Six years ago, I took a Saturday to drive up to Dallas and buy a six week old pure bred blue heeler puppy for $50 off Craigslist. About five months later, I would come to realize he was lying about the pure bred part, but that still remains the best $50 I’ve ever spent. There’s only one monumental downside: No matter where we are, people interpret my dog as sort of gigantic fucking signal that I’m looking for some conversation.
Last week I had to do some laundry while pressed for time, so I headed up to this awesome little laundromat/bar/restaurant where you can also bring your dogs (provided you stay on their covered patio). It was raining that day, so I threw the raincoat (before you judge, getting my dog a raincoat has decreased the number of times I’ve had a soaking wet passenger seat to almost zero) on the ole cow pup and headed up there. As soon as we got there, I noticed a few other people on the patio, and given my dog’s unusual attire, I chose a bench in the corner and buried my nose in my phone, anxiously counting the minutes and praying it would be the over and not the under this time.
“Is that her own raincoat?!” Under. Fuck.
With a cringe, I rolled my eyes up from my phone to search for the perpetrator determined to rob me of my solitude. To no surprise, the culprit is a woman who looks like she’s so accustomed to harassing people with preachy articles stolen off Reddit that she now sees nothing wrong with disturbing the innocence of people IRL. And yet, she also looks like if the roles were reversed, I’d be writhing on the ground clutching my pepper spray doused eyes.
“It is, it helps keep my truck dry” Look straight back down at my phone, maybe she’ll get the hint.
“That’s so cute. I have a chihuahua jack russell mix that I bought a raincoat for and she loves it. She loved it so much we bought her rain boots too and she loves them. She legit splashes in the puddles and plays in the mud.” I’m sure. I’m so sure your dog has the intelligence and awareness to not only see a mud puddle but to think to itself, “shit yeah I’m gonna play in that.”
“That’s adorable. Aren’t our dogs lucky they live at a time of rain outerwear? Excuse me, I think I hear my jeans wrinkling.”
It’s not that I hate people; okay, that’s part of it. But mostly it’s that a good chunk of the day to day of my job consists of insincere surface level conversation, so when I’m not at work I seek silence and aloneness like water in the desert. Hell, that’s half the reason I got the dog in the first place. A companion I could communicate with in ways that don’t involve talking, not so I’d attract people to come molest my silence with their pointless stories about their dogs that I give no fucks about.
There are certain clubs of people that I understand approaching one another with unsolicited conversation. Veterans, bikers, guys with mustaches- it makes sense to be a member of that club, see a fellow member and walk over for a drink and a story. Dog owners? We’ve got to be like 1 in 4, so we’re no more exclusive than the yoga pants club. I get that you love dogs, but love em on the internet, not in my personal space..