5 signs you're too close to your dog

First of all, let me say that I am not convinced that it is possible to be too close to your dog. Of course, I work from home and spend virtually every hour with Max the Foxhound, so we are pretty close. Most dog owners have a unique bond with their dogs, and I think many would agree that their relationships depend on closeness. Those outside that dog-master relationship may see things a little differently. Take a look at a few signs that may indicate to others that you and your dog are too close.

You are never out of your dog's sight. If your dog cannot let you out of his sight when you are together, you may be too close. My dog drifts from room to room with me throughout the day. When I'm working, he is watching me from across the room. When I make dinner, he is either in the kitchen with me or watches me from the dining room. When I put the girls to bed, he follows. He does not seem to have separation anxiety in my absence, but he certainly attaches himself to me when I am home.

You have fallen over your dog more than twice in the past day. I have tripped over Max four times so far today. Being in his sight does not necessarily mean that he is in my sight. If you tumble backward over your dog more than a couple of times a day, you may be overly bonded.

You use your dog to corroborate a story. If you have ever uttered the words, "But, my dog saw it, too," you may have taken your dog-master relationship to a new level. I have used both my dog and one of my cats to back up unusual stories or events. My husband especially enjoyed the time I heard an unexplained noise while home alone, and I immediately announced that Gina the Cat had heard it, too. I am probably a little too close to my dog and my cats.

You know whether your dog's trip outside requires a pet waste bag. If you can tell by your dog's behavior if the pooper scooper is necessary during your walk, you may be a little too in-tune to his needs. I get the occasional perplexed look when I ask my daughter or my husband to run Max outside and tell them that he requires a waste bag. I am rarely wrong about these things. I may be a little too close to my dog.

You share a special language with your dog. My dog flips over his food bowl and places a paw on it at dinnertime. He also holds up one paw to beg for something that he wants, whether it is food or a trip to the potty. Perhaps your dog offers a little backtalk or sass when you tell him to wait or ignore his distinctive signals. Sharing a unique language is probably a clear sign that you are a little too close to your dog, but it is also one of my favorite parts about my relationship with my dog.