I am going to admit something most online date prospects find abominable. Actually, most of my friends find it abominable.
I am not much of a dog person.
My feelings about dogs mirror many of my feelings about children. Such as:
“Why do they smell so bad?”
“I do not want to pick up or clean this poop.”
“I want to take a spontaneous weekend trip to Vegas. Who is going to watch the damn dog/child?”
“I kill house plants at an alarming rate. Why would you put a living, breathing organism into my custody?”
This long introduction brings me to Mr. Dog Lover.
I met and dated Mr. Dog Lover 2 summers ago. We met via mutual friends which is a rarity for me since most of my friends/network don’t usually have anyone to introduce to me whether because they are hoarding him or I’m just that despicable of a person to try to set up with.
Mr. Dog Lover and I had some wonderful dates. We laughed, we drank wine, we ate good food. On our 3rd date, we went hiking and he brought Boomerang*. Boomerang was a 50 pound bulldog. I
tolerated enjoyed Boomerang’s presence mostly because I wasn’t in charge of picking up Boomerang’s poo. Actually, Boomerang and I were completely on the same page at one point during the hike when he planted himself mid-stride on the mountain and refused to budge for 5 minutes. I was tired too, Boomerang.
On date 5, I went to Mr. Dog Lover’s house where upon we entered his apartment and Boomerang jumped on me. I don’t like it when any being jumps on me (yes, this includes Ryan Gosling shirtless), much less when a 50 pound bulldog jumps on me. Mr. Dog Lover laughed it off because that meant Boomerang really liked me. I was not as amused.
The night progressed and Mr. Dog Lover suggested that I stay the night that warm July evening in his Venice Beach apartment. I happily agreed. He did however caveat that Boomerang was used to sleeping in his room. Not to be a naysayer or seem to be too uptight, I said that was alright.
A few hours later, I woke up sweating and uncomfortable. It was then that I realized Boomerang was asleep on top of me. I tried to move Boomerang to Mr. Dog Lover’s side of the bed but he wouldn’t budge. I whispered, “Boomerang get off me please! I’m very hot and uncomfortable!”
My whisper pleading woke up Mr. Dog Lover and he angrily got up and put Boomerang outside the room. I protested that I wasn’t trying to be rude, I was just not used to ANY animal sleeping on top of me (again, I repeat, I would not even accept shirtless Ryan Gosling asleep on top of me; I’m a very warm sleeper). Mr. Dog Lover grumbled that the dog would insist on sleeping on the bed; the only option was to lock him out.
So then I endured a night next to an angry man and a whimpering dog outside the door.
When the alarm went off at 7 AM, I groggily pushed myself out of bed and into the bathroom. Upon re-entering his bedroom, I came upon a picture that has forever been burned into my mind. Sitting on the bed was Mr. Dog Lover and Boomerang, who both angrily stared me down. It was then that I realized I had created quite the feud: it was me versus the dog.
Except it was not a feud at all. Boomerang was curled happily up in bed and I was the unwelcome stranger in the bedroom. I did my best to politely gather my things and then asked Mr. Dog Lover when he was free to hang out again. He gave me some vague and cold response about him traveling to San Francisco for work and reconnecting when he got back.
I unlocked the front door and walked myself out of the apartment feeling more down about myself and used than I’ve felt in…perhaps ever.
To Mr. Dog Lover’s credit, I did hear from him a week later, once he was “done with his travels.” I declined his offer to meet up. At that point, I had realized that life was too short to try to date someone who made me feel that bad about myself after only 5 dates.
It probably wasn’t about the dog in the end. Mr. Dog Lover was a nice, short guy (with a bad case of morning grumpiness) who I ultimately didn’t click with. If I wrote off all male dog lovers, I’d leave myself with a very small dating pool indeed.
Perhaps it’s about finding the right guy AND the right animal companion in the end.
Until next time,
* All names on this blog have been changed to protect the innocent. Even innocent animals.