Telling someone you’re “not a dog person” is like announcing you don’t like babies or sunflowers or snickerdoodle ice cream. People look at you like you need to spend a week at re-education camp.
I know. I don’t like dogs and I’m not feelin’ the love. Since I’ve never actually had a dog, people like to inform me that I just don’t get it.
Dog lovers are a cliquey bunch and I’ve never felt like I belong. As an outsider looking in, it just seems like a strange sort of thing to become so emotionally involved with. I wouldn’t tolerate a loud, messy, needy man in my life so how could I justify committing to a pet with the same character traits?
I recognize the many virtuous qualities of these domesticated beasts. They hold a very important place in our society as both service animals and loyal companions. I don’t hate dogs, but I’m also not particularly interested in being around them. Dogs might be man’s best friend, but they’re certainly not mine.
I don’t talk openly about my affliction. And for good reason. Devoted dog people tend to assume that everyone will worship their beloved pet as much as they do. Even when I offer many valid reasons for feeling uncomfortable around these animals (mild allergies, a distaste for dog hair on black clothes, and a little bit of genuine fear) a dog owner will inevitably form the conclusion that their precious pooch is different and special enough to sway my opinion.
Furthermore, they often believe that anything their dog decides to do is not only completely excusable, but is also incredibly endearing.
Please understand it is not adorable when your slobbering 70-pound animal corners me in an elevator. And assuring me with the phrase, “Oh, don’t worry he’s very friendly” doesn’t make me feel any better while I desperately fend off his unwelcome advances.
A dog that spends a minute and a half aggressively sniffing at my crotch is not friendly; it’s trying to get to third base.
– Read more of Jessica Napier’s columns at www.metronews.ca/shesays