I don’t want to be a dog person.

I don’t want to get a dog.

I don’t want the fleas.  I don’t want the stink.  I don’t want the hairs.  I don’t want the scrabbling nails and the chewed-up doormat, and I don’t want the noises of chomping and slobbering.  I don’t want someone else making me feel guilty for not paying them enough attention.

And I don’t want to clean up any more poop.

Which brings me to my final fear:  I don’t want to turn into a dog person.  Honestly, I think I dread that even more than I dread the dog itself.

Now, I am sure that there are tens of thousands of courteous, upstanding dog lovers out there who are utterly clear-headed and responsible about their pets.  All I know is that, of the four neighbors who live within woofing distance of our house, three of them are dog owners . . . and they are neither courteous nor upstanding nor clear-headed nor responsible.  They are The Other Kind.

Yesterday, I was stalking around in my blasted November garden, pulling up stakes and feeling slightly ashamed of the incredibly rinky-dink job I did of caring for the poor vegetables this year (I don’t actually remember using a deflated  punching balloon to tie up the tomatoes, but there it is).  I was there not because I’m a good gardener who was prepping the soil for winter, but because we had reached that section in first grade arithmetic when I knew I had to get out, out, out of the house for a couple of seconds, or I  was going to strangle one bright but very obstinate first grader, who would sooner die than admit he understands place value.

So I’m out in my garden, and what do you suppose I find?  I found evidence — EVIDENCE, I tell you — that at least two large dogs have been romping in our yard.   Romping, among other activities.   And one of them, apparently, recently ate a fuzzy white sock.  Ugh.  Ugh.  Ugh.

If you weren’t already impressed enough that I used the word “evidence” instead of “enormous turd” to describe what I found, then allow me to impress you even further:  Guess what I did?

I’ll start with what I didn’t do.  I didn’t grab a rake, scoop up the poop, and fling it at the house of the dog’s owner.  I didn’t scream obscenities, and I didn’t threaten anyone with a hammer.  (Yeah, those were all things I did in my old neighborhood.  And they deserved it!  Lucky for me, it was a street where that kind of behavior was considered fairly unremarkable.)

All I did was knock (okay, maybe pound) on the door of the house from which two large dogs were seen to bound that morning, and explain that, while I do not want to be a bad neighbor, I do not own a dog, and so I get very, very, very angry when I find dog poop in my yard.   And that I would appreciate it if this never happened again.  Ever.  Ever.  Ever.   I also rolled my terrible eyes and gnashed my terrible teeth a bit.  Then I threw the poop at their house!  Ha ha, no, I didn’t.  I put it in a bag and threw it away. But I was still so angry, I went and cleaned my car, too.  That’ll show ’em.

Why is someone else’s dog poop so upsetting, especially to someone who lives on the highway and regularly picks up trash galore?  I guess it’s different from other litter because some litterbugs just don’t care at all about how they live.  It’s disgusting, but at least they’re consistent:  they throw beer bottles in your yard, they throw beer bottles in their yard, they accidentally swallow the occasional beer bottle — whatever.  A medium-thick carpet of clinking, rolling empties is just an integral part of their chosen lifestyle, and wherever they go, that’s how it is.

image source

But the whole invasive pooping thing is different.  It makes my blood boil because these are people who clearly understand that it is undesirable to have dog poop in one’s yard.  It disgusts them; they do not want it.  And so the only alternative they can see is to send out the dogs to poop in someone else’s yard!  Because that is not disgusting!  Problem solved!  Dogs come home, everyone’s happy.

Now why is that uptight neighbor lady headed this way with a hammer?

I tell you, if I do manage to put a Paypal donate button on this blog, it’ll be for my bail.


  1. Here’s why it’s upsetting: because when my daughter has a poopy diaper, I don’t send her over to their house to be changed.

    We are surrounded by dogs in this neighborhood, and they all live behind invisible fences, so we’re sort of okay. Except for the neighborhood cat who come to our yard to….um….use it as a litterbox….because he’s afraid of all of the other yards.

    Roseanne Roseannadanna was right. It’s always something.

