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A Mostly True Apology Letter To My Dog

Dear Ruby,

I have been thinking (the deep freeze has kept us inside with little else to do BUT think). I owe you an apology or two or twenty.

But let’s get one thing straight: this is my apology letter to you. I know that when I am sorry you think you should be sorry, too. Emotional boundaries are hard for both of us. You can write your own letter or just do those ‘I’m sorry’ doggie things that you do so well, which will surely make me feel even more sorry.

How to talk to your dog and apologize

In no particular, totally random order …

I’m sorry about the dog boots. It was really cold. My intentions were good. Never again, I promise.

I’m sorry about the whole skunk thing. But skunks will be skunks. I’m sorry I wasn’t wearing my glasses (because you thought they were a chew toy) and confused that skunk with a stray cat.

I’m sorry I had to roll you over like a big log when you were sleeping so soundly. I was cold and needed a small square of blanket.

I’m sorry you can’t eat the cat food. Yes, you were very clever moving the chair, jumping the baby gate, and breaking into the kitchen. But cat food is for cats and you are not a cat. You may think cats are super cool but eating their food will not make you one of them. It will only make you fat and then the vet will yell at us.

I’m sorry I occasionally have to leave the house without you. Life sucks sometimes. I know it feels like the end of the world, but it is not. I will always come back.

How to apologize and talk to your dog

I’m sorry about that time you were mistaken for a Muppet. My bad for not trimming your bangs and yes, I know your extra fluff adds five pounds in photos.

I’m sorry you can’t eat ALL the treats ALL the time. But moderation (I’m told) is an important life skill.

I’m sorry we had to cut our walk short because of that jogging guy. It’s never OK to lunge at joggers, bikers, or anyone else doing physical activity. No one really likes exercise (except maybe those two overachieving labs across the street), but barking is not very supportive and kind of obnoxious.

I’m sorry the cat occasionally confuses your tail with a feather toy, an honest mistake as the resemblance is kind of uncanny. The truth hurts sometimes.

I’m sorry about all those times I tried to convince you that water is fun. Like that time we drove all the way from Chicago to Cape Cod so you could see the ocean. You weren’t impressed with the north Atlantic – but for the record, it is kind of a big deal and you might want to reconsider.

dog language and apologize to your dog

I’m sorry I’m not as chatty and social as other dog parents. But newsflash: you aren’t very social either. Can we just stay at home and pretend we are cats?

I’m sorry you can’t drive and must sit in the back seat. There’s way more to driving than putting your paws on the steering wheel and barking. You are very good at other things, like climbing mountains (aka chairs), but driving is different. Your attention span is kind of lacking and there’s all that fur in your eyes. Yes, I have watched the videos of dogs driving golf carts and cats riding around on robotic vacuum cleaners, but it is never going happen for you.

I’m sorry I stopped you from eating dead crunchy things. But they were cicada shells. And yes they do make a fun crunchy sound, but they are also super gross.

I’m sorry about those two overachieving labs across the street. Heck, they are probably off solving world hunger or climbing Mount Everest RIGHT NOW. Comparing ourselves to others is never a good thing. But truthfully, they make me feel like a loser, too.

how to apologize to your dog in dog language

I’m sorry I tripped over the cat and spilled your breakfast. My natural clumsiness and the cat’s natural ‘me-first-ness’ forced you to eat off the floor.

I’m sorry we are both kind of awkward sometimes (all the time). And yes, sometimes it is just easier to cross the street, duck into an alley, or scale the back fence to avoid the block party going on right in front of our house. Being shy is hard and occasionally leaves unexplained bruises.

I’m sorry that your first six years in your other home weren’t so great. I wish we could have found each other sooner. I’m sorry I can’t make all that other stuff go away.

And finally, I’m sorry for rainy days, deep snow, humidity, and the polar vortex that messes up your walk schedule. Climate change is hard on dogs, too. But it could be worse – and probably soon will be. So, maybe suck it up just this once.


Your humble and most apologetic caretaker


P.S.: This is all just for fun and part of my book that I mentioned last week. I will be sharing snippets (like this one) throughout the year. Feel free to add your own funny apologies to your dog (or cat) in the comments.

Dog language: How to talk to and apologize to your dog


  1. January 30, 2019 / 10:22 am

    hahaha my letter would look a lot like you if I would write one… well done!!!

  2. January 30, 2019 / 10:35 am

    Sounds very thoughtful. I don’t dare apologize they will start making demands.

