.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let me close by saying that I do appreciate the fact that you are a good judge of character. Certainly that crooked contracter got what he deserved. I also was really glad to have you around when Chris had to go away a few weeks ago. Lastly, I am ok with you laying on the floor at Maisy’s feet while she does her homework after a bad day. Somehow it makes her feel better. So, I guess I am saying thank you for that.

The bottom line is, we both are going have to learn to live with each other. You remember that  I was here first and that I am all the ‘Mommy’ I care to be to my three human children.  In return, I will remember that Hadley has never laughed harder than the time you started licking her feet and that you would chew a stranger to bits if they threatened any one of us.

Lastly, I  know that deep down, anyone or anything that my husband cherishes this much has got to be good for something. You keep working on that “something.” And I will keep my eyes open for it.

We good?



  1. Doc Shannon says:

    Poor Lucy. Mrs Dr Meyer. is not dog people. wish you could figure out that I was Lucy! Christine, I now know why you are a MD and I am a DVM!

  2. oh something we will never agree on, and really….
    tell me who can you blame your farts on tell me who who…;-)

  3. Doc Shannon says:

    Exactly Janet!

  4. Shavaun McGinty says:

    Love how you ended this….very clever.

  5. Marlene Matarazzo says:

    Marlene Matarazzo says:
    I think Dr. Meyer really does like their dog, but she at some point took a stand on the” to get a dog or not get a dog” issue and now she feels she has to hang in there with her original position. No one can look into the trusting, unconditional loving eyes of a dog and say they don’t like dogs. Our animals, cats, dogs, birds etc. think the sun rises and sets with us and that we are all knowing. If only I could be half the person my pet thinks I am – well then – I would really be something. I believe Dr. Meyer knows that too. She is a compassionate person and I don’t believe that her compassion ends with people only.
    Just one woman’s thoughts…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Your stories are great. Not only an awesome physician but an awesome “author”!!!

  7. Myriam Gastard says:

    ok… still laughing!!!! it does sounds so much like home, but on the other side, while I do KNOW that my life with Ron at home is beautiful, I do KNOW that our time together has been severely restrained since our loved, adopted, shedding, farting, burping, vomiting AND barking, 115 pds “Great” Pyrenees mountain dog, flocking our cats, and sadly Ron and I too….
    oh, on the other hand I have to admit we do love his sense of humor, his tender polar bear moments, his laughing (yes, he does laugh!), AND his personal way of putting us out by 12 degree F and making our heavy, unhealthy dinner WITH wine (eh! I’m Frenchie after all!) shedding at fast as his hair go onto our carpet!!!!
    Now, I KNEW (somewhere…) that he was a personal trainer and had a sadistic way of showing it!!!!
    Enjoy all the years you have with the dog!


  8. Christine Meyer, MD says:

    Oh so so funny Myriam– wow I will take a lesson from you– trying to see those tender moments! Marlene thank you for making that lemonade! So funny– feel I am not alone yet all alone in my verbalizing!

  9. Ok, mom, we’re good!
    -The Dog

    Seriously,a funny, astute read. Thank you!

  10. Response from Lucy:
    Dear Christine Meyer, MD,
    I know how you hate it when I call you “Mom.”
    I, too, think we need to clear the air. You say I stink. I don’t think I stink. I just smell like me. You must remember I do not get a daily opportunity to bathe. Nor do I have the luxury of perfume or deodorant. I DON’T sweat. Can you say that? And as for farts…did you ever smell yourself after a Friday night of garlic wings? Or Daddy, when he says “pull my finger”?
    To address your take on my habits:
    1. Yes, you are a 41 year old woman with an advanced medical degree. And YOU pick up dog shit. I don’t. Looking at that data, doctor lady, who do think is smarter?
    2. Puke. That is the jackpot. You leave out those delicious chocolate muffins for me. So I eat them. Then I get sick and puke. Then I get to enjoy them again. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. Especially since I ‘ve seen you lick the raw batter off a spoon! Later you ask Daddy, does this dress make me look fat? Really? The dress? Never considered that batter, huh?
    3. You take issue with my barking. Since my human Maisy did all that research, I am certain that she told you that my breed is a loyal breed. A breed who sits patiently at their masters’ sides and wait for direction. In the morning when I see you, I just get excited and can’t wait for our day to start. So maybe the next time I am looking lovingly at you, a walk might be nice. You’d still have some quiet time and I’d get a little energy burned off before chasing the cat.
    4. Not calling you mommy: you may not be my real mommy but you are my adopted mommy. I love you just like I’d love my real mommy. If you ever let me go out unattended, I will show you…I will bring you the biggest juiciest bird (or squirrel) I can catch…just for YOU. I have to call you mommy…Christine is for you friends…I am your canine child.
    It has taken me some time to get used to you too, you know. You can be so intense. Always running here or there, never resting. Make sure, mommy, that you take time to roll in the stinky stuff …or whatever you humans do to relax and have fun. BUT, I will try my very best to be a better canine child to you. After all, if my Daddy and my human siblings love you so, you can’t be all bad either.
    One last thing, Mommy: I’m not planning on going to heaven any time soon. But when I go, I will be sad until the long way away future comes and you join me…I will be waiting by the gate. When I see you, I will jump up on you and lick your face. I am loyal and I love my mommy.
    The Dog

    • Doc Shannon says:

      Excellent rebuttal Miss Lucy. I look forward to getting to know you better. you seem like a wonderful girl. I will keep working on your “Mom” to help her understand you better too.