  2. I totally know how you feel! I worked at a National Park that is seen by locals as their backyard and dog run, which is all well and good until the animal has to answer nature’s call. Since this was a very high traffic area, nearly all owners would pick up after their dog, but only pick up. Then the little baggie would get tied and left under a bench or at the base of a tree to stew in the hot summer sun. Many days ended with yours truly carrying a rancid blue bag at arm’s length to the nearest trash can!

  3. While my yard is so neglected that invasive poop might actually be considered an enhancement, I delighted in the sensory reasons listed for not wanting a dog. Above all, the pre-meditated guilt for “not paying them enough attention.” I tell people that I do kids, I do not do plants or animals.

  4. We have a dog. I never wanted one. I was overruled.

    We were determined to be good dog owners. We don’t let him run free on purpose. We don’t leave him outside barking, either.

    But, if you have little kids, the dog will escape sometimes. The kids will open the door and he’ll push past. Then he’ll run and poop on your neighbor’s lawn, for reasons I don’t quite understand, not being a dog myself. Dogs have such a strong drive to get out into the wild world, with all its tantalizing smells, that even a dog with good training will burst out the door if you give him a chance.

    So, you’re absolutely right: if you get a dog, you’ll be a dog person. You’re right about the attention guilt, too (but the fleas can be avoided by a careful use of FrontLine, which is very expensive).

    On the other hand, maybe if you get a dog, he’ll keep the neighbors’ dogs away. Then you’ll only have your own dog’s poop in your yard.


    • Exactly right. I also was overruled. In truth I despise my dog. One night there was a loud bang outside and about a minute or two later my oldest child let out a big scream. At that point I ran downstairs in a panic and wanted to know if everything was ok. The kids wanted to know why I wasn’t concerned about the loud noise and I explained quite truthfully that I had thought one of the neighbors had shot the dog. But I wasn’t concerned until there was a scream inside the house and I thought they were coming after the owners.

      In fairness to our dog, he’s very very tolerant of pokes in the eyes, yanks to the tail, little kicks all over his body. I could not ask for a dog that would be kinder to children. And I have to admit he does keep the house safe – nobody even tries to get passed the big scary looking German Shepherd. But my house is dirty and smelly enough without that beast adding to our troubles.

  5. Obviously, the solution is to start sending your toddlers across the property line to poop in THEIR yard! Then they can have the same warm fuzzzy feeling when they see their dogs playing in baby poop that YOU do when the toddler finds the dog poop!

    Also, I am with you on this one. I am the crazy lady who comes out of her house and glares at the dogwalkers until they cross to the other side of the street. Except for the pitbulls. Then I hide the children inside and tell them never, ever to pet a pitbull…because when the owners say “he likes kids!” they forget to add “with a side of fries!”

  6. Such people are, moreover, indifferent to the fate of their animals, who are allowed to run free, at risk to every car or disease-laden encounter with other animals. You might check to see if allowing dogs to run unsupervised is illegal in your jurisdiction.

  7. I am not above flinging Neighbor Dog’s poop back into his own yard. Not at their house, though. I hadn’t thought of that.

  8. Two words:

    B-B gun.

    Yes, I know technically “B-B” is not a word.

    Or is it two words? B and B?

    Or does the hyphen compound them?

    Anyhoo, b-b gun.

    Works wonders.

  9. Or of course you could get a really big dog which will either:

    a) keep other dogs out of his territory
    b) retaliate in kind on your neighbor’s property (remember the ’80’s? Mutually Assured Distruction (MAD)? Adopt the MAP strategy)
    c) eat the other dogs.

  10. I’m so with you! The last thing I want is a dog that I have to rush home for every day so they don’t pee in the house, or find someone to watch every time I want to go to my parents’ house for the weekend (because they also aren’t dog people). My husband wants a dog, but I’m holding strong. My house is messy enough! And in 5 months when this baby comes and I’m a SAHM and he’s at work all day long, who do you think will be stuck taking care of that stupid dog I never wanted? I’M sure not gonna be taking the dog for walks and letting it in and out of the house all day.

