There are two types of people in the world. Dog people and cat people. There are plenty of folks like myself, who will say they are both but we usually lean one way or the other when it comes to the actual ownership of an animal. I will always lean cat.
I could get into the whole debate about why dogs are better than cats or why cats are better than dogs (duh) but this article is about dog owners and their presumptions that I automatically want to bond with their gifted child.
I live in a building filled with dogs and often help my friend’s with their dogs when they are out of town. My number one annoyance with dogs is the potty situation. Like the mailman, I have to take them outside to do their business regardless of rain, heat, snow, cold or wind. Then they have to be walked around until their butt starts twitching and they dump their special gift on the ground for me to pick up.
So, the Chicago wind is blowing around and freezing snot to my face and I’m pacing around while the dog is deciding where to unload last night’s dinner and now here comes a chipper old lady and her French bulldog.
I cringe as she approaches me and asks, “Is he friendly?”
Before I can answer, she proceeds to let her dog start sniffing around my dog. I guess because I am not a dog owner, I don’t get it. Dogs are unpredictable. I have been in the cross hairs of dogs lunging at each other, growling and pulling to “play” with one another. I don’t trust that your dog is “friendly” just because you say so.
This also means that now I have to start stupid small talk with you, stranger.
“Aww, your dog is sooo cute. What’s his name? How long have you had him?”
I don’t really care about you or your dog. This is not even my dog that I am walking. If I was pregnant, I wouldn’t want you touching my stomach, and if I was walking my child in a stroller, I don’t want you stopping me so you can hold my baby.
Your dog has to become socialized, I get it. But, as you can see from my charming personality, I do not. It’s seven in the morning, I haven’t had any coffee yet, it’s cold outside and now I have to pick up steaming poop AND have a boring dog conversation with you?
Now the awkward stance that I must endure:
1. Hold the lease firmly while said stranger’s dog starts to sniff my dog’s face. Internally, I am dying and this is just the beginning.
2. Give a fake smile and nervous laugh as the canine dance begins and the butt smelling commences.
3. Start stupid small talk with complete stranger and grip lease tighter.
4. Try to act interested as this person tells me ALL about their “special” dog. Lucky for me, I get to find out how old Fido is, that he was a rescue dog and that he has a wheat allergy. Fantastic.
5. Dogs are now jumping on each other, getting out of control and leases become tangled.
6. More nervous laughter as I think about the potential doggy law suit that could happen if my dog even looks at your dog wrong(because, sorry, dog people are nuts.)
7. Wave bye-bye to my new best friend and her allergy-prone dog and promise her, that yes, I will friend her on Facebook.
8. Roll my eyes and beg the dog to take his poop already.
I’m thinking maybe I’ll scoop up my cat and go knock on my neighbor’s door and ask if their cat is “friendly” and if we can come in so my cat can sniff their cat’s butt.
So if you see me walking a dog and avoiding eye contact with you, it’s nothing personal. I just don’t want to talk to you and your dog.