  11. From Lucy to Dr Shannon–

    Doc Shannon, thank you for recognizing my genius and acknowledging that I am a wonderful girl. I see Momma C hasn’t responded. She has been schooled…canine style!

  12. Carla Simmonds says:

    Poor Dog. I feel sorry for Lucy. Dogs always make me smile! :)

  13. Its sad that your feel like that towards your dog. PWD’s are very sensitive to the vibes people put out you hating it will actually make its barking worse. it is a breed that need to be an intricate part of the family. The environment it is in is not healthy, I would suggest that you contact the breeder that you got the dog from as I am sure they will be more then happy to re-home it to a loving family, for your personality and the amount of interaction you want with a pet I suggest a fish would be a better choice

  14. winning and full of tiger blood says:

    If you want a dog that…
    requires regular and extensive grooming
    demands attention and exercise
    challenges your will
    needs training and human contact
    thinks independently
    voices its opinion
    greets friends and family with unbridled enthusiasm
    …then the Portuguese Water Dog may be right for you.

    If you want a dog that…
    requires minimal grooming
    needs little or no attention or exercise
    requires little mental stimulation
    is content to be left alone
    is very obedient in nature
    blends into the woodwork
    gives the occasional jump, lick and wagging tail
    …then the Portuguese Water Dog is NOT right for you.

  15. Well, you are inviting comments with respect to hating what you say so, here goes. Shame on you. This entire letter makes me sick. I have two wonderful Portuguese Water Dogs and two kids. I also have a doctorate in biology, so I am as educated as you are. The fact that you would think higher education makes you too good to pick up poop is beyond arrogant (and what is the point of bragging about your degree? It doesn’t make you better than anyone else, despite what you think). If Lucy throws up because she gets into human food, it’s your fault, not hers, for leaving it within her reach. Clearly, she doesn’t get enough attention from you. She is barking because she wants something. PWDs require hours of exercise and/or mental stimulation every single day. If you are not providing that, it’s your fault if she gets into trouble. If you don’t have time for her, the very least you could do is send her to doggie day care every day. Most of them will even pick dogs up from your home. At least that way she would get the stimulations she needs. Finally? Your comment about not wanting to be her mom is heartbreaking. You don’t deserve Lucy (or any dog for that matter). She deserves better.

  16. Mary michaels says:

    You are an arrogant narcissist and a notch above michael Vick. Shame on you

  17. I am a bit at a lost there… Dr Meyer has posted these comments in 2013, and while I am not judging one way or the other (I am the very happy owner of the Great Pyrenees mentioned above), I am wondering why these new comments are appearing 1 year after this post.
    I am certain that her children and husband are making sure that the dog is fine and happily taken care of! Actually, I found the letter very funny and fully admitting that she doesn’t understand the dog world! I’m sure by now it is a much more open dog world for everyone in their family.

    People, please just be nice to each other…


    • Mary michaels says:

      you are lost……in space, if u r defending this disgrace to humanity.

      • Dear Mary,

        While all my bones are telling me to just walk away from this discussion, I will try again to point out that no abuse has occurred there.
        While I would be the first one to go and save any injured or abused animal, I will always try and educate any new animal owner to progress and share this wonderful world of human-animal bond. I am sure that you are, like I am, a natural pet lover. It just comes naturally to some people due to exposures through parenting. For others, this is an event arriving much later in life and anyone should respect the time needed to understand these new beings and how to communicate with them.
        As said before, I will always act when seeing any violent act committed against animals and I appreciate your concerns and applause you for your motivation. Nevertheless, there is no cause for concern in this case. It was more of a satiric description of her feeling inadequately and unprepared to the basic needs of this little fellow.

        If you have children, please remember how not prepared any new parents are when this new bundle of joy is home for the first time! This is not very far fetch that anyone could think at first…

        Best to you,


        • Myriam thank you so much for understanding the tone in which this open letter was intended. The sad thing is that almost a year later, these folks have come forth with commentary…Lucy is not harmed or abused in anyway. In fact, anyone that knows my family knows that she and I have come a long long way. Michael Vick? Really? I just have to laugh….

          • mary michaels says:

            Good try at backpedaling. I don’t buy it and apparently, from the sound of all those rave reviews, your patients don’t buy into your BS either. Your not fooling anyone.

  18. I think this is a great lesion that what we put on the Internet is there forever and have to accept it and be careful what we put out there

    • mary michaels says:

      A normal dog-lover would never have posted what she did, much less think it.

    • Mary, first, I am no more a “normal dog-lover” than I am a “disgrace to humanity.” Shame on you for turning a light-hearted, honest blog post about being a new dog owner into something ugly. I am not sure where you see me back pedaling or how “rave” reviews have anything to do with people not buying into my so-called BS. You seem to have a kind soul toward animals, perhaps turning that toward fellow humans and resist the urge to besmirch me, whom you have never met or know at all, would be better?

  19. Myriam Gastard says:

    Mary, you might want to turn your anger toward something positive instead of banging your head at something so futile… Just an advice for your heart to stay healthy and for your mind to be kinder toward your peers. You might find something wonderful that anyone can find if willing to take the first step: happiness.

    Best of luck to you and your family, dog included of course!


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