    Our neighbor’s dog poops in our yard ALL THE TIME. But it’s not really their fault. We’ve only lived there since February, and apparently the dog that lived there before used to poop all the time in THEIR yard, so they reciprocated in kind. Gotta admit..I’d have done it, too, if I were them. My husband just kindly points out once in awhile, “Man, Rock sure likes to poop in our yard” and they get the picture and watch him more closely.

    • Dogs are surprisingly easy to care for compared to kids, particularly if you’ve got a fenced in yard. You can even skip a day of feeding them and they don’t complain. In fact, nothing you can do will turn them against you – they’re loyal as, I don’t know, dogs. Our dog lets himself in and out via our deck door which has ADA compliant handles. We’ve left both this dog and the one prior to him overnight and have never come home to poop inside the house. It’s really the dirt, the smell, and the dog hair that make the dog a burden for me. I’m a lousy housekeeper under the best of circumstances.

  11. I have dogs. That’s plural as in two. I had them before I had my children and here they stay. I wanted them, I paid for them. And now I pay dearly. This morning my nine-year-old beagle, in protest for all the attention the three-year-old is getting for peeing on the potty got into trash while I took my daughter to school. And into the diapers in it. I was so mad I nearly took his collar off and shoved him in the direction of the major highway we live off of. But I didn’t. I guess growing up under the tutelage of Franciscans caused me to, against my better judgment, love all of God’s creatures. Including ones whose poop I have to pick up in my fenced in back yard.

    • I have to say that to my knowledge our dog has never pooped in anyone’s yard either. It’s our own fenced in backyard that’s poopy. Chase does get out though when the kids leave the mudroom door open and I have seen him run across the street and pee in the yard belonging to the nasty jack russels. Never anyone else’s though. I have been known to mutter under my breath as he’s running out the side door that I hope he gets hit by a car.

      None of our neighbors have ever complained about our dog, but I suspect his barking irritates them, or it could just be me that he irritates. Several of our neighbors are real dog lovers, who love dogs with that passion that can only be summoned by people whose own nests are empty for one reason or another.

  12. We got a dog for the kids and he’s the sweetest dog around. And he even chased a bear out of our front yard and hopefully keeps snakes and bobcats away. But I still don’t consider myself a dog person. They’re just so slobbery and he keeps following me around even though I tell him it’s the kids he’ll get the most attention from. I grew up with cats and am used to their aloofness (of course, they have that annoying litter box thing going).

  13. I like dogs, quite a bit actually; but I’m perfectly content to not have any myself, and I never did quite understand the sort of person who has to own and collect animals, as if that’s going to help paper over some deep hole in their heart.

    But if one must be an animal-type person…well, better a dog person than a cat person, that’s for darned sure. And I’m not just saying that because I used to have to share a house with three of them…of which two hated me, and all three added to my allergy problems.

  14. We also live in a townhouse, but that doesn’t stop people in our complex from having all sizes of dogs. Sometimes I have to point out poop that our neighbors have missed in our tiny bit of yard. But I have much bigger problems with the a-holes (adults and unsupervised children) who break bottles and glass objects around our outdoor play areas.

    I really don’t get this recent phenomenon of all dogs being inside dogs that are crated in the house all day. We had a dog growing up. It lived in the fenced-in backyard in this thing called a “dog house” except on subarctic winter nights, where it was restricted to the kitchen. And if the dog was inside and annoying company it was sent outside….comfort of people trumped comfort of dog.

    I am still constantly amazed though at the people who get really angry and upset at the euthanasia of unwanted animals but think it should be a legal right to murder an unwanted unborn baby.

  15. barboo77, it’s been clear to me for some time that many people have diverted the energy, affection, care, and sentiment that would normally be lavished on children to animals instead.

    And not necessarily even their own children or animals. I’ve had several medical doctors–accustomed to seeing awful injuries and diseases and losing their human patients from time to time–tell me that they could never have become veterinarians because they wouldn’t have been able to stand seeing animals suffer, or having to put them to sleep.

  16. Your reasons sound like mine. Plus I already have trouble keeping the house clean and all my emotional energy is for people right now. All my money for medical care and food is also for people right now. I am too tenderhearted to introduce a non-human mammal to the mix for me to fret over when ill and cry over when very ill or dead. Plus I am already very counter cultural in many crunchy, natural medicine type ways and no doubt would be stressed about whether to just raise the dog in full conventional glory with pellet food made largely of GMO grain, vaccines up the wazoo and toxic chemicals for fleas or spend way too much time and emotional energy trying to have the crunchy dog (and no, that doesn’t mean fried on a stick).

