Man vs. Dog: Why Do Dogs Get a Free Pass?

I look down at my dog, my dog looks up at me. I walk into the kitchen. My dog follows. I walk into the living room, my dog barks, then follows. I turn on the Discovery Channel, my dog barks at the television, then I go back to the kitchen and open the refrigerator and look into the abyss, only to see my dog patiently sitting next to my feet. Waiting.

For some reason, it doesn’t bother me when a dog does this. Replace it with a human, however, and we have a problem.

It wasn’t that long ago when I didn’t have a dog in my life. I moped around the house after work, I thought about going to the gym, I ate some ice cream, did a few sit-ups, then watched television, then went to bed.

But with my dog—Sally is her name—everywhere I go is an adventure. If I go out to my car because I have to drive to CVS in Southampton to buy some deodorant, my dog thinks to herself, OH MY GOD WHERE ARE YOU GOING? CAN I COME? CAN I COME DUDE!??? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE????!!!

When I was in college, at Northeastern, I dated a girl for about three weeks who had a personality like this, and I didn’t like it. It doesn’t get more annoying than being with somebody who wants to be with you everywhere you go at all times. I can remember telling this girl that I needed to go to the bathroom once and she invited herself.

It was not charming.

Many people in my life at that time told me that, on the contrary, this was a good sign—it just meant that she really cared about me. But really, who were they to tell me whether or not it was appropriate that a woman was following me into the bathroom?

When a dog follows you into the bathroom, however, it’s adorable.

Why is this? Why are humans so much more annoying than dogs? It’s one of life’s many mysteries that maybe I’ll never understand. I consider myself a guy who tries to keep the peace with others, but if anybody were to follow me around like my dog, I would probably start ignoring their phone calls.

I think that maybe I talk about my dog too much. I have this weird fear that this is going to translate into one day me ending up being one of those people who are constantly talking about their kids. I hope this never happens to me, because I really can’t stand that. But then again, if that’s anything like how I feel about my dog, then damn it, I understand you people.

Speaking of kids, I miss being a kid in the Hamptons. Last week, I was walking my dog down Main Street in Southampton and I noticed some kids who were maybe 12 years old and wearing hats with surfing logos on them, walking down the street without a care in the world. They were talking loudly, making jokes to each other, they were tripping each other and laughing hysterically—it looked like such a wonderful way to be.

I looked down at my dog, who then decided to go number two right in the middle of the sidewalk. I picked it up with a plastic bag as the group of kids giggled at me.

Being an adult is not all I thought it would be, I thought. I don’t have the same carefree days to hang out with friends like those kids were doing.

But I do have my dog.

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