Monday, May 18, 2009

Must Love Dogs

Along with speed dating, I traversed the world of online dating just as it was really catching on. After it was deemed less creepy than newspaper personal ads, but just before it was completely mainstream.

One of the first guys I met online was from a Denver suburb. I was trying to avoid men from the suburbs because I figured - if he actually chose the 'burbs before he was even married, we probably didn't hold many of the same interests. He also had a dog - another thing I tend to avoid in dating circles.

Now let me just say, I don't dislike dogs. I dislike dogs in the house. I grew up on a farm and my dad's one rule was, "No animals in the house." It still makes sense to me. Even more so now that I'm allergic to the critters.

But if a man is going to have a dog - a Labrador is the only acceptable breed. And that's what he had so at least, I decided, he was maybe worth meeting.

We met for lunch in a busy, popular part of town. We ordered burgers and drinks and then decided to spend a bit more time together, walking through the shopping district.
When we left the restaurant, he motioned to the parking garage saying, "My dog is in my truck. Do you want to meet him?"
I figured he wanted to check on the dog before we spent more time away, so I said sure. He let the dog out of the bed of the truck and told me the dog's name.


I expected him to check that he had water and move on, but he stood there paying all this attention to the dog - with a body language that said he expected me to do something, but I couldn't imagine what.

I stood there waiting for him to finish up with the dog.

Finally, the dog was back in the truck and we went for a little walk.
Upon our return, he let the dog out of the truck again and fussed over him some more. I began to wonder why he brought his dog into the city and let it sit in the back of his truck while he was on a date.
He continued to fuss with the dog.

Okay. Then he finally offered to walk me to my car, where despite the lack of any sparks he moved in to kiss me full on the lips in broad daylight. Awkward.

I'm all about second chances, so a few weeks later I agreed to another date with him. This time I drove out to the burbs to meet him at some restaurant in a shopping center.
Before we could go in - he had to show me his dog again!

Um. I already saw the dog. Weeks ago, remember?
Sheesh, I thought - does he take the dog everywhere he goes? And why would anyone do that? Why would you lock your dog up in an enclosed flatbed... all the time?

People who can't leave home without their pet concern me. I think they are looking for attention. Or they (not the dog) suffer from separation anxiety. They mistakenly think their dog cares if they are gone! Come on now, three minutes after you leave a dog they completely forget that you exist. When you come home, they're not excited because they remember you - they're just excited that someone who knows how to release the food is there!!

I'll be honest, I don't really know what to do with a dog - rather than tell it to stay down.
So that was the last date with the dog guy.
Not because he had a dog... but because I suspected he didn't know what to do without it.
I suspect he was banking on his dog to win some great lady's heart. Too bad he didn't think he could earn that on his own merit.


Rachel said...

Personally I love dogs and would really like to have one. My husband on the other does not like them. Your post made me laugh out loud. I'm getting weird looks right now. Yeah, I agree I think he had the separation anxiety not the dog. :) Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

They *do* remember you and miss you. Thus the term 'separation anxiety'. (for the dog, not the guy.) You're confusing dogs with cats!
I would have been more upset with the dog locked in the truck all the time, wouldn't the dog be happier asleep in the house?
The guy did have a problem!

J said...

Ya, do not tell all my friend with dogs that I feel the same way about them...

Sarah said...

He was using the dog as a way to judge if you guys were compatible. It wasn't a ploy to try to win your heart. It was to see if you guys could work out. And I'm sure you wouldn't have, because you obviously are NOT a dog person.

By your own admission, you don't know what to do with dogs, but even without this confession the truth of this was obvious from your reaction to the dog. A dog person would be much more excited about the dog. My cousin won't date a guy who doesn't love dogs because she is a dog person. So is her brother and if you had not told me you met the guy in Denver, I would have wondered if you dated my cousin, however briefly.

Dogs do miss their own when they are away. Our dog would stop eating when we went out of town. He had food and someone caring for him. He just missed us. The same is true of other dogs. My cousin's dog can hear his truck coming and immediately gets excited, even my cousin is blocks away.

Avoiding dating dog owners is probably a good move for you. Stick with cats and cat owners.

auntie said...

i'm pretty sure one of my first online dates was with this exact same guy! except that i don't live in denver. too funny.

and i couldn't agree more about all the stuff you said in this post about dogs. yes, ALL of it.

Melissa in Ohio said...

Hi - I love your blog. My friend recently pointed me to it. I a 37-yr-old woman who has never been married. It's encouraging to read words of someone who is also 'there'. Keep it up!

Yeah, it sounds odd to me too that someone would bring their pet. Not much fun for the pet to sit there and wait, so he wasn't thinking so much of the dog.

I must say that my 2 cats DO remember me. When I return from a trip, they want more attention than usual for a few DAYS because my mom apparently does not suffice! Thanks again for your blog!

Steamed Dumpling said...

Your post made me laugh b/c this could totally be me! We grew up with outdoor pets as well. Indoor pets and especially ones that sleep with you is still a concept I have yet to understand. Not saying it's a bad thing. It's just not for me.

TRS said...

Ooh. I overlooked the heat I'd get from dog people when I posted this!!

for the record: I do believe some pets suffer from separation anxiety. But I believe even more strongly that some people have symptoms that their pets don't have - and they are just emotionally needy and have the pet for attention that they can't get from humans.

Even if he was using the dog to see if we're compatible -- the first meeting? It's hardly even a date! And I feel bad for the dog being cooped up like that.

I feel that if you don't have at least an acrage, you have no business having a dog. Poor things. They were meant to run around and hunt and sniff and have adventures all day - not sit in some cramped apartment where the highlight of their day is getting kibble.