    If one day we have land and a barn and other animals that produce food (cows, goats, chickens) I will happily own a dog who roams around outdoors, doesn’t come into the house and can be taken care of with the other livestock on the rare occasions we are able to leave. I like being around people though, even if I don’t talk to them much, so homestead in the middle of nowhere is unlikely.

    I am actually a cat person. Anthony is pretty allergic to cats and several of his family members are very allergic; so that’s not happening.

  17. In defense of little children everywhere who love dogs and good dogs who love children,
    to the people out there who are keeping them apart
    from “not a dog person”:

    You don’t actually have to be a dog person to have a dog. You do have to be willing to make a sacrifice for someone else, though.

    And you don’t have to put up with the shedding, smelly kind, either. God made dogs for people (like me) who hate dog hair and dog smells.
    (for example: a Bichon miniature Poodle cross. Great dogs, smart, easy to train, and do not shed or smell, look kinda small and cute like puppies all their lives but are big enough to survive getting stepped on or kicked around a little, don’t eat much and have little sized poops!)

    Some dogs are really smart and are easy to train.

    And some dogs don’t bark a lot, and some don’t need a lot of exercise.

    And if your neighbors are letting their dogs run loose in the neighborhood to poop wherever they please, that to me is a neighbor character problem, not really a dog problem, just saying…

    And there are plenty of dogs who are one or two years old who need homes, so you bypass can even bypass the cute but troublesome puppyhood stage which makes things better sometimes.

    All dogs are not created equal. There are lots of breeds that just won’t work for someone. If you research the breeds and find out what you would actually tolerate and desire in a pet, then you can look for a mix of those narrowed down breeds, and actually find a pet who could bring you, dare I say it, Joy???

    But if you are getting a dog just to put out in the back yard, let me just say that sooner or later, it WILL become a nuisance. Almost guaranteed.

    Is it so bad to get a dog for the kids, knowing that you are the one who is going to do the feeding, training, bathing, cleaning-up-aftering, etc? I don’t think it is too much to ask, that is what I told myself, anyway. I do it for my kids. And it is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Dogs are certainly a LOT easier, they demand less, love us unconditionally and make less messes in the long run than the kids.

    And if and when you do finally succumb, read this awesome book: The Loved Dog by Tamar Geller. Truly, it is excellent.

    By the way, we have seven kids, and two small dogs, and lots of cat allergies.

    Good luck with the neighbors…

  18. I have an intense dislike for dogs. And I admit it extends to dog owners. If i like a person and then find out they have a dog, I admit it changes my opinion of them, even slightly. I especially hate it when somebody’s dog runs at me and my kids, barking its fool head off, and the owner says “Oh, he won’t bite!”

    REALLY? You can read your dog’s mind? Thank goodness. Here I thought the barking and charging at us meant the dog saw us as a threat, and here he’s just trying to make friends! You know, I’m sure the fact that my child’s face is at the same level as your dog’s TEETH is nothing to be worried about. Dogs can be unpredictable, especially around children. I’ve known professional dog trainers who have said, flat out, that you cannot trust dogs completely around children.

    I once babysat for a mom who used to breed chow dogs. She missed having them around, and when her youngest was about two, they bought a chow dog. I saw this dog go right up to the two year old (who was sitting on the floor, not doing anything threatening or even touching the damn dog), and the dog first licked the little girl’s face, and then got ready to bite her whole face off. I am not kidding. The teeth were out and heading for her face when I grabbed the dog and threw it into its pen. I then scooped up the bewildered little girl and told the mom (who was in the other room at the time), and the mom’s reaction? “OH, the doggie wouldn’t have hurt her!” Lady, I SAW THE TEETH HEADING FOR YOUR KID’S FACE.

    They did eventually get rid of the dog, but only when they found out the dog had a congenital problem that was only correctable by expensive surgery. Nice.

