The Midsters Podcast

16. Dogs Dogs Dogs...Are a Women's Best Friend

August 24, 2022 Season 1 Episode 16
The Midsters Podcast
16. Dogs Dogs Dogs...Are a Women's Best Friend
Show Notes Transcript

Have you noticed that midlife women have become totally obsessed with their dogs? The three of us, and most of our friends, seem to be trading in raising kids for raising dogs.  We'll discuss the top 5 reasons why!

And to celebrate National Dog Day, Tish, Ellen, and Felicia talk about their dogs and what they mean to them in midlife.

This week's obsessions:
Tish's obsession: Bark Box and The Dodo
Ellen's obsession: Bacan's Japanese-style BBQ sauce!
Feli's obsession: Google Photos


Want to start podcasting?  Click here to let Buzzsprout know we sent you, this gets you a $20 Amazon gift card if you sign up for a paid plan, and help support our show.

Tish Woods:

Welcome back to the Midsters Podcast. I'm Tish, one of your co hosts today. And I am joined by Ellen and Felicia. So ladies I wanted to see if you had noticed that us Midster women have become totally obsessed with our dogs, I mean, like the three of us. We all have dogs, and most of our mister friends have kind of traded in these raising children for raising dogs. We have become this over the top dog mamas. And we have gone from being the soccer mom to being the furbaby mom.

Felicia Pasquier:

I agree with you 100%. I want to go back to what I said a couple episodes ago when I talked about our 20 year reunion, when we all sat around the table and we noticed that we were all wearing readers. Well, the last time we went to Napa for our reunion, we were all sharing photos on our phone and it became apparent to me that we were not sharing pictures of our children, we were sharing pictures of our dogs. And I realized that most of our kids have grown up, they're kind of doing their own thing in life and what we're attached to her our dogs. So when we started sharing our loved ones, we were actually sharing our dogs, not our kids.

Ellen Gustafson:

You know, Feli you were so right. All of us were sharing our dogs and even Kathy had her dog on that trip, I think didn't she so yeah, yeah, one of us even brought the dogs but you know what I see here where I live to is that everywhere I go midlife women have their dogs, whether it's in Nordstrom shopping, whether they're out to lunch sitting at an outdoor cafe or me every time I get on a plane, there's a woman with a little pup, you know that she has under her seat. So it is really true, it is a phenomenon right now with midlife ladies.

Felicia Pasquier:

You're not they're not just taking their dogs. It's becoming a fashion item. How many different bags do you see out there? They have designer bags, colorful bags. So it's not like you just take your dog and you know normal carrier? no, no, No, you're making a statement, a fashion statement

Ellen Gustafson:

before we jump in, because I know we have so much to talk about. In this episode, let's talk about our obsessions. Tish What do you got for us?

Tish Woods:

All right, I have to do two obsessions this week. One is an obsession that I have shared with you, and have gotten you obsessed about it as well. It's called the dodo. When I'm scrolling through my Facebook page, these dodo stories about dog rescue. I'm sitting there crying. I'm choked up. I'm inspired to go out and get another dog. I mean, they are amazing stories. And I'm addicted to watching them.

Ellen Gustafson:

I mean, when you got me into those it wasn't you were like, how could you not know about this? You cry, you laugh, you cry, you laugh. I mean, yeah, I love the dodo.

Tish Woods:

Yeah, the Dodo is amazing. If you've never seen it, you definitely need to watch them because it's really heartwarming. But now I am going to talk about another one. And this is really kind of geared towards my dog. I get the bark box every month. And it's a monthly subscription that they send to my house. And literally my dog recognizes the box, they know it's for him. And he goes crazy barking until we open it because he knows there's going to be squeaky toys inside and snacks. He just knows and I've let this be like a little ritual between my son, my youngest and him. So I put the box aside. So Liam comes walking in with a box and Ranger loses his mind. And there's always a theme to the squeaky toys, you know, different times a year bunny rabbits or you know they have a Star Wars theme or whatever, but the Bark Box is just so it's just a little special thing that you know, each month that your dog is going to have some special toys and treats that come to the house. So I highly recommend BarkBox.

Ellen Gustafson:

We'll have to put a link to that in the show notes because I want to get that for my Gigi, that sounds like a great little monthly treat.

Felicia Pasquier:

Yeah

Tish Woods:

What are you obsessed with this month?

Ellen Gustafson:

Me? All right, I will go. I am obsessed with this thing called Bachan Japanese barbecue sauce. Now, I just love grilling all summer long. And I have to say that I think this barbecue sauce it's available everywhere. Now I I just went to our friend Cathy's house and they had it and they were obsessed with it and they're in Boston and I'm in California. It comes in a number of flavors. And I love making bowls like, you know, a bowl with some kale and some brown rice. And, you know, it's it's just delicious in that. So a number of different flavors. And I would just have to say the Japanese barbecue sauce is my obsession this week.

