Let me first say that I love my dog unconditionally, and that I know deep down my dog loves me and will do anything to protect me.
That being said, my dog does not love me all of the time. My dog also does not love me as much as he loves my other relatives. This is not a reflection of me as an owner: I am a loving and caring dog owner. Everyone always publicizes these great moments of triumphant love with their dogs (or any pet for that matter), and I always have to think to myself while scrolling through social media that maybe I am the only one whose dog does not love them that much. There must be other pet owners who experience this somewhat embarrassing relationship. Every pet has their favorite human, but what about us not-favorites — the yellow Starbursts of pet owners? Maybe, if I give a few examples, my fellow consolation prize owners will recognize that they too are kind of hated by their canine pals.
1. The Embarrassing Em'bark' on a Walk
I like to take my dog for walks as much as I like making bad puns. However, I need to choose when to walk him wisely. If there is someone in the house that he would prefer to spend time with, he will refuse to leave the house with me. So basically, I have to take him for walks when nobody else is home, because he likes everyone else distinctly more than he likes me. Sometimes it's enough that his favorite toy is in the house and he would much rather be in the presence of this inanimate object than share his presence with me.
How do I know he does not want to go for these walks with me? To start, he will sit down and claw down, and I will be forced to drag him down the driveway. This is especially pleasant when a neighbor drives by and observes me clearly torturing this cute, fluffy dog by trying to take him for some exercise so he can be healthy. How evil of me. Because God forbid I keep my dog healthy. Stop giving me that glare, Nancy, your grass has not been cut in four weeks and your cat is so fat its stomach drags, and I do not see you trying to keep that cat healthy.
2. The Mid-Walk "I Changed My Mind"
Assuming we make it out on the walk, my dog will occasionally just decide he is done with me and the entire activity, and literally give up. Sometimes this is achieved by sitting down a mile or so from our house, leaving me to try reasoning with him to please get up so we can go home if that is what he wants so badly. Cue more disapproving looks from passing neighbors who have the privilege of seeing me have a one-sided debate with my dog.
He has also given up by deciding he is more interested in any other thing in our surroundings than walking with me. This one can sometimes lead to fun encounters with random strangers (or more judgmental neighbors), who he decides he would very much like to meet. He never seems to do this when a hot guy walks by; it is always an old man who is really tired and sweaty or a soccer mom of three who has no time for my dog's new attachment to her.
3. Arriving Home is Not as Advertised
I love watching those videos of the dogs who jump for joy when their military owner returns home, or even the pups who get excited when someone just comes home from school for the day. I find the videos so enthralling because they are mythical to me. I have seen my dog give other people this homecoming before and it is really cute. One time I was lucky enough to have him lift his head and thump his tail a little when I walked in the door from school. It might have been because my brother was with me ... So I am still not sure if I can even count that one.
4. I Call My Dog and He Does Not Come
This one is just self explanatory. For a while I could comfort myself thinking he just does not recognize his name or he is generally disobedient, but he is very intelligent, knows his name, and is impeccably trained. I call my dog’s name and he either gives me a look worthy of Regina George, or he just blatantly walks into the other room. I have even tried using food to get him to respond more positively, but he does not even like human food and I felt like this would contradict my previously mentioned valiant efforts to keep him healthy. Meanwhile, my mom says his name in a sentence and he is there by her side, pronto.
I could go on, but I think I have made my point. I should note that my dog will comfort me when he can tell I am sad, protect me if he feels we are threatened, and guard me when I am sick. Deep down, my dog loves me — just not all of the time.