Tired of Fido 

Your dog is not my best friend

It's time for dogs to get out of town.

There, I've said it. I am not a dog person and I don't know why anyone else is, either. I've tried. I've owned five, including the beagle I had as a kid and didn't miss for four days after my parents gave it away. There was the golden retriever that swallowed my socks whole and recycled them in his shit, a sight that caused me to involuntarily vomit.

There was the wire-haired, sideshow freak dachshund that got so fat she lost use of her hind legs and had to be attached to a contraption with wheels. There was the old English sheep dog that was so stupid she thought a 30-minute walk was her cue to shit near my feet in the living room when we returned to the house. There was the terrorized toy poodle that, no matter how many times my parrot whistled for him and then dive-bombed him when he came scampering into the room, never learned.

The primary reason I dislike dogs isn't their fault. I'm referring to the way their owners turn into doting mommies. I routinely see dogs bare their teeth and strain against the leash to get to some other creature. I have seen dogs destroy rooms. I have seen them piss on the leg they just humped. Meanwhile, their owners stand by, beaming and tut-tutting the beast as if it were an infant in diapers instead of a razor-toothed species that includes rottweilers.

My least favorite thing is to be invited to a dog owner's house. Your host opens the door and your nose is immediately assaulted by an odor of chew toys and filthy bedding to which the house's residents have become impervious. Of course, it is considered almost criminally impolite to comment. Even if you do, the host simply denies it, the way mothers of juvenile delinquents deny their children steal action figures and Barbie dolls. "I bathe Frou-Frou three times a week. There is no odor," they say. Or: "This breed of dog has no odor."

Once inside the dog owner's home, the barking dogs -- usually there's more than one -- shove their noses in your crotch and lick your knees. Every time you cross your legs or drum your fingers, they stand up from the place they are snoozing and passing gas to bark again. At dinner, they loiter under the table threatening to devour your feet if they are not tossed a cube of tofu. When you leave, they slobber on you, so that you carry their odor home with you.

Some people think it's appropriate to have sex with their dog watching -- and whimpering, sniffing and licking. Years ago, I was asked to leave when I insisted my sex partner put the dog out of the bedroom. Well, excuse me, bitch!

Then there are the people who don't really like dogs but own one anyway. They tie their dog to a stake in the back yard and leave it there for days to howl and turn the inside of your head into a slasher movie. Or the dog becomes an automotive decorative accessory, something to drool on the passenger window while it barks at traffic or growls at passersby in a parking lot. Recently, I drove behind a pickup truck with a pit bull tethered on a short leash in the back of the truck. Its legs were spread to balance itself, while it attacked the air with its teeth. Everyone says the same thing. "Buster just loves to ride in the car." We all know the truth. The dog is in the car because to leave it at home means returning to find your favorite chair whittled down to toothpicks and a load of feces in your laundry.

Dogs are also tools of seduction. This pathetic use of them is commonly seen among gay men in Piedmont Park. Gay people are infamous for doting on their dogs. Maybe they are surrogate children. I don't know. What I do know is that it is impossible to walk over there without a shih tzu or sharpei suddenly sniffing your feet. You look up and the dog bait is on one of those 100-yard retractable leashes, at the other end of which is a man. Depending on his reaction to you, he either reels himself toward you or reels the dog back toward himself.

Dogs are the booboisie of pet society. They run the show, though they don't deserve to. Visit any veterinarian's waiting room with your cat, a clearly superior species, and it's the dogs getting all the attention. They stand around, wagging their tails, dribbling slobber and trying to attack one another while they await treatment for a rectal obstruction from swallowing socks. Cats, like America's intelligentsia, are forced to hide in boxes in order not to be bullied by the brutes.

Honestly, I've had enough of your dogs. But, please, do not bother to write me about this! I know the worst characteristic of dog owners: cloying sentimentality.

cliff.bostock@creativeloafing.com


Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology. His website is www.soulworks.net.

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