Owning a dog means having strangers force you to interact with them. I’m pretty good at awkward chitchat, so I don’t really mind. The only time these conversations bother me is when someone addresses my dog like I’m not standing right there, holding her leash and a bag of her feces. Now, I’m definitely guilty of anthropomorphizing my dog â€“ giving her play-by-plays of my day, reading her my Broke-Ass articles out loud before I publish them so she can tell me how funny they are, etc. But the difference between me treating her like a person versus some random on the street is that SHE’S MY DOG. When I do it, it’s cute. When you do it, it’s creepy and bizarre.
1. “Where did you get your sweater?”
This is the most commonly asked question my dog receives. For the record, my boyfriend’s mom made it. Not like this matters; it seems like people don’t actually want to know the answer to this question. I don’t really get that, because it’s not like my answer is some drawn out, personal story that’s peppered with unamusing quips. I hate people that answer simple questions like that, so I make a point to not do it. But that’s what people’s faces say I’m doing when I attempt to answer their sweater inquiries. So I’ve stopped, because you know what? You’re right – my dog is adorable. Now go fuck yourself.
2. “Are you really gonna poop there?”
Obviously, my dog doesn’t know it’s not kosher to take a dump on your lawn while you’re standing right there. But if you took the time to acknowledge my presence, you would see that I’m holding a bright blue plastic bag which I fully intend to use to remove the poo from your immediate vicinity. And please don’t look so disgusted by the size of her poo. She may be tiny, but she has a fast metabolism and expels this stuff at a pretty enormous rate. It’s why she’s so svelte.
3. “Which way to [insert random location here]?”
Um, are you seriously asking my dog for directions? She gets lost under my bed. Not that anyone can tell this by looking at her, but still. What is she going to do? Bark out an address in Morse code? Not that anyone can tell this either, but my dog doesn’t even bark. She just gets overexcited when I come home from work and subsequently has asthma attacks. You are not being endearing right now, so please stop.
I’m pretty empathetic when it comes to people with social anxiety, but when you’ve reached the point in your life where you have to engage with someone vis-Ã -vis their pet, it’s a problem that I just can’t tolerate. I refuse to feel uncomfortable while you shower my dog with affections and then get offended if I interrupt your doting with an unassuming, “Hello.” So please, do me and yourself a favor and get your own goddamn friend.