Tish Woods:

I think I need to try some of that. For that one too.

Felicia Pasquier:

Does it taste like regular barbecue sauce?

Ellen Gustafson:

No, it kind of tastes like a combination between like a teriyaki sauce and a barbecue sauce. It's very light, it's very light and have a few different flavors of it. So I'll put a link to that. But you know, I'm always interested in something that I can throw on the grill and make it easy. What about you Feli?

Felicia Pasquier:

Well, my obsession this week is actually a multi year obsession, Google Photos, basically Google Photos is my go to place to store and organize photos. And I think I have literally gotten all of you all to sign up for Google Photos. Because it's it has facial recognition, you're able to share photos, I can tag Fitz in a photo and every time I upload a photo with her in it, she automatically is notified. So that is my obsession this week. Google Photos.

Tish Woods:

need to hold her to that because I need help. I need help with this.

Ellen Gustafson:

I do too. But I have to say just having had you set me up on Google Photos. It's automatic. And I just get everything goes. That's what's so nice about it. So yes, we definitely need a whole episode on it because that was life changing.

Felicia Pasquier:

And I know Apple photos does this, but it also creates videos for you and what happened this day 10 years ago. So it's kind of a nice way to keep photos that are in the past, you know, fresh in your mind.

Tish Woods:

I love that. Yeah. Well, ladies, I don't know if It's a special day to remember our our puppies and stuff. And it was funny because I happen to be reading this article. It was like a News poll survey that was done in Australia, that was interviewing over 600 singles men and women. And many of the women in this article were noting that they preferred their dogs as companions. And this is singles. So it was really kind of surprising to me to hear that statistic. You know, for me personally, I have a rescue dog. His name is Ranger. And I know a lot of our friends do have you know, rescue dogs and some have, you know, pedigree dogs, but he's my rescue. He's my little mutt. And I gotta tell you, he has become especially during the time of COVID my main companion, because you know, I had a teenage boy at home he wasn't saying much. So my dog was always there for me. So Ranger, a friend of mine, her name is Beth and she lives in North Carolina, and she specifically rescued Blue Heeler dogs. You you realize that next week, Friday on August 26 is actually can even tell I have dogs around here. So you know my dog lover, international Dog Day here in the US. but she specifically has the Blue Heelers, which are herding dogs, and they're really difficult to kind of train. So she only does those, but she helps have a lot of other dogs placed in homes. So she's always putting ads out there about dogs that need homes. And she put the this picture of Ranger in his little black face with his little white markings on it, and said, sweet, lazy dog. And I said that one's for me. And we went and got Ranger. He is been at my side ever since. And like I said during COVID He was my constant companion. So he's very special to my heart. And, you know, when you're busy with kids, you don't have time to develop that closer relationship

Ellen Gustafson:

Yeah. No idea. with the dog. I mean, I always love dogs, but not like this one. So it's, it's rather funny. But Ellen, how did you get your Well, I have a small dog named Gigi and she is dog Gigi? a Cavapoo. So mix of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a little poodle. So she's about 12 pounds and she's got black mostly black hair. And she doesn't shed she's a hypo allergenic Dog and so a friend told me about a breeder that had a litter. And I decided to go quote unquote, take a look, which we all know, nobody goes in to look. No window shopping when it comes to dogs No, no, in the minivan with the kids who could look at the dog, which of course came home with us. It was so great. She was so tiny back then. But I needed a little girl energy in my home with three sons. And Gigi has really is really my companion, obviously. And as as Tish said, she really helped me get through the pandemic to I mean, we were very isolated out here in California for long periods of time, she gave me a reason to get out and walk every day, which I absolutely love that. And sometimes one of my kids will walk by and Gigi and I will be on the couch, and they'll be like, oh, is a girl's night. It's like this funny, funny thing within the family. And I have to admit that I am one of those people that get some fancy girly collars. And I'd like to dress her up in the fall. I think I mentioned it on our fall vibes episode in some different Halloween costumes. So I think I live a little vicariously through not having a daughter with my dog. Yeah. So that's a little bit about Gigi, what about you Feli?

