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I'm Less Of An Asshole...Because of My Dog

As you've all probably noticed by now, my maternal instincts are non-existent.

I don't feel a twitch in my uterus when a particularly cute bebe zooms by me in a bugaboo; I feel no need to tilt my head, crinkle my eyes, and exclaim "AWWWW" everytime a DILF approaches me on the street; and though I can certainly tell the difference between an ugly ass baby and a cute baby, my heart is not melted by either. Baby showers annoy the living shit out of me, apartments with babies living in em literally make me cringe (all those toys-n-crap EVERYWHERE), and I swear, I would rather sit next to a 400 pound fat dude with no deoderant on and a flatulance problem on a plane than have to tough it out on a flight next to a baby.

I don't know wtf is wrong with me, but those are the facts.

So yeah, I've got ZERO maternal instincts. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Oh, except when it comes to my dog.

Cause when it comes to being a dog mommy (yes, ppl, even I refuse to say fur baby mama...I have just a teeny bit of self-respect left after all!), I may as well be Carol Fucking Brady.

And so I read the cover story on this week's NY Magazine, The Rise of Dog Identity Politics, with great interest (espesh after I saw that hot ass Basset Blood Hound on page 4 of the online article). The article delves into dog identity issues, and how these have changed over the years in good ways and in bad. I could get into some of that shit, but I actually found the stats about dog ownership, and what having a dog can do for you as a person, way more interesting. Check it:

"There is a long and fascinating thread of research about the health benefits of dogs. It turns out that the dog is a kind of wonder drug, an all-around stress reducer. Pet owners recover at a substantially faster rate from heart problems than do non–dog owners. There are other kinds of benefits, too. A child raised with a pet is more empathetic than one who isn’t. The dog—no secret here—is an excellent wingman. A 2008 study found that a man with a dog had a much better chance of getting a woman’s phone number than one without. And the dog can even tell you whether or not you’re a good person. A 1999 study found that people who strongly dislike dogs score significantly higher on the measure of anal character and lower on the empathy scale of the California Psychological Inventory, indicating “that people who liked dogs have less difficulty relating to people.”

A. I've been telling you bitches 4evs that if you want to hook up and meet people, you need a dog; but B.  This line totally got me: "And the dog can even tell you whether or not you’re a good person."

Here's the thing though: I'm pretty sure its the other way around. Like, I've become a waaaaay better person because of my dog. Like, for real.

This entire idea actually resulted from a conversation I was having with Amber from Hey Brooklyn (who, along with her husband Rob, has THREE dogs). When we were talking, I literally started ticking through in my head all of the reasons I'm now a better person because of Oliver:

  • Responsibility: Having a dog taught me a shitload about responsibility. We agreed to adopt a dog who had been shuttled around from his home, to a shelter, to a foster home, and taking on the task of caring for him was a big deal. We were making a commitment...a big one. I'm old, so yeah: I've made many commitments before in my life, but somehow none seemed as important as that one.
  • Selflessness: All you bitches with kids learn this lesson pretty darn fast, I would imagine, but if you have a dog (and you take good care of your dog), you've got to embrace it hardcore. Cause Oliver doesn't give a shit if we're out having fun at High Dive with our friends getting drunk if he's hungry, or needs to be walked. And though before I had a dog I used to think shit like that would start interfering with my life, I failed to realize that I would quickly grow to not care about that other stuff. And be totally fine having fun with our friends for 3 hours, instead of 6 because I *want* to come home and make sure my little guy is taken care of. Oliver actually taught me that I'm less of an asshole than I thought I was.
  • Relatability: I'm sure that's not the right word here, but what I mean is that my dog helps me connect with other people, every day, in all sorts of ways I would NEVER be connecting with if left to my own devices. I'm not the type of person to just start random conversations with people on the street, and yet with Oliver, I feel totally comfortable doing so. I don't walk up to people on the subway and offer them a stick of my gum if I see them searching around in their purse, and yet if I'm at the dog park and see a fellow dog owner struggling to find a poop bag in their pocket, I will happily share one. When I'm out with Oliver I somehow find myself doing things, and behaving in ways that I don't normally...and I like it. A lot. And some of that has definitely seeped into my life out in the world when he's not with me now.
  • Love: Ok, I know: get your barf bags ready, cause you'll need them. The thing is, I love my family, I love my friends, and I was lucky enough to find an amazing husband who I love to death, and somehow the dude loves me back too. I've been around the love block...a few times. And I've discovered that there is just nothing like the pureness and deep down goodness of the love your dog has for you (and I have for him). Yes, I don't have a kid, so I can't factor that type of love into the equation, but shit, I remember being 13...and it wasn't pretty (I would literally sit in my room trying to think of all of the different ways I hate my mother). I grew out of it, of course, but my point is, you don't have to deal with any of that shit with your dog. It's really the purest, and least complicated relationship I have in my life (and because of that, one of the most important).

Anyway, I could go on, but we need to get back to hating helicopter BREEDERS (not *the* Helicopter Breeder commenter, who I love, but the collective helicopter BREEDERS), and the Coop-n-shit. The point is, believe it or not (and yes, I'm envisioning the NOT comments piling up as I type), Oliver has made me a way better, kinder, less annoying, less asshole-ish person. And, yeah...I love him more than a fat kid loves cake.

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