  3. January 30, 2019 / 10:55 am

    Anyone with a pup could write this letter. So cute and I chuckled more than once.

    Have a woof woof day. My best to your caretaker. ♥

  4. January 30, 2019 / 11:29 am

    I too am sorry that I have to leave the house almost every day! And I’m sorry that I cannot lay on the futon for hours, to be the human cat bed that Da Boyz want me to be. The futon is hard, and my bones need my cushy mattress in the bedroom, which is in Angel’s Apartment, so no boy cats allowed.

  5. January 30, 2019 / 11:52 am

    That was a wonderful letter and I’m certain sweet Ruby totally understands, really she does.

  6. Sandra Hangey
    January 30, 2019 / 12:21 pm

    enjoyed your post and a lot of things ring a bell from the past with other dogs. thanks for the chuckles

  7. Bella, Roxy and Dui
    January 30, 2019 / 12:27 pm

    Bwahaahaa! We were getting such mental images!

  8. January 30, 2019 / 3:03 pm

    Heeheehee! Great letter.

    Dear Cats, i am sorry that catnip is only served once a day, but i don’t want you to get tired of it, and i buy the good quality stuff so that’s all i can afford.

  9. The Swiss Cats
    January 30, 2019 / 3:04 pm

    What a wonderful letter ! We enjoyed your apologizes ! Purrs

  10. January 30, 2019 / 3:35 pm

    Best apology letter ever!!
    Arty, Jakey & Rosy

  11. January 30, 2019 / 8:02 pm

    We LOVED it – and we want MORE:) The book is going to be fabulous!!!

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  12. January 31, 2019 / 4:47 am

    This letter is so wonderful and Ruby’s forgives you for everything because she loves you unconditionally♥

  13. January 31, 2019 / 6:50 am

    My mom is sorry we can’t drive because we always want to, but are not allowed. She dislikes driving and wishes we could drive! Very good list of sorrys.

  14. January 31, 2019 / 9:05 am

    Aww, Ruby. I’m sure you forgive your mom for all of that! Can’t wait to read the book in its entirety!

  15. January 31, 2019 / 9:40 am

    Ruby bless your heart and your peeps….this is horribly scary cold weather….
    OOOOh I love everything your mom writes
    Hugs Cecilia

  16. January 31, 2019 / 9:41 am

    Ruby bless all your hearts dealing with this horrible scary cold.
    I love every word your mom writes…I’ excited
    Hugs Cecilia

  17. January 31, 2019 / 10:58 am

    I know that Ruby has already forgiven you. I could write a similar letter to my dogs… but you and Ruby were made for each other, so she understands all the things that you feel that you must apologize for!

  18. January 31, 2019 / 2:10 pm

    LOL If I wrote an apology letter to the dogs whenever I was sorry, it’d be an encyclopedia-sized volume.

  19. January 31, 2019 / 3:09 pm

    guyz…yur momz knot much for “sport” if ya canna eat bugs, ore 98 poundz oh treetz in one settin; 984 paws up two ewe rosie 😉 🙂 we noe why ♥♥☺☺

  20. January 31, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    Our mom says she is sorry she has to put booties on us when it gets too cold outside. She knows that without them we couldn’t stay out long enough to get our “business” done but it’s hard for us to understand.

  21. 15andmeowing
    January 31, 2019 / 8:36 pm

    I am sure she forgives you.

  22. February 1, 2019 / 10:19 am

    There’s one thing about Ruby, she knows she’s got a very good life with you. Rescued dogs always know when they have found a good home, a good person, and lots of good food, of course – they are dogs after all and food is high up there on their lists of life’s blessings.

  23. Becky
    February 1, 2019 / 1:12 pm

    I’m sorry, my Shadow, for adding two 8 year old girls to your life just when you turned 17. I’m really glad I have you to teach them the rules though, my best boy. I know your momma loves you Ruby and that she is so sorry about the boots!

  24. Chelle
    February 1, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    Aw I love this! It’s funny and cute and heartwarming all at the same time. I always wonder if I’m doing the best by my dogs. How much better would their lives be if I threw the ball that one more time, etc. Luckily I have my fiance to give me a reality check before I beat myself up too much. My dogs are super spoiled and living the good life, as I’m sure yours is as well.

  25. Hindy Pearson
    February 2, 2019 / 2:50 am

    I loved this post! Absolutely adorable, clever, funny I smiled through every word. What can I say about that dog but beyond adorable.