    By the same token, I do not understand how people can hate cats. Cats are clean(er) than dogs. They do not charge at people and bite them. Seriously, if a cat feels threatened, it’s more likely to run away, maybe scratch a bit to get free, but it’s not going to bite your face off. Also, cats catch mice and other rodents, keeping the vermin population down, while I have never seen a dog do anything but destroy property in the name of chasing a squirrel. (Not “catching” a squirrel. “Chasing.”)

    Dogs are like furry, non-toilet-trainable toddlers that NEVER GROW UP. Cats go through a kitten stage, and then, if they are allowed to do their natural, catch mice thing, they end up fairly reasonable, independent animals.

      • I’m convinced people who hate cats do so because they can’t stand the idea of an animal that doesn’t think humans are the bomb. A dog acts like people hung the moon, but a cat knows better. At least a relationship with a cat, if you’re not an insane cat lady, is honest:

        Cat: You feed me, therefore I like you and stick around.

        Person: Thanks for sticking around. You’re pretty and you catch mice.

        Person gets something, cat gets something.

      • Well now, I have both. And I feel the same way as you in your first sentence, only in reverse. 🙂 I try not to make friends anymore that “don’t like dogs.” Because oftentimes they turn out to be atheists who don’t like poetry, either, just sayin’.

  19. People who don’t clean up after their dogs obviously share the same gene pool as people who think it’s perfectly fine to toss their cigarette butts out the car window. After all, they wouldn’t want their car to smell like an ashtray!

    Incidently, as a happy greyhound owner, I can tell you without any bias whatsoever, that they are as un-doglike a breed as you will ever find. No stink; no shedding; no slobbering; and for most of them, no barking.

  20. From Nancy Mitford’s novel “The Pursuit of Love”:

    “Children are like puppies, and if you never see puppies, if you give them to the groom or the gamekeeper to bring up, look how dull and uninteresting they always are. Children are just the same – you must give them much more than their life if they are to be any good.”

  21. We have a dog. We got him for “the kids”. To be fair to him, he is good with the kids, allows poking, pulling, being crawled on. He doesn’t bark unless he has to go outside and no one is paying attention to his signals (like standing by the door).

    That being said: I find it a PITA to have him around and it causes a lot of guilt for me. I do not have time to care for another living thing in this house besides children. I am already responsible for the toilet habits of 4 humans and have no desire to worry about any one/thing else’s poop. (I don’t have to clean up poop – we have 15 acres. But he does need to be let out and watched because he runs.)

    I wish there was more time to give him attention like we did when we got him and our youngest was 5. But there just isn’t. And now I have 3 kids under the age of 4, plus the older kids.

    I find myself wishing often that he would run away and not come back. The only reason I feel bad thinking that is because my 10 year old would be really, really sad and upset if we got rid of or “lost” the dog.

    Buying dog food makes me mad.
    If the dog gets sick with some life-threatening disease, like cancer, you can bet we will fix it with a .22 bullet.

    Just sayin.

    When I read “fuzzy white sock” I just about peed my pants.

  22. We are dog people. We love our 150 year dog-turned-speed-bump and are careful to be responsible owners, our dog poops in our yard, period, and our kids scoop it up (with a shovel). Yay, kids.

    Recently, a neighbor yelled – hollered – at my husband because he dared ask her to scoop the poop her giant team of huskies left on our front lawn. Then she went home and called the police. Because we asked her to scoop up her dogs poop off of our lawn. She said we were harassing her.

    The police officer escorted her over to our house and watched while she scooped. And then wrote her a ticket. It was beautiful.

    Last week she flipped me the bird, so I smiled and waved. I wonder what she’ll tell the police about that.

  23. Years ago, when we lived in a different, smaller house with different (much smaller) children, our neighbor’s enormous black lab regularly deficated in our yard.

    The problem was there were eight of us at the time (but no dog). We were loud, messy, and usually three of the six youngsters were nude, sporting only black belts holstering plastic guns and baby blankets as capes.

    I would seethe with anger as our basketballs, bare feet and bike tires collected dog poop, however I’d skulk behind the garage when the neighbors would smile politely (condescendingly?) as they surveyed our family and the chaos all those tiny children could create.

