Memoirs of a Dog Walker

I’ve been walking a friend’s dogs while he is out of town.  I don’t mind – I appreciate it, actually – because kennels are pricey and I don’t mind picking up the odd job here and there.  This experience has taught me that I really don’t want to own a dog.  Ever.  And a lot of it has to do with other dog owners that I would have to put up with.  Here’s the deal:

No on picks up after their dogs anymore.

When did this start? The apartment complex where my friend lives is a lot nicer than mine, and plenty of bourgeois live there with their nice cars and nice clothes.  Unfortunately, these pomp and pretty people walk through piles of dog doo all day because none of them pick up after their pets.  What makes it worse is that they have stations every twenty feet or so that have trash cans and dispense plastic bags for picking this stuff up.  Sometimes, I see dog poop only a few feet from one of these stations.  I guess the important people of the neighborhood can’t be expected to do something so difficult.  (Sometimes the dog crap is only a few feet from one of these stations.)

  Should I pick up after them?  Nah, no one will notice…

Dogs are excitable.  I’m not.

I’m pretty laid back.  In fact, I don’t like people to get too excited or agitated because I get upset with them and ask them to calm down.  Relax.  Chill.  Anything that disturbs my calm becomes my enemy.  (Yes, I’m a difficult person.)

Dogs are, obviously, antithetical to my relaxing way of life.  When I enter the apartment both animals bark loudly and jump on me.  One of them pees when he gets excited – which is the most awful thing I can think of.  In fact, the other day, when I bent over to put the leash on him, he rolled over on his back and peed up into my face.  It was a dark day.

No one can control their dog.

Why does a 90 pound weakling girl buy an enormous dog that she can’t control? All day I am swarmed by other people’s dogs.  They emerge from a garage door two blocks away and rush over to me and create havoc.  The owner uselessly calls the dog’s name and says something stupid like, “Come, Gypsy, come!” which never works.  (Really, did you just buy this dog?  Have you ever seen a dog before?  It’s not going to start responding to commands if you always just let it do what it wants.)  Then, it’s up to me.  Sometimes they try to wander over to where I am and help me, but they are useless at this too, because these people usually bought dogs they can’t control.  Then I have to pick up their dogs or do some work I shouldn’t have to do.  Yesterday, one neighbor’s dog followed me into the apartment.  I threw him outside at his owner’s feet and wondered what ever happened to leashes.  It’s enough work walking two dogs.  It’s not cool that I have to corral all of the neighbor’s dogs as well.

 I’m sure Grandma will have no trouble controlling “Wolfie” here when she takes him for a walk.

“Don’t worry – he won’t bite!” 

I don’t want your dog on me.  I don’t want to smell like your dog, and I don’t want his slobber on my hands.  Saying, “he won’t bite” is small consolation when I already stink and have your dog scratching me as he tries to climb up me.  Do I really have to tell people that I don’t want their dogs to assail me and bother me?  Do dog owners think that all of us love the smell of dog breath and the feel of dog saliva on our hands while we are on our way to work?  Keep your dog away from me.  I wouldn’t lick you and bump into you in public while promising not to bite you.

I’m glad I have these two waiting for me at home.  They’re great. 


  1. You dislike dogs for all the reasons I do. I find it strange, though, that you're apparently not exuding Cesar Milan's trademarked calm, assertive energy.


  2. You are a jaded person Adam.

    Seriously though, Dogs are one of the most trainable animals as long as their owners take the time to actually train them from a young age. I would venture a guess that these owners are in a very small percentile.

    Also, brains were never highly sought after in most pure breeds but if you can find a smart, good dog there is no substitute for a companion.

    So to recap: most owners are idiots and most dogs are idiots but that shouldn’t rule dogs out categorically. I used to look down on cats myself until I got the one currently living in my house. In general she has been a great experience and has changed my perception of cats. Maybe you will find the right dog that will do so for you. Of course more than likely you will just get a face full of slobber.


  3. I have never seen a dog that didn't lick people and jump on them. I have never been around one that didn't smell bad except for poodles, because they have special fur.

    I grew up in the country where our dogs ran free and I got along with them well. But in the city I just don't think they fit in.


  4. Adam, this post cracked me up. It expresses my sentiments almost exactly, though I will say I have come across a few dogs who are well-trained, calm, and smell good. But generally speaking it takes way too much work and money to achieve this. (Although that's how I feel about pets in general, but dogs especially.)


  5. Cats may be controlling, but they are clean and calm, right?

    I have seen a number of dogs that were very well-behaved, but I do believe most probably aren't.


  6. Yeah, well trained dogs are about as common as Bigfoot as far as I can tell. Of course, dog owners think that everyone LIKES it when dogs like their face, so they really don't know.


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