It’s a secret that’s threatening to tear apart my friendships…
I have a secret that is threatening the very fabric of most of my friendships.
When it comes to dogs, I just don’t love them as much as I should. It’s not hatred, it’s not fear, it’s just apathy.
Perhaps it’s my privilege having grown up with two dogs, but the mere existence of a toy poodle doesn’t elicit the same amount of joy and enthusiasm as it does in most of my friends (and the majority of people in the Mamamiaoffice). I don’t feel the need to take a photo or video of every pup I encounter on the street, I don’t think sausage dogs warrant excessive squealing and I have never ever had the desire to utter the word ‘fur baby’.
And yet, I feel a societal pressure to do all of the above.
I squeal on command when I see a very fluffy Maltese pup, make sure to pet every friendly-looking Golden Retriever in my path and, on Thursday, I even managed to give a French Bulldog in my apartment elevator a nervous pat. It was a completely unnecessary exchange that I nor the Frenchie enjoyed.
My friend Karen – the owner of a particularly frisky toy poodle, Mishka – once confronted me about this.
“I’ve just noticed [pause] that you don’t react to Mishka in the same way as Jo does,” she said, referring to our friend who has an ‘Instagram Story highlights’ reel dedicated to the dogs she comes across.
“It’s okay, it’s just something I’ve noticed.”
Except it wasn’t okay. I had just been dubbed heartless. A monster.
But here’s my theory. I know there are more of my type out there. Lurking in every friendship group is the friend who is just a little bit apathetic towards dogs and probably lays it on a bit thick in the presence of canines because they feel forced to.
Is admitting you don’t like dogs social suicide? Maybe. But despite what others might think, you’re not an awful person. It’s okay and I see you.
We’re in this together.
If you liked this story, read more like it on mamamia.com.au:
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‘I’m part of the silent population that really hates dogs.’
The devastating story behind this photo of a waiting dog.