In a world where everything is scrutinized under the tiniest of microscopes, one particular species has seemed to magically avoid any and all criticism. I’m talking, of course, about dogs – those stinking, shallow, mentally deficient animals that bother me and my sinuses to no end. I am part of a non-vocal minority, who before today, were too scared and too outnumbered to speak out against animals of the canine variety for fear of backlash or maybe even banishment to a deserted island.
I know there are others out there who feel the same way but can’t or won’t admit to it because, for years, dogs have been bred specifically to like us and depend on us. It is now the human who is responsible for taking care of dogs, despite the fact that they derive from wolves, an animal that is historically known as being dependent on no one but themselves. Sarah McLachlan isn’t going to make me like dogs and neither are you. Owning a dog is like owning a baby that never gets past the toddler stage.
Do you like going on vacations? What about a clean, tidy home? Free time before and after work?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, I hope you’re ready for some harsh truths. Be prepared to pony up a couple hundred bucks to pay someone to watch “Bailey” or “Coach” for the week. And you know that scent that is so quintessentially dog? You’re not going to be able to get that out of your couch cushions no matter what brand of Febreze you buy. Kiss goodbye that extra hour of sleep you enjoy too because your dog is going to need to go for a walk before you leave it cooped up inside for the next eight hours.
Popular opinion seems to be that dogs are the greatest accessories in the world and they can do no wrong. Even when they do fuck up, whether that’s from chewing your favorite pair of sneakers raw or literally shitting on your carpet, they’re somehow off the hook merely because they’re dogs. And they should be off the hook because they are, at their most basic definition, wild animals. Animals that you allow inside your home. Dogs are animals. Am I making this clear enough for everyone? They weren’t meant to be domesticated but were anyways long ago, most likely because a literal Neanderthal got his heart broken and he wanted some companionship.
One of my favorite things about not owning a dog is that the places I live are always, for the most part, free of hair and dog odor. I’m not sure many people notice this when they walk into a dog owner’s home. You know what I’m talking about. It usually smells like a mixture of old shoes and moldy towels but you’re too polite to tell your friend that his place smells like a water treatment facility. That’s just par for the course, because, you know, a dog is an ANIMAL. Dogs cannot properly wash themselves, so it’s left to the owner to get their dog clean. This may come as surprising to some of you, but most people who own dogs also have jobs. Bathing a dog will fall by the wayside after a long day at work or following that Thursday, Friday, Saturday where you decided to hit the bar every night.
And before you say that I’m a cat guy, just know that I’m allergic to both. I don’t really like cats either. Yes, I realize that you can buy cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic, but who has the time? Seriously, who has the time to be taking care of animals? I have friends in their 20s who own both despite the fact that they live paycheck to paycheck and work jobs that keep them away from these pets for forty plus hours a week. But none of that matters as long they get that #sick Instagram picture candidly playing with their Golden Retriever on the beach. How about before you buy a dog you learn how to make something other than macaroni and cheese for dinner?
I understand why people like dogs. The blind need seeing eye dogs to get around. Terminally ill humans can get what is referred to as a “comfort” dog. That’s all well and good. But not every Jane and John Doe on the block needs one and I don’t want or feel an inherent need to be invited over to meet your furry little friend. That Instagram account you made FOR YOUR DOG is wildly unnecessary and so is the primo dog food you dropped a hundred dollars on at Whole Foods last weekend.
Before I get shunned from society forever and reprimanded by anonymous idiots from all over the internet, let me give you a brief history lesson on the humble beginnings of the dog as we know it today, courtesy of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Planet Earth.
First off, dogs are a kind of wolf. You know the wild animals that are notoriously self-sufficient intellectually and emotionally? Before humans were smart enough to realize that they could take dietary advantage of cows, chickens, and sheep, wolves were being fed by nomads all over PANGEA because some of them weren’t hostile and hung around their campsites. These nomads would use the wolves to propel their sleds full of pelts and whatever the hell else people used as currency. Somewhere along the way, subsets of these wolves became docile and entirely dependent on humans for survival. Following that, breeding of household dogs became popular, which is why dogs born in 2016 are more intellectually inferior than ever before. It’s also why we now have hypoallergenic dogs called “Golden Labradoodles” and “Irish Water Spaniels”. Next time you groan at a picture of a dog with a sign around its neck that says “I got into the pantry and threw up all over my mom’s new rug”, blame dog breeders.
Despite the fact that I loathe dogs with the fire of a thousand suns, they are damn near impossible to escape. Dogs have been the flavor of the week for quite some time now. In Austin, if you’re not bringing your dog with you to the bar, you might as well not show up. I went out with a buddy of mine a few weeks ago who has a Bull Mastiff. This dog weighs something like 140 pounds fully grown and drools constantly. It smells like the garbage bag in your kitchen that you’re too lazy to take out to the dumpster and it seeks attention from anyone in it’s peripheral. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve avoided dogs like the Romans did the bubonic plague. This, of course, only makes matters worse.
Because dogs are attention whores to the nth degree, they have an inherent need to be liked by everyone. It’s only natural that the one person in the room who wants nothing to do with the dog will be licked, jumped on, and harassed until the owner shows up and laughs at me while saying “Oh, isn’t she SO fun?”. Nope. “She” isn’t fun. None of them are. Even the most docile dogs on the planet are not fun. They still require maintenance, grooming, and attention. Owning a dog is like having an overbearing girlfriend or boyfriend that constantly needs affirmation on the status of your relationship. You’ll hear phrases while inside a dog owner’s home like “Sorry about this he just gets excited.” How about you put him in the backyard and he can be excited out there? By the way, I love what you’ve done with the living room here. I’m really excited to sit on your couch that is 75% covered in dog hair and saliva. No, no, I’ll get used to the gym sock plug-in air freshener you seem to have installed, it’s fine.
The barking. The way they go completely off the rails when a stranger enters their owner’s home. The requirement that you carry around its shit until you can find a trashcan. I don’t care about your dog. It isn’t a human being and I don’t want it anywhere near me. Like a mosquito or an oversized gnat, dogs are nothing more than an annoyance that I have to deal with on a day to day basis. I sincerely hope there are some people out there who feel the same way as I do. Otherwise, I actually may get banished to a deserted island for this. .