I’ve always loved animals. I mean, my first memory is of gathering chicken eggs with my older sister. Plus, for as long as I can remember, my family has had pets. Lots of pets. We’ve had horses, rabbits, cats, dogs, cockatiels, parakeets, fish, and even salamanders. So, yeah, I think I definitely qualify as an animal lover. But I don’t think I can really qualify as a full-on dog person.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying I hate dogs. Saying you hate dogs is kind of like saying you hate babies: even if you do hate them, it’s just not something you say. But, truly, I don’t hate dogs. I’ve just always had mixed feelings about them. And with those feelings comes the many struggles you’ll understand if you’re only kind of a dog person, too.
Honestly, I’ve loved every single one of my family’s dogs, and the day I’m over living in tiny apartments and traveling as much as possible, I fully intend to adopt a Great Pyrenees. (I friggin’ love those dogs. They are so gentle, yet big enough to literally ride into battle.) However, while I care about the general well-being of all living things, (including the most annoying of pups) my love for dogs is conditional. It exists on a case by case basis, whereas I pretty much love all cats on sight.
If you’ve never been the kind of person who loves dogs just for being dogs, then you’ll definitely relate to the following nine struggles only those of us aren't huge dog people will understand.
1. You Like Petting Dogs, But You Hate Being Licked By Them
I love petting dogs. If I’m walking in the park and I pass a fellow walker taking a stroll with their dogs, you better believe I’m going to ask if I can pet that pooch. But I hate, hate, hate being licked by dogs. And, unfortunately, petting a dog and being licked by one often goes hand in hand. Literally.
2. You Don’t Want To Hurt Your Friend’s Feelings, But Their Dog Annoys The Hell Out Of You
I get how important it is to be nice to your friend’s pets. I've had the same cat for about six years, and if any of my friends were less than kind to him, they wouldn’t get away with it. Hell, one of the ways I knew I liked my ex-boyfriend was when I saw how gentle and sweet he was with my cat. But, sometimes, my friends’ dogs annoy the living hell out of me. It sucks, because I don’t want to hurt their feelings or be stern toward their dogs. But when they just won’t leave me alone, it drives me crazy.
3. You Don't Want to Seem Uptight, But All That Jumping And Clawing Will Wreck Your Outfit
OK, I get that dogs jump quite a bit. I also understand that, just like with toddlers, there’s not a whole lot you can do to calm dogs down sometimes. But I can’t stand it when dogs jump all over me. When I’m wearing shorts, they claw the sh*t out of my legs. When I’m wearing pants, they stain the sh*t out of my pants. Or, worse, they put holes in them with their claws. For someone who puts quite a bit of thought into her outfits, and likes to take care of her things, the inevitable jumping just makes me dread going to visit anyone with hyper dogs. Sorry, guys.
4. Dog Breath Is Not Cute To You
Do I think it’s cute when dogs sit happily with their tongues hanging out? Yeah, kind of. But there is nothing cute about dog breath. Don’t expect me to think it’s funny when your dog wakes me up by getting in my face and exhaling their gross breath all over me. It’s so unpleasant. Honestly, I just can’t even deal.
5. ... And Begging Is Not Cute To You Either
I’m not going to think it’s adorable when I can’t even eat my food in peace because your pup won’t leave me be. I get it. Dogs like food, and they’re going to want to beg me for mine. But it’s not cute to me. It’s really hard to ignore, and it kind of ruins the whole eating experience.
6. You Can Only Tolerate So Much Incessant Barking
Some barking is cute, especially when you’re dealing with puppies. But being woken up in the middle of the night, or literally any time a car drives by, is really frustrating. Again, I know there’s only so much you can do to prevent your dog from barking without resorting to shock collars. But, I need my sleep!
7. You Think Dogs Are Adorable, But Sometimes You Just Need Space
I’ve already said that I think dogs are cute AF. I really, really do. But they’re just so needy sometimes. Dog cuddles can be delightful, but I can’t handle constant contact with anyone, much less my friend’s dog who just came in from playing in the rain.
8. Dogs Just Straight Up Don’t Listen To You
I think dogs can sense that I’m not a dog parent. I have never had any authority with any dog that wasn’t one of the family dogs I grew up with. Dog parents are always trying to encourage me to give their dogs commands, too. They'll be like, “Just tell him to sit!” or “Just tell him no!” but not once has that crap ever worked for me. Please just do me a favor and tell your dog to get off of me yourself? I promise, they’re not going to do anything I say. Ever.
9. You Constantly Get Judged For Not Being More Of A Dog Person
Almost all of my friends are legitimate, full-on dog people, so I hate to admit that I’m only kind of a dog person. Plus, the whole “man’s best friend” thing kind of makes you seem like the White Witch of Narnia if you’re not totally in love with dogs. But, I’m just really not, and I'm pretty sure my friends love me anyway.