    Somehow I felt that the metaphysical scales of justice favored their regularly mowed, quiet, 4-person family with sweet teenage girls.

    I lived like this for probably a year and a half: plotting exactly how I would tell them off, but then chickening out when they’d return our trash can, or one of my kids, found abandoned down the street.

    However….one night those six children, ages 9 to 2, conspired to “camp” in our yard with our tent. Ideas like that sound like memory-makers at 2pm, but a 2am they are reality nightmares, particularly when the yard is bordered by two roads.

    After thrashing about in bed for hours and peering anxiously out our window every fifteen minutes, certain every child rapist was conspiring against us, I dragged myself out of bed and tiptoed into the yard to make sure I still had 6 children. As I approached the tent, I heard a low, menacing growl. My eyes adjusted to the dark, and I could see that enormous lab lying there, directly in front of tent opening. He never let me come any closer. I went back inside, and fell into a deep sleep until morning.

    We’re still dog hold-outs despite pleas from those same kids (plus a few more) to buy one. While we’ve grown and size and our ability to “keep it together” through the years, but I do know my limits!

  24. True story: My husband has this co-worker who is a crazy biker, but somehow despite his leather-clad, unkempt, hairy, personal appearance, he has an absolutely beautiful, tastefully furnished house with a lovely manicured yard. He also had a neighbor who kept letting the dog poop on his lawn. Once day, after scooping one poop too many, he went over to his neighbors’ yard, on the deck outside their dining room (where they were just sitting down for dinner), dropped his pants, and left them a load of his own.

    The dog has never set foot in his yard since.

  25. WITH you !!!

    I solved the same kind of problem this way: every time I saw a dog in my yard, I grabbed a 3-foot stick and chased the dog until it ran away. I keep a supply of sticks that fall off our cottonwood trees.

    One time, a neighborhood couple was walking by when I was performing this ritual. They saw the dog going and me coming toward them with stick raised high and they said “it’s not our dog …” I just glanced at them and stayed on target. After that, the dog incidents really decreased. Maybe they got the word out, eh?

    It will help you get in shape, too LOL.

  26. I always wanted a dog. Always.

    Then my parents got one.


    Dogs are smelly, dirty, slobbery, etc. Most have no training – and no, I don’t care that your dog can sit or shake hands. I don’t want your dog jumping on me, licking me, even sniffing me unless I invite him to.

    Yes, they are fun. But they’re like Uncle Pete fun. Enough fun to visit every now and then, but you definitely don’t want farting, burping, barely-dressed Uncle Pete stumbling out of the spare bedroom every morning, wondering why his breakfast isn’t already made. (Hello, I have a husband, I don’t need two.)

    People always say it’s worth it. You’re doing a good thing. This too shall pass. Just wait until they’re older. Try this method – it’s a winner!…..except I have children. And pretty much the only difference between the two is that a dog won’t ever learn to talk back, to scream NO and beat his feet repeatedly on the floor.

    Which is possibly the only redeeming thing about dogs.

    Don’t get me wrong. I actually love dogs. But I never, ever EVER want to own one.

  27. Wonderfully refreshing! “Pets are the new children” is today’s mantra. How pitiful. I know too many people who fill their lives with subsitute children — dogs and cats. One man, who is ardently pro-life, was spending $1000/mo. on an old, sick dog. When it finally died, he and his wife rescued another messed up dog, it’s so damaged that they cannot leave the house together. I seriously question their sanity and the use of that money on a dog when he could have supported pro-life causes.

  28. Don’t any of your readers live on farms or in the country?! I have 8 dogs, 17 goats, 29 chickens, 5 rabbits, 3 cats and 4 hogs. granted, no children, but poop in all it’s various and asundry wonderfulness is a fact of life. 😉

    of course, my animals tend not to leave the farm for the neighbor’s just to poop. but then again, they live on farms too, so how would they know?

