But that doesn't make me a dog-hater!
I went for a walk recently on a cool evening. Normally, this is a favorite pastime of mine, a way to relax, enjoy the trees and hopefully see some birds flying about. And yet, I was full of dread on this particular walk because it came with a dreadful task: I was searching for dog droppings.
These weren’t just random dog droppings (I have more satisfying hobbies than that). They had been deposited by Kyra, an English bulldog whom my family had agreed to dog-sit for a few days and whom I had just taken for a walk down the block. Unfortunately, I had forgotten the "dog waste" baggie and, after taking Kyra back home, was compelled by my conscience to return to the site of the crime.
I love animals, but I prefer them to be safely behind my TV screen in a documentary, where they can’t lick me.
I will admit that I am not a dog person. I love animals, but I prefer them to be safely behind my TV screen in a documentary, where they can’t lick me or wipe drool on my couch.
Somehow in the Observer office, however, I have been labeled as a dog-hater, just because I have never owned a dog and because I ignore dogs when they visit the office. I am not one to talk to dogs in a baby voice or tell them how cute they are when, let’s be honest, most of them aren’t all that cute.
At a recent company meeting with about a dozen of my colleagues (all of whom own dogs except for me), they were all quite amused to learn that I, “the dog-hater,” had been conscripted as a dog-sitter. My boss, John Walsh, laughed and said he hoped this story would end with me getting a puppy of my own. (Spoiler alert: Not happening.)
In fact, as I talked with two of these colleagues later on, I saw that my attitude toward dogs is not uncommon, even among dog owners themselves.
Jeff Dawsey, sports editor for both the Palm Coast and Ormond Beach Observers, dislikes being licked so much that when he takes his dog, Precious, for a walk, he has been known to wear rubber gloves.
Jonathan Simmons, news editor in Palm Coast, suggested — in all seriousness — that to avoid being licked in the face, all you had to do was put Tabasco sauce on your face. When the dog licks the sauce, the lesson will be learned.
Jonathan said he hadn’t tried it himself, but he recently had tried applying some “bitter apple spray” to a window frame to stop his dog, Tippy, from chewing it up.
Did it work?
“Then he ate it, and he lost it on the bed,” Jonathan said.
Just to clarify, that means the dog threw up window-frame matter on Jonathan’s bed.
I get it: Some families don’t feel complete without a dog. It’s beautiful! Really! I’m not a dog-hater! Is it so bad that when I go for a walk, I would rather not have to carry a bag?
In the end, try as I might, walking up and down the block, I could not find the dog droppings. To my neighbors, I apologize. I will admit, though, that it was quite a relief to walk back home a failure and empty-handed.