Felicia Pasquier:

So I have Charlie, and he is very, very special to me. That's all I can say. I got him eight years ago, when he was four years old. My sister who is actually the biggest dog lover you will ever meet. I think she has six dogs. And I mean, by six dogs. I don't mean little dogs. I mean big dogs. And she rescues dogs all the time. But she rescued Charlie from a puppy mill. And Charlie was outside in a big pin with all these dogs running around like a wild Banshee. And he was just this little dog wfull of mud and, you know, with big dogs all around him. And so she didn't realize he was blind. And you know, she called me and she said, Well, I went to see this poodle, but he's blind. Do you want him? And I said yes, bring him. So that was a big adjustment. So I got Charlie, he was a little brown toy poodle. cute as can be, I thought about changing his name. But you know, this was the first time he had ever left that pen. And I just felt bad changing his name. It took some adjustment with the family, we had a couple accidents with him. He didn't know who we were, he didn't want us to hold him, he fell off the couch one time, he fell off the bed another time and he broke his nail. So there were a lot of things to learn about having a blind dog. But I'm telling you, I had Charlie during a very difficult time in my life, the beginning of the dissolution of my marriage. We were still living in the same home but you know, in different rooms. But Charlie slept with me every single night. He's a burrower, so he would go under the covers. And eventually he would pop out and he put his head on the pillow. So he was there during a very difficult time when when I felt very alone. To this day, he's very dependent on me because he's blind. I take him everywhere I go when I travel, for I have to travel for my job. So Charlie goes with me. So he has a travel companion, in addition to you know, my little dog. So whenever I'm in a strange town, I'm never lonely. You know, he's my companion. And he's right there with me in bed. What is kind of sad, and this has happened in the last couple of weeks. You know, he's always been blind. And I kind of call him you know, he follows me around the house or I kind of clap and he follows me. But he's getting older now. He's 11 years old. And he's kind of going deaf. So now, if I leave him and he doesn't know where I am, he gets very panicky and he starts going in circles. That's his thing. I think a lot of blind dogs do that. But he'll just stay there and bark and bark until I come and pick him up. Because he doesn't know where I am. So that's kind of sad. So we're going to have to somehow work to that. But anyway, so I love him. He's the cutest dog, and I'm definitely going to post photos of him on the Facebook chat.

Ellen Gustafson:

You know, Feli you had him at our last reunion and I think he did just great and it was really a testament to how much you you love, Charlie. All right. So, just to move on, we have some fast facts about dogs and women at mid life and I think we're gonna Feli you and I are gonna bounce through these. So pet owners are more likely to be female, afluent and older. And that's According to NPR. And I'd have to say, I agree, I think it's 77% are over 50 years old are women. So that's a really big fast fact there. What do you've got Feli?

Felicia Pasquier:

Well, I have many that women in general find that dogs are more affectionate, more easygoing, more loyal, and more reliable than most men in their lives. So I'm not gonna agree, those are stats. Those aren't my stats. I think I'm gonna take the fifth.

Ellen Gustafson:

But now, it's like a little bit of evidence coming through because we had the Australian poll that Tish talked about beginning and now we have this one. So I think there's some sentiment out there about among us midlife. Ladies, what do you think Tish?

Tish Woods:

Wel I want to drop a fact on you here. Okay stat said that 71% of women said they would not enter into a relationship with someone if they did not like their dog. So we're not alone. You're your dog is an absolute deal breaker. So

Ellen Gustafson:

Yea, deal breaker. Yeah

Tish Woods:

I have to say that would affect my decision. You know, I'm not just like, specifically my dog, but kind of a love of animals and stuff. Because that is one of my core things that's important to me. So yeah, it would really affect my decision to have something long term with somebody.

Ellen Gustafson:

Oh me too. Most definitely. And they have to like a small dog jumping up on them and licking them too.

Felicia Pasquier:

And who wants a man that doesn't like a dog? Honestly, would you ever date a man that didn't like animals? No.

Tish Woods:

I'm part of that. 71%?

Felicia Pasquier:

Well, you know, since we're going to talk about studies, and this is not a fake news podcast. So now, Purina dog food did a study on how pets bring us so much joy. First of all, half of girl dog owners preferred spending time with their dogs over other people. We're not going to mention men.

Tish Woods:

we're not going to mention genders here.

Felicia Pasquier:

No gender here. And more shocking, not for me is that women slept better when they shared their bed with their pooch, and, and I agree, because my dog is cuddled up with me all the time. But I agree, am I the only one?

Ellen Gustafson:

Oh no Feli, Gigi is right on the bed with me at the bottom. And sometimes she jumps down. She also has her own bed in the room. But most definitely, I'm sleeping with me every day. Yeah, I don't think we're unusual. They're just so great. You know?

