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My father, in his very “Leave It To Beaver” era wisdom (though he was more of a Red Forman than a Ward Cleaver), once proclaimed “There’s something wrong with a boy who doesn’t want a dog!” Needless to say I was raised in a household where pets were the norm. I had a dog, my brother had a dog, my wife and I currently have a freakin’ menagerie of animals, but that’s a topic for another time. I love my pets, as everyone who decides to get a pet should. However, we really need to talk.
I think it’s about time we said this aloud. Maybe you should sit down for this one. We’re only saying this because we care about you, and we hate to see you humiliate yourself this way, so understand that we mean this with the best of intentions. The thing is, your dog is not your son or daughter, and I think you’ve seriously begun to lose your grip on reality and can no longer tell the difference between “pet” and “child.”
It started slowly, with just a photo of Fido on the lock screen of your iPhone. That’s harmless enough, honestly. People who have pets talk to each other about their pets – it’s fine. Normal. But as time went on, you started talking about Fido more and more. You no longer went out, preferring to spend more time at home by yourself…with Fido. On the rare occasions you did go out, it was only to places where “dog-talk” could be a main topic of conversation and you “couldn’t stay out too late,” because “Fido just can’t be home alone that long.” Your life came to REVOLVE around Fido faster than you realized, and you posted it all on Facebook for the world to see.
Thank God we no longer live in the old days when Facebook had those horrible “Catbook” and “Dogbook” apps, or else you would have gotten so out of control so quickly, we probably wouldn’t have had time to have this conversation and try to get you some help. But in lieu of those days, we now have things like Instagram and the hashtags like “#dogsofinstagram,” “#mommydoggytime,” and “#puppylove.” What we’re saying, honey, is that it’s time for you to take a step back and come up for air. We haven’t seen you in weeks, phone conversations are terse because we’ve interrupted bath time or the dog park or simply because the buzz of the phone woke Fido from his nap.
We’re not saying you need to get rid of Fido. Heavens, no! What we ARE saying, is that you have to integrate social interaction with other HUMANS back into your life. Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately? You have more fur on your clothes than hair on your head – hair that smells suspiciously like Fido’s dog shampoo. To put it bluntly, Fido is not your child. Stop talking ABOUT him as though you birthed him. Stop talking TO him as though he’s a toddler. Obedience school should not be as traumatizing for you as your first day of kindergarten was for Mom. You have got to Get. A. Grip.
We’re trying to help you, so we want to guide you away from your #dogsofinstagram and #puppylove and get you some human social time again. We’re going to prevent you from posting about Fido on your Facebook for a while, until we see that you’ve established a healthy realization for how often is normal. Yes, we’ve already deactivated that secret Facebook profile you created just for Fido with the fake email address. Your browser history gave you away on that one.
There’s no need to whimper, it’ll all be okay again – it’ll just take a little work that’s all. In fact, Jane – the nice lady who sits two cubes over from you at the office – has already been kind enough to go over to your cube and take down the 4 dozen pictures of Fido you had hanging at your desk. She left you one, don’t worry, but now the boss will be able to see the work you actually do again. Come on honey, here’s a bottle of real-life Herbal Essences human conditioner, and a shirt without dog hair on it. Let’s get you cleaned up and you’ll be right as rain again in no time.