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In the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the year of the Dog. Meanwhile, in America, every year is the year of the dog.
I don’t know when we all went dog crazy. Maybe it’s always been like this and I’m now just noticing, sort of like when you finally learn what the word “enumerate” means and now you’re seeing it everywhere, which for sure didn’t happen to me, I for sure already knew (seriously, shut up). All I know is that I’m just not ready for a lil’ pupperino for a few reasons.
I’ll get the obvious stuff out of the way first.
First and foremost, it’s expensive as hell. I have dollar pizza for dinner maybe four nights of the week, which means I can’t (or won’t?) afford to be responsible for the satiation of a whole other sentient being. Secondly, it’s a huge time commitment. Dogs only live for what, 12 years? If you’re gone 8 hours each business day at work, that’s almost 25,000 hours that your dog is going to be sitting at home riddled with anxiety and loneliness. And forget paying a dog walker who can cost up to $30 per hour.
One of my personal reasons for getting a dog is that I’m not sure it’s reasonable in the city. Here in New York, the sidewalks are made out of a mix of cement, dried piss, chewed gum, and loogies. I wouldn’t want to walk my hypothetical dog all up and down multiple blocks of that nastiness just to have them climbing all over my body and furniture. And for me, it’s not an option to NOT give dogs a bunch of physical affection. I mean I definitely take it too far. I will let them nonstop lick my face and I’ll even put their entire little face in my mouth because that’s just my brand of love. But if they’re licking their paws that they just walked outside with and then lick my face after that, I’m going to contract some weird gutter virus and be the next patient zero, and that’s bad PR.
The most reasonable solution to that would be to get them those little dog shoes, but I really don’t want to do that. Have you seen a dog try to walk in those shoes? They swing their legs out to the side instead of bending at the knee. They look like Forrest Gump at the beginning of the movie when he has those leg braces and he’s trying to run. It’s embarrassing and I don’t want the other dogs to laugh at my lil’ boy just because I want his feetsies to be clean. Besides, I already have to tie two shoes every day, I don’t really feel like adding four more to the queue.
Sadly (and possibly most importantly), I just don’t share the same attachment to dogs overall that most people do. I love dogs, but most people I see are just straight up obsessed with dogs. I partially get it, like dogs are truly the only pure beings on this Earth, but I must say that I think it’s gotten a bit out of hand. I’ve tweeted this before, but it’s still relevant when I saw that “getting your dog certified as an emotional support service dog” is the new “getting your medicinal marijuana card” in that some people definitely need it, but probably not the majority of people who are doing it. I don’t think I’d go through the trouble of getting my dog certified as a service dog just to be able to bring them into a restaurant, but that just goes to show how much people are dog-crazy these days.
This is how bad our dog craze has gotten: I was at the movie theatre recently because I am a godddamn patron of the arts. I watched a movie about a guy who gets involved with group of killers. I won’t say the name of the movie because I don’t want to spoil anything, but the guy ends up wanting to pull out of the group and then they kill his dog to intimidate him. This was the ONLY PART OF THE MOVIE that people audibly gasped at. Not any of the fistfights, not any of the execution-style killings, not even the beheading scene. They didn’t even show the dog dying! They just implied it with a blurry, motionless figure. It’s just weird to me that the people in this theatre were way more moved by the thought of a dog dying than an innocent human being killed.
I’m just not on the same page as these people. I’m not saying I don’t care about dogs, I’m just saying I think that it’s unreasonable to be obsessed with them as much as some people currently are. My point is that I may not fit in with other dog owners since I wouldn’t be as dog crazy as some of them.
I think having a dog is to our generation what having a kid was to our parents’ generation. Our parents at our age swapped stories about their kids while we create separate Instagram accounts for our dogs. We even follow strangers’ dog’s Instagram accounts because that makes sense. Maybe that’s why we care so much. Because we view dogs more as children rather than as pets.
I know a girl who got a dog with her ex-boyfriend when they were dating, and I swear they treated it like it was their little child. But then they broke up, and one of the toughest things to figure out was who got custody of the dog. I swear it was like a bad episode of Judge Judy, just back and forth like:
“I paid for her!”
“I Venmo’d you half!!”
“Well, she loves me more since I spend more time with her!”
“You do NOT spend more time with her! Plus she always cuddles with me on the couch.”
“Fine let’s put her in the middle of the room and see who she comes to.”
“SEE! She came to me!”
“Only because she could smell the Chick-Fil-A bag!”
They ended up arriving on a joint custody agreement. The dog would live with her, and he would get to visit on the weekends. I suddenly had weird flashbacks to my childhood when my parents got divorced. Anyway, it gets more complex: they would time it so that he would arrive at her place after she had gone out for the day. How ridiculous is that? Some of you are thinking, “Umm not that far-fetched at all you dick” (you like that “far fetch” pun? Of course, you do).
I just think how ridiculous it is that he spends his free time on the weekends hanging out with a dog that’s owned by someone else. I get that the dog may get sad and miss his “dad,” but it’s just a dog… He could instead use that free time he’s allocating to a dog to hanging out with inner-city kids in the Big Brother Big Sister program or something. Now who’s the dick?
I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you spend your free time hanging out with a dog instead of a kid or something. I’m just saying that I don’t think I’m ready for a dog because I’d question if I got it more for selfish reasons, like for cuteness bragging rights, rather than for selfless reasons, like to rescue it from a shelter. I’ll still throw your dog a like on Instagram, though. .