I am new to the military world and the military lifestyle. I have been living in a military housing neighborhood for only two weeks and after many walks with the dogs around the neighborhood and many trips to the dog park I have noticed one thing. I think the families here try to compete and "out rank" each other with their dogs.
For instance, I would say 95% of the dogs I have seen here have been very large and very expensive breeds. I went to the dog park yesterday and saw an adult Husky, a Husky puppy, a German Shepherd Puppy, and a Mastiff puppy all playing in the park. When I'm out walking the dogs I see Boxers, more German Shepherds, pit bull mixes, and a lot of Great Danes. Is it common for people in the military to try and "out dog each other?" Is it a thing to brag about? Is it a sign of status? It is a "my dog is bigger than you dog" thing? Is it a way to make up for other shortcomings in their life, career, or physical appearance? Is it about security? Having a big bad guard dog to protect their family? Or is it simply because they like big breed dogs? I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong I love big dogs myself and my next dog will be a large breed because I've never been allowed to have one and they are beautiful animals...but I don't want one to show off to others.
Right now I have a 25# mutt and a 6# Chihuahua. I couldn't be happier with my cheap, paperless mongrels. They are dogs, they are family, and they are important to me. They aren't here to show I'm a badass or to make up for something else I may be lacking in my life. They are here because they are my loyal faithful companions and they make me happy. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe it's all in my head but I believe there's a deeper meaning to how military personnel choose their pets.
Aside from that...I took my little tiny dogs to the dog park again today and we had a blast!