The Charms and Tribulations of Living with a Dog That Isn’t Yours

This year will be my second living with my friend Summer and her dog, Rosie, and, let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride. Rosie may not be a person, but she has as much personality as anyone I’ve ever met. There have been times when I’ve opened my bedroom door to find her looking up at me expectantly as if to say, “hEy Boi, ArE yOu GoNnA giVe Me PeTs Or NoT?” I love her very much but she can be a bit of a handful sometimes. Here are a few of the charms and tribulations that accompany living with my dog that isn’t actually mine. 


The Charms

1. She freakin’ loves me. And she’s really sweet too, I guess.

Let’s just say that (on certain days) I compete with Rosie’s mom for favorite-person-status. What else could it be when I come home and find Rosie shaking her whole body out of sheer joy to see me, other than absolute, pure love?


2. She’s a living, breathing stress ball.

I don’t actually squeeze Rosie (too much) but hanging out with her is an excellent way of relieving stress. She has a way of knowing when I need a nudge of support or my attention diverted for a little while. When she’s not bouncing off the walls, Rosie is gentle and quite affectionate.



If you’re a dog person and have the opportunity to live with a person who has a pooch, snap that up at the first chance you get. In living with Rosie, I get all the perks of owning a dog with none of the (unsavory) responsibilities that accompany such a task. I would do nearly anything for Rosie and of course, I try to be a good person/friend/housemate and pitch in if Summer needs help, but ultimately, I just get to have fun with the pup.


4. I get to be Rosie’s “funcle.”

For the laymen, “funcle” is a portmanteau of the words fun and uncle. When Rosie’s in the mood to play she knows who to come to (that would be me). Technically, my only job with Rosie is to shower her with affection, and I don’t take such a job lightly. While her mom gets to deal with the real/disciplinarian side of pet-owning, I’m tasked with finding clever ways of stealing her love. Shshshshhsh, I sneak her treats every now and then, cAuSe I’m ThE fUnCLe.  



The Tribulations

1. Hair. Everywhere.

Rosie’s a shedder, plain and simple. Without constant cleaning, there would be literal tumbleweeds of hair rolling around our house. After more than a year of living with Rosie, her hair has become woven into the fabric of all of my clothing (and my very soul).


2. There’s no such thing as eating your food in peace.

Rosie is what I would call “culinarily adversarial.” It’s rare that she actually tries to steal anyone in the house’s food, but if you’re eating near her, she makes her presence known. Rosie does this thing where, if you’re sitting on the couch eating a snack, she’ll hover mere inches away from you, gradually moving closer and closer, waiting for you to make a mistake and drop the tiniest of morsels which she gobbles up in milliseconds.


3. She burps... my face. All the time. Rude lil booger.


4. When I go home, I can’t take her with me.

There are times when I do, in fact, wish Rosie was my dog. When I leave Charlottesville, I can’t take her with me. She’s a sweet girl and, every now and then, I wish I was able to share tender moments with her all of the time rather than some of the time.

I love Rosie very much and would do just about anything for her. She may not be my dog, but she’s certainly a very big part of my life.