I Love Dogs…But Also, Fuck Dogs

By: Jacob Lewis

I love dogs. I’ve always loved dogs. But I’ve really started to hate dog owners in Seattle. There seems to be no understanding that not everyone out in the world wants to have physical contact with their furry friend…even when that is directly stated to them.

I have a 4 year old daughter who does not like dogs. I believe that its mostly because she’s afraid that they might jump up on her, she is three feet tall, and many of the dogs she meets in public are the same size or larger. To put it in perspective, I and most other people, would have a similar fear if they were constantly put into situations where they had to share the same space with a fully grown Canadian Moose. Except, if I screamed, “help, this moose is about to jump up on me” someone would shoot it in the head. However, if my daughter says the same about a dog, she is considered a scaredy cat. I don’t want anyone to shoot a dog in the head, but unlike most Moose, dogs usually have a mechanism on them that can easily control their field of movement, so it should never come to that point.

Recently, I was on the bus with my daughter, Juliet, and a young man boarded with his big ol’Labrador. Juliet immediately recoiled, and stood up on her seat and pressed against me. Of course, the dog immediately trotted over to her and put its feet up on the seat and tried to lick her face, causing her to press her head into my chest and whimper. In response to this, the owner didn’t even try to pull the dog away. He just said “awh, don’t worry, he’s friendly”. While I was very pleased that the man found my daughter’s primordial terror in response to his pet to be “awh” inducing, I pushed the dog away with my foot and said, “she doesn’t like dogs.” The owner didn’t change his, “this is so adorable”, look on his face, and directed the dog to move under his seat, which was right across from ours. There was no acknowledgement that Juliet’s fear was real. It was an empty bus and he could have moved anywhere, but you know, his dog is friendly so fuck Juliet. Juliet remained in her huddled standing position. About a minute later the dog was up again and moved right over to Juliet’s seat, causing her to rebury her head and cry, and the man, made no attempt to sit his dog back down. He smiled and said, “he must like you”. What I should have said in response was something civilized like, “sir, please control your animal”. But, instead, I said “if your dog jumps up on this seat one more time I’m going to crush its head with my shoe”. The person gave me a look like what I said might have been a slight overreaction, but got up and moved with his animal to one of the many other seats on the bus.

My comment was surprising, even for me. Again, I love dogs and don’t generally go around threatening to crush their heads. I mean, they’re not cats or anything. Also, its not the dog’s fault. The dog doesn’t care if another animal is afraid of it and they generally don’t understand boundaries that aren’t physical or electrified. His owner, however…. What I should have said is, “if this dog jumps up on this seat one more time, I’m going to dig into my daughter’s backpack, find her string cheese and give it to him as a treat. Then I’m going to take whatever drawing supplies my daughter brought with her, and shove them so far up your ass that you’re going to be shitting preschool art projects for a month. All the while I do this your dog is just going to eat the string cheese, because no amount of your anthropomorphism it is going to change the fact that its ultimately a wild animal and doesn’t give a shit whether you live or die as long as its fed. Then I’m going to take your wallet and your shoes, because in for a penny, in for a pound and all.” Definitely not as concise as my original comment, but still a better response.

One person I mentioned this story to decide to play devil’s advocate, because who doesn’t love that, and said that it’s a public space and you couldn’t force a person to move if your child didn’t like them. Good point, but there is a big difference between the two. See, if a stranger suddenly jumped up on my child’s seat and began licking her face while she squealed in terror, I could crush his head in with my foot, and it wouldn’t even be a crime. I could put a video of the incident up on Youtube, it would get a billion thumbs up, and people would call me a hero and marvel at my strength. You do the same thing to a dog, and not only do I get arrested, but I get completely destroyed in the video’s comment section and not a single person mentions how in shape I must be to be able to do that. So, basically, my response is that I can either treat the dog like a human, assume the same intelligence and understanding of social interactions and freely crush it with my shoe when it confronts my daughter, or treat it like a dog and require the owner to have the same understanding, and if he doesn’t, stomp him with my shoe. I think my argument would be more intelligent if I removed the shoe stomping part, but I’m not going to be pushed off my mark on this one.

A similar incident happened the last time I took Juliet to work downtown. My building used to be two floors above the Seattle Uber office, which allowed their employees to bring dogs to work. On the way up with Juliet, the elevator opened up on the fifteenth floor and two unleashed Springer Spaniels came running in, giving Juliet a “child’s first heart attack”. The owners came running in to grab them, because nothing says liberal work environment like the unhindered terror screams of a small child filling your halls. At least these employees were apologetic, but the dogs shouldn’t be allowed to run around a shared office building like that. Juliet had already let her guard down, thinking she was in a dog free zone. This just enforced the idea that a dog could be anywhere. She opens her bed room door, a dog jumps out. She opens a pantry, a dog jumps out. She opens her Lego bin, a dog jumps out. She opens a doggy gate, a do….SCORPIONS!!! I do think that once Juliet gets a little bigger she is going to be okay with dogs, but until that time I wish people would comprehend that not everyone out in the world loves their pet.

Now technically, the impetus to write this post wasn’t due to the above incidents. It was due to another incident occurring today where a similar man brought his dog on the bus and allowed it to jump on the passengers, including my nicely suited self, with its muddy feet. For the sake of honesty I should have led with this story, but the Juliet story makes me sound like a protective father. This story makes me sound like the rich villain in an Air Bud movie who, while trying to demolish the local rec center, accidentally gets his Armani pants muddied by the titular dog and gives it and its child owner an evil look of disdain. My general attitude towards life already mirrors the villains of too many 1990s PG kids movies as it is.

Back to Top