I never had an animal growing up. So, I am the most awkward person when petting/walking/talking/playing with any sort of animal.
*Heh...down furry creature...please don't get fur on my black pants...stop barking...you smell...no bite..*
However, Austin is a big dog city. Many restaurants and bars have doggie dinner sections on their outdoor menus so you can include the dog on your night out on the town. There are places to do Yoga with your dog, give it a massage, and get it's nails painted.
While I will never understand the deluxe spa treatment for any animal, (and can't even buy myself a massage at this point without buyer remorse) I will admit that the dog world has been opened a bit for me since moving here.
I met a lil doggie who belongs to my good buddy and roommate.
Caspian is my bright blue eyed, part WOLF running partner.
He has helped me get back into a rhythm with my workout schedule and holds me quite accountable.
I mean, I will still obsessively use a lint roller, and never let him inside my room (I fear the barrage of fur that tends to follows him). But, he has cracked my hard animal hating shell and that in itself, is quite the accomplishment. Cheers to the pooch of the year!