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  30. Long, long ago in a neighborhood far, far away we had dogs. We still do but that’s another post. Back then our neighbors, a retired teacher and her retired phone company employee husband had a little Pekingese. Every day I found evidence that Muffin had bedn in our yard. Muffin (the name had nothing to do with the dog’s personality and I never understood why they called it that, it really didn’t fit) never went out by herself). So the owners were directly complicit in this occurrence. One very early morning around 5 am I was sewing in my laundry room. I had my sewing machine right in front of a window facing the street looking out on flower beds, a pink dogwood in full bloom and a weeping birch. It was my period of sanity before the hubby and kids all got up and the real world took hold. I glanced up and there was the retired telephone company guy walking his dog from his yard 15 feet away from where I sat to the corner of out front yard. Muffin started scouting the area around the birch tree and the neighbor was suddenly taken by the tree’s beauty I guess because after he was sure the dog was settling on its chosen territory he looked over his shoulder toward our place where he didn’t see any sign of activity and then became engrossed in studying the canopy of the tree. He didn’t see me watching because the dogwood tree blocked his view. When the dog trotted over to the owner’s feet they went back to their yard. That was the first time I caught them in the act although we knew it was them. I went upstairs, got a paper bag, went out and collected the deposit and knocked on his door. When he opened it I gave him a big smile and said that I knew he’d want to have back what he’d left behind and handed him the bag. It never happened again. I love your blog, you help me stay sane.

  31. Hi all – Stumbled upon this thread by accident and loved the comments so thought I would add my two penneth worth…
    Now, I have never had a problem with dogs. I hate cats however with a passion for reasons I might go into another time, but dogs – they are great. WHEN THEY LIVE WITH OTHER PEOPLE!
    My status of ‘Dog Liker’ was elevated to ‘Dog Owner’ nearly 3 years ago when I moved in with my partner and her now 10 year old liver and white Dalmatian that she has had since she (the Dalmatian) was a pup. Dalmatians are apparently known for there ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘need for love’, which translates for the non-dog lover as “a pain in the ass”.
    ‘Brandie’ the dog is undeniably one of the friendliest, most loyal animals you could ever meet. She is always happy, very good around children (my 6 year old daughter adores her) and is so laid back that she is almost upside down!
    But despite her loving tail wags and her need to be ‘involved’ in everything that is going on, here are the reasons why I have insisted that when the time comes for Brandie to leave this world, we WILL NOT be getting another dog;
    1. Hairs. Everywhere. Little white wiry hairs that you cannot get out of your clothes, the carpet, the car, your lunch… they are even at work on my desk and Brandie has never been within a mile of the office! I chose my current company car from a good list of options because I liked the look of it and I like how it drives – 2 very important factors when choosing a car that you will be driving around the UK in it for the next 3 years. One option I didn’t include was leather seats. This was a big mistake. Every single white hair clings to the cloth seats as if it has been glued down. No amount of vacuuming can shift them all. Tweezers are the only solution. Or a can of petrol and a naked flame. I hate it. My passengers hate it. Brandie has never stepped foot inside my car!
    Every black item of clothing I own is now laid redundant at the bottom of the wardrobe simply because they can no longer be worn in public without because I instantly look like a ‘dog person’ if I wear them. People purposely avoid visiting the house because they know they will leave with a covering of white hair to take back to their own cars and houses. It is constant. The moulting is as bad in winter as it is in summer and it never lets up.
    Until I moved in the dog was allowed in the bedrooms and regularly slept on the same bed as my partner. I find this so difficult to comprehend and no matter how much evidence is presented to me, I cannot be convinced that having what is essentially a giant ball of ever-malting hair, flees, farts, dribbles and grunts (not to mention barking in her sleep?!) sharing your bed is a good idea – Christ that’s one of the reasons I divorced my Ex!
    2. The smell. The dog food smells bad. This can only mean that once it is ingested, the dog’s breath will smell bad, the dog’s farts will smell bad and eventually the dog’s turds will smell bad. The intensity of the smell increases with every stage!
    Because of the hairs (see point 1) having to be vacuumed out of the carpets very day, the vacuum cleaner now lets off a horrid damp mouldy dog hair smell as soon as it is switched on.