Tish Woods:

Oh, gosh. Well, I always kind of jokingly say to my friends that I just want a guy who adores me half as much as my pet Ranger. Because he looks up at me. He'll he'll snuggle up on my chest. And just look at me with such love. I go, Yeah, half of that will do half of that will do and I'm in that relationship is so you know, it kind of goes to that. Yeah, they're just, you know, they're just innocent. They just love in such an innocent way. Yeah.

Ellen Gustafson:

It's so true. And with three boys, you know, and Tish you know this, a few of them don't talk very much of my kids. They're quite in their rooms

Tish Woods:

you gotta Hey, during the day, that's good. Hey, that's right. Hey, Mom.

Ellen Gustafson:

Gigi greets me at the door. It's just so fabulous. There's somebody that's always happy that I'm home. And that really makes such a difference. But I know that our midster ladies they are so obsessed about their dogs. They're creating Instagram accounts and we have a friend she has two dogs. Both dogs have Instagram accounts. They're so cute. What the photos and what the dogs are doing. And one is small and white and the other is big and black. And they're always on little adventures but they have more Instagram followers than we do Tish and Feli.

Tish Woods:

Yeah I know. So let our listeners now what are their Instagram accounts and what kind of dogs are they?

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, one is called Leo the Pom and he is a white Pomeranian and I will put his Instagram in our show notes. Definitely. You He's adorable. And he's a purse pup, meaning our friend takes him everywhere in one of her little purses. And then there is a Black Russian Terrier, and I had never heard of that dog before they got it. And it looks like a little Shetland pony.

Felicia Pasquier:

Massive, with big head and paws

Ellen Gustafson:

Yes, huge and very gentle. And his name is Bart and his Instagram account is Barty, the one man party. And so they're so funny. I also follow myself a couple other dogs a poodle named noodle. And you know, I think we all have some dogs that you just can't, you know, you just can't look away from they're just so cute on Instagram. What about you Feli? Do you follow any dogs?

Felicia Pasquier:

Well, you know what I watch tictok and someone said, I hope you don't get your news from tiktok. I'm like, if you saw my feed, you wouldn't even ask that question. Because my feed is full of the dodo. Dog rescues. I follow so many dogs. I couldn't even tell you. You know what, but no, absolutely. There's nothing better than seeing a cute dog. Roll on its back, you know, run to the door. It's just Yeah. So absolutely.

Ellen Gustafson:

I love the ones of dogs with little babies. You know, it's like they bring a baby home. And those just warm my heart.

Felicia Pasquier:

The one I saw this week that was amazing was a big Great Danes who had lost her puppies and she was so depressed. And they brought two little chihuahua puppies for her to nurse because she had milk. And these two chihuahuas, you know, so this Great Dane was raising and what is it called? When you I guess, breastfeeding? What is it called when you? You know, she was breastfeeding these little chihuahuas, it was so cute.

Tish Woods:

But, you know, that's, that's kind of like us. And that's where a lot of the research that I've done on what why this is a phenomenon is that we are nurturers by nature, women are nurturers by nature. And once our kids are gone, or maybe we've had a change that we don't have a spouse around, or we're not taking care of our parents anymore. We are in this situation that we still have this need to nurture. And we're now focusing that on these wonderful dogs in our life and they bring us so much joy. You know, I think about my friends, you know, that are local for me. I have one friend Susie, she paddleboards with her dog, she kayaks with her dog, her and Asher you can see them out on the lake. It's amazing. I love it. You know, and it's her baby. You know, it's her, you know, her daughter's, you know, grown and and moved on. And it's her baby and

Felicia Pasquier:

and they're not sassy. They're not sassy.

Ellen Gustafson:

No, no talking back, maybe a little barking.

Tish Woods:

Well two years ago, I actually had gotten hospitalized for for a full week. And it was just so hard because you know, you're isolated in a hospital. And then next thing I know is my bestie. Liz, she comes walking in the door, opens her designer purse, and out pops this little multi poo. It's her. It's her dog. And it just changed my whole day. Just being around her little Bella just absolutely brightened my day. I just felt healthier after it. So you know, there's a lot to be said for the physical and mental health, that having and caring for an animal can bring into your life. You know, it's amazing. Years ago, I had had a golden retriever and a standard poodle. And we had a litter of doodles. And one of the doodles went to a family that they used the dog to go into senior centers, to visit with elderly to brighten their day and make them feel better. And she said it was just the most amazing work because I had kept in touch with her. It was the most amazing work, just brightening their day just by letting the dog jump up in their bed and then pet them. That's all they needed to do that touch that companionship. And the dog would just lay there and it would just it was a huge change for these patients. So there's a lot to be said for owning a dog.