  26. February 2, 2019 / 11:07 am

    Your apology letter had me howling w/ laughter! It’s terrific, as always. I love that first photo of Ruby, she looks exceptionally gorgeous.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  27. February 2, 2019 / 4:00 pm

    I am laughing so much here as they really know how to make us feel guilty. Love her, she is just so adorable and her facial expressions in the photos made me laugh more.

  28. February 3, 2019 / 3:35 am

    It’s kind of a big deal and you might want to reconsider…. Ahahahahahahaaaaa……

  29. February 3, 2019 / 1:45 pm

    HAHA! This was wild from beginning to end. We can totally relate to slightly resenting those overachieving labs. We all know one!

  30. February 3, 2019 / 2:22 pm

    This is too cute. I’m sure Ruby appreciated every word of it. 🙂 My letter would go something like this: Dear Lexy, I’m sorry you can only have two treats per week. LOL She’s less than happy with me.

  31. February 3, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    This letter is so flipping adorable – just so much sweetness and laughter rolled into one! It truly does suck that humans have to leave their homes without their dogs – life is totally unfair! It actually feels like the end of the world for the humans too – so try not to worry Ruby!

  32. February 3, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    I loved your letter of apology. Mine to Buffy would be I’m sorry you went blind – although it wasn’t my fault – but maybe it was the vet’s. I’m sorry I drag you around the block several times a day when you would rather sleep. Walking is good for you and for me – even though its really slow. I’m also sorry that I can’t feed you as much as you would like.

  33. Marjorie Dawson
    February 3, 2019 / 3:25 pm

    * helpless giggles *

    I am only sorry I got to Harvey late (but am making up for it) I am sorry I didn’t give Nemo probiotics for his runny tum. Had I known.


    Right now they have everything, they are cared for and insured within an inch of their lives. Maybe I am getting there. There is always hope.

  34. February 3, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    The one thing I try to avoid all I can is hurting my dog’s feelings. Whether it can be helped or not. Sadly, sometimes it cannot be helped.

  35. Sweet Purrfections
    February 3, 2019 / 9:09 pm

    What a cute post. I can just imagine all I would need to apologize to my girls for over the past 7 years!

  36. meowmeowmans
    February 3, 2019 / 10:18 pm

    Aww, what a wonderful letter to Ruby! We bet she understands, because she KNOWS you love her so, so much. 🙂

  37. February 3, 2019 / 10:56 pm

    HAHA! This letter is too cute. I think my #1 would be apologizing to my dogs for moving the cat food AND litter box especially upstairs where they no longer have access to their gross 24/7 buffet of cat droppings. They will never forgive me, but it’s gross

  38. February 4, 2019 / 12:09 pm

    Oh I absolutely love this! Highlights of my apology would be to Matisse for trying to make him a show cat and forever getting tagged with the nickname “bleacher creature” in the show circuit. And to everyone else – I’m really sorry about the kittens. I know they are monumentally annoying 85 percent of the time. I promise they’ll grow up.

  39. February 4, 2019 / 3:39 pm

    I’ll save myself a lot of time and just read this to my dogs, substituting Great Dane for Labs.

  40. Rachel
    February 5, 2019 / 9:54 am

    This is so cute! What a cute idea for a post 🙂

  41. FiveSibesMom
    February 5, 2019 / 2:47 pm

    Oh my gosh…I LOVE this! I had to chuckle (sorry, Ruby) at the skunk event! And that apology for not getting all the treats all the time – definitely required (as a mom to a Husky who has no stop/full button, I feel the need to apologize, too, for being so mean and withholding more treats and food in fear of her busting her gut!)…and when your book comes out, FiveSibes would love to review and highlight for you!!! Pinning this post to share! 🙂

  42. February 5, 2019 / 11:51 pm

    How can one look at that face and not be sorry for all their sins? Ruby’s face is so sweet and innocent!

  43. February 6, 2019 / 7:53 pm

    I wish I could get cat food too, but momma says it duz not agree wif my tummy.

  44. Idaho PugRanch
    February 7, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    We just love this letter so much!
    Hazel & Mabel

  45. Becky
    August 25, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    Punkin, I am sorry that my tummy is so big that I cannot see my feet and every once in a while I trip over you when you are in unexpected places. I really am trying to get rid of this weight so I can see my feet again! 😂

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