    3. Poo. I think this one is pretty well covered by the previous threads so I don’t need to go into this.
    4. Greed. Brandie is fed twice a day in accordance with the instructions on the side of the £40 sac of dry, fishy, oily dog food. Apparently this should be all the food she needs. But oh no. 24 hours a day she is sniffing and begging for food – or anything else that can be swallowed. In the house, in the garden, on the street… and she is not fussy. Last week a local cat left a ‘gift’ on the front lawn for her. To Brandie this unsightly fowl mess was nothing less than a tasty snack. She is always looking for food. If I have a biscuit she is there by my feet sniffing for crumbs, looking up at me with mouth drooling begging for a bit of what I’m having. The second I stand up from the sofa she is up on her feet and running into the kitchen, standing by the cupboard under the stairs with her tail wagging in anticipation, believing that the only reason I am moving around the house is to feed her. Until I moved in Brandie was very much a ‘child’, in the sense that she was treated as a human member of the family. She was allowed in every room and on every piece of furniture. When preparing a meal she would be at my partner’s heels jumping up at the work surface waiting for any scraps. I now close the door and shut her out of the kitchen when I’m preparing food, but she sits just the other side of the door waiting to bound in as soon as the door is opened to sweep up any droppings.
    Coming from a dog free home as a child, I know how uncomfortable it feels for guests when dinner is served and they are expected to entertain the dog weaving in and out of the feet and resting her chin on their laps begging for food when they are trying to enjoy a meal. Dog owners will get all defensive and say things like “well having a dog is just like having a child and you put up with them OK”, but I know I wouldn’t accept this kind of constant wanting from my children! It’s rude and unfair to guests!
    5. Lifestyle. I find it difficult to understand why anybody would want to commit to having to walk a dog every single day for the next 10 – 20 years and not get paid?! Walking is pleasant – sometimes -but can be easily spoilt by having to stop every 3 steps to let your dog sniff another dog’s urine and carry a small plastic bag of warm fresh dog turd around with you.
    Then theres holidays and days out; “oh we can’t go to that dream location because dogs aren’t allowed” or “we will have to make sure we are back by 5:30 to feed the dog”. Sure kids take some of the spontaneity out of life, but kids now are generally accepted in most major tourist attractions, shopping centres and cafes! A special cage now takes up all of the boot space in my partners car (no dogs allowed in my car remember) so Brandie can have plenty of room for the journey, meaning that the luggage, cycles and kids have to be left behind, and if we do manage to squeeze any of our own things in, they are covered in hairs when we get to which ever dog friendly (boring) location we are heading! My parents are not geared up to have a dog at their house – mainly because they like to have nice things, so visiting them for the weekend means finding a dog sitters – my partners parents (also dog lovers) who usually feed the dog full of crap and let her go anywhere she likes, so all of our good work is rewarded by a dog who has runny smelly treat filled poos and forgets that she isn’t allowed on the sofa and beds for the next two weeks. The sofa by the way has to be dismantled each time we leave the house so that Brandie doesn’t spend the day malting and drooling all over the cushions (obviously closing the lounge door so that she simply couldn’t go in there is ‘unfair’). Each and every time we have forgotten to take the cushions off of the sofa, she has taken full advantage. Because the sofa is light coloured, you don’t spot the hair until you have sat in it and by then there is no going back! That brings me onto the next part of the ‘lifestyle’ section; adapting your house for your dog; Dark carpets and soft furnishings are a no no because of the hairs. Doors have to be kept either open or closed all the time. Handles have to be put on the wrong way because the dog can jump up and open them, stair gates have to be fitted to stop the animal going up into the bedrooms! Again I am reminded at every opportunity that “you have to adapt for a child just the same”. Except you don’t. Your child will adapt to your lifestyle eventually. You can expect that a child will eventually stop peeing all over your lawn and killing your grass. A child won’t scream like an idiot every time the phone rings or there’s a knock at the door. You don’t have to clip your child’s claws to stop them ripping the brand new carpet when they lie down and stand up again (I’m still mad about that one). A child wont scare your postman so much that the mail ends up being left hanging out of the door to either be stolen or get soaked in the rain. Basically a dog remains as dependant on you as they did when they were a pup, until eventually they get old and revert back to puppy stage (pooing and peeing indoors, having to be carried in and out of the car etc) before they die and everyone gets upset, before asking 2 months later “what do you think about getting another dog?”.
    Another dog? Hmmm let me have a think….

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