Felicia Pasquier:

Yeah, I want to go back to what you said about your friend sneaking in the dog to the hospital in her designer bag, which is a lovely thing to do. But I don't know if you know but more and more hospitals are allowing you to bring in your pet, they just kind of want to know, you know, make sure they're vaccinated, they ask if they're vaccinated. But even hospitals and hospital staff, doctors and nurses realize that a dog can help a patient, I remember when my father, you know, was really well, he had terminal cancer, and he was in the hospital at some point. And my sister brought in one of her, you know, pack of dogs, one big blind, standard poodle, and it brought my father so much joy. So I think the hospitals are beginning to realize that this is a, it's a healing, you know, it's healing. So more and more, they're allowing dogs in,

Ellen Gustafson:

that's great Feli And I know, there's so many things that we learn from our dogs, or we realized by having dogs so Tish, what, what do you what do you got for us there?

Tish Woods:

You know, I think one of the main things that I have learned from my dog was about being loyal and dependable. You know, dogs are pack animals for the most part, and they like to stick with their pack, and they like to play with their pack. And it's kind of like us, midsters you know, women, we have our we have our, you know, girl groups, and we we like to defend our pack, like, you know, we might pick on each other here and there. But don't let anyone else from outside say anything, right. But it's a great reminder for all of us that, you know, we need to run in packs as people and especially coming out of, you know, the last two years with COVID. There's a lot of people who are isolated. So remember that include people, you know, that golden rule of treating others how you want to be treated, so applies here. And I think we can learn that from our dogs, you know, to be dependable, whether it's your friend, your lover, your sibling, partner, or parents. You know, that type of, you know, unconditional loyalty and being dependable just enriches, you know, everyone's life around you, including your own. What about you failing? What have you? What's the one main thing that you have learned from owning, Charlie?

Felicia Pasquier:

Well I think all of us can agree that dogs love you unconditionally. You mentioned it earlier. And I have to reiterate that fact, sometimes it's sad, because you hear about dogs being abused, and an abuser will kick their dog. But if they call the dog, that dog will be the first to go running back. So, you know, they wag their tails, when they see you, it doesn't matter what mood you're in. I work from home. So sometimes my dog is disruptive. And I'll say Charlie, go to bed, go to bed. But the minute I say come here Charlie, he'll jump up and come right to me. It doesn't matter what I've done or, or made him go to bed. You know, he's, he wants to come and greet me no matter what. So they don't hold grudges. Oh, give you they love you. And just in general, dogs make the world a better place, honestly.

Ellen Gustafson:

Totally.

Tish Woods:

What about you, Ellen? What is the one main thing that you've learned from Gigi?

Ellen Gustafson:

You know Gigi is the kind of dog that wants to go everywhere with me or anyone in the family. I mean, anytime you leave the house, you go in the car, she jumps right in, it's kind of like, where are we going? Right? And she, we roll down the window. And she's one of those dogs that just sticks her head out. And her long ears are flapping in the breeze and you know, it, she doesn't know where we're going. Right? He's just there. She's enjoying what I say she's enjoying the journey. And I think for me, just at this stage of life, kind of the lesson is to not focus so much on where I think I need to be going. But like just the journey of getting there. Right and so if she can be so happy, just popping in the car and not knowing I think it's like you know, don't be so attached to the outcome Ellen just really be more like Gigi in that ability to kind of enjoy whatever's presented and what's happening and so enjoying the journey I think is really the biggest thing I've learned from having her.

Tish Woods:

We should all be more like Gigi,

Felicia Pasquier:

is there any dog on this universe that does not go crazy when you say bye bye car? I don't think so. Yeah, no chicken.

Ellen Gustafson:

don't know No, I just say chicken and he goes crazy.

Felicia Pasquier:

She does? Oh, that's funny.. What about when they hear the wrappers for you know opening a Kraft cheese. Do Allright Midsters, tilnext week. you all have that like they can hear that a mile away? Anyway, so obviously midsters, dogs bring us so much joy. And to some sum it up for everyone. I think most women want to take care of others and as we age If we might not have kids or parents to take care of, so we often seek out our dogs to fill this need. And the joy that comes back to us is tenfold. So, what I suggest to any misters out there who might be struggling or stressed during a transition time the way I did you're not alone. Why don't you get a dog to fill that void? And if you're not a dog owner already maybe this is a time to find out how fulfilling being a dog owner could be. And and if you do go search for the dog I recommend starting in your local shelter where there are a lot of abandoned dogs. There are many senior dogs that have been you know, perhaps their owners have passed away and they're kind of left alone and they're the last to go. Look and consider an older senior dog but definitely go to your local shelter and see if you can find a good dog Bye guys.

Tish Woods:

Till next week, Midsters