9 Signs You Have An Unhealthy Relationship With Your DogDavid Dean

There won’t be much middle ground on this. People will totally understand and get it, or people will think I’m crazy. I’m aware, I might be crazy, CRAZYBOUTMYDOG OHMYGOODNESS! Yes, I’ve recently become aware that the relationship with my dog is “unhealthy” and “I’m too reliant on him” and “quit putting my advice in quotation marks.” But it’s all circumstantial. I also think the owner can project his feelings on to their dog. This is something I’m no doubt guilty of. I’ll be refering to my dog as “he”, because “he” he is. But this goes for all dogs, breeds, sex, EQUAL RIGHTS YA’LL!

Let me paint you a picture (on a small canvas so it won’t be long): I grew up with a dog and two cats my entire life. In 7th grade I had a crush on girl who was going to look at a Shih Tzu with her mom. I tagged along and then called my mother telling her “we just haaaaaad to get one as well.” If she got a puppy, and I got a puppy, then maybe our puppies would play together and we could make out to No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”! That dog, Penny Lane, quickly became my mother’s dog and they were attached. Penny followed her everywhere, went to work with her everyday, to the point where even as a 15 year old, I thought it was a little unhealthy. So I grew up seeing that, never thinking it would have an impact on me as an adult.

I’d always wanted my own dog, but wanted to make sure I could care for properly, meaning I was out of school, it wouldn’t be left alone all day, etc. So last year my girlfriend and I got a miniature poodle named Max. We lived together in a Dallas high rise and it was a total apartment dog, which always bummed me out. Then that girl and I broke up and she kindly let me keep Max, or maybe I grabbed everything I could, picked up the dog and ran, but that doesn’t really matter at this point. We had been parents to Max for 6 months, but I moved away from Dallas and her, and I took Max with me. For months he only reminded me of her, and I always thought he looked sad. I kept telling myself, IT’S JUST A DOG IT’S JUST A DOG DOGS CAN’T GET DEPRESSED. But really I was probably saying that to myself, using him as some form of coping mechanism.

Months went by and I started to forget about the girl, but realized I was obsessed with the dog. Did I just give you all way too much background info? Maybe! But it’s only so I can preemptively defend myself, knowing someone might send me to therapy or, wait….does my dog need therapy? Should we both go? OHMYGOODNES. I’m going to go Google dog therapists while you read the Nine Signs of an unhealthy relationship…with your dog.

This one is a killer. Because all the cute things he does with you at night, like cuddle up next to your legs under the covers, then crawl up and sleep in your arms, you think those are your things. Then you take him to visit your parents and as your going to bed you notice he doesn’t follow, then find him cuddled up under the covers with your mom. CHEATER! LIAR! THAT’S OUR THING! HOW COULD YOU! Then you calm yourself down and realize it’s okay, there are other dogs in the house and he just wants to be around them. Which leads to…

You take him to the best groomer and in between those dog nightmare sessions you as well play the part of groomer, but the totally sensitive one that grooms with such ease and love and OHMYGOODNESS should I be a groomer? I bathe him once every few weeks. Sometimes, ONLY SOMETIMES, I even give him little back massages. Like he cares. SORRY I DON’T HAVE LONG NAILS TO GIVE YOU TICKLES QUIT GUILTING ME HERE’S ANOTHER TREAT.

You should be leading your dog when walking. It’s great exercise for you both. And should be done multiple times daily. But use a leash? Naw, he’s good up in the forest, and sounds like a baby horse when he runs and there’s no way I’m letting a leash get in between me and my dog sounding like a baby horse running. And of course he smells everything, but my dog, he doesn’t just smell things, he smells things and finds the answers to the world and life and he smells deep. Sometimes he even smells things so hard he eats them, like a flower. Which of course leads to…

Dogs throw up all the time, duh. I know that. But when your dog throws up, it’s like wait, what is happening here? WHY IS HE MAKING THAT AWFUL NOISE! CAN HE BREATH? You run to comfort him as if he just found out his dog cousin (I assume he has one) lost his job and on top of all that is going through a divorce. Oh and you think he’s dying now, even though within minutes he running around sniffing cat poop and taking shots of wheat grass from the ground like some sort of vegan.

This really bothers me, because I truly do believe a dog has feelings. Some days I wake up and look at him and can just tell, he’s not in a good mood. Not like grumpy or anything, just kind of, sad. Maybe it’s because yesterday when we were running in the fields, he saw a full grown poodle that look exactly like him only one thousand times bigger, and that big poodle was all snobbish like and didn’t play back. I bet his feelings are hurt about that. Or maybe it’s because some people in my family make these little duck sounding quack noises at him that really scare him big time, which means maybe when he was a tiny little puppy a group of thug ducks picked on him and he’s never forgotten and he had a bad dream about those ducks. I mean, I don’t know, maybe though right? Which makes you start to think that…

Yes bullying is a serious problem. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit around a let bullying take place in my neighborhood. I know I saw that other dog give him the stink eye once, and now Max will barely go over there. I don’t think it’s like physical bullying, but I know that dog is communicating some hateful shit. Real alpha male. Does that dog think he’s better than mine? It all starts with the parents I tell you, and it’s time for me and them to sit down and have a talk about social skills, as far as I’m concerned.

Sure you can go to dinner with friends, go for drinks, even leave town for a few days. You’re cool, chill, having a good time, BUT DEEP INSIDE YOU’RE LIKE WHAT’S HE DOING WHAT’S HE DOING IS HE OKAY I WISH HE COULD TEXT ME. And it can almost even be like drunk dialing, once the night is hitting its climax and your feeling good, talking to a cute girl, and pets come up, and then you get all nostalgic about him and leave immediately to get home to him and drunkenly be like “Hey bro, you’re my best friend”… Which is basically why…

I admit I have commitment issues, so what, so what if I do! (Sorry, ex-girlfriend commitment issues argument flashback.) But if a girl isn’t pretty much instantly jumping on the ground and letting my dog give her face kisses and just being playful and sweet, do I really want to go get sushi and drinks with her? All I’ll be thinking about the entire time if she didn’t do exactly what I wanted her to do in my head is that she is the crazy one. Would you like a little heart to go with your dragon roll you monster?!

Yeah I might start to ramble a bit, but maybe this person likes the story about how my dog hides bones under couch cushions, or how lately I think he’s been biting his nails too often. I see you stranger, I see you praying your phone will ring any second to get you out of this, but you don’t know my dog like I do. I mean I could on for days. I could go on and on and on….

Featured imaged by David Dean, and yes that is Max

  • bill

    this is such bullshit

  • Proud beagle mum

    I do all of these and more!!! Sending pictures of my dogs to everyone all the time and bragging about all the tricks they have learnt! I have a nightly grooming routine with my beagles. I brush my girls then I wash their bellies with organic wet wipes and the rub their fur and body with coconut oil. Then I clean their ears with cotton balls and pat them off to sleep. I am obsessed with my princesses! Would just die without them!!! :) keep loving your dog :)

  • Einstein

    Hey bro, you’re my best friend!

  • Tommi Kiviniemi

    I actually fulfill all of the signs. Sigh :/

  • icelated

    my dalmation is my best friend. I dont leave the house without him. He went with me for 5 years while I went to engineering school. I have been with him for 6 straight years 24/7 out of 8. I put off getting a job for a year so I could be with him. Im finally taking a job and start next week. I have been crying thinking baout being away from him. I dont go out unless hes with me. If I do go out its walking him or taking him on a hike. If I go out to eat hes in the car and I feel guilty. I am afraid of working and being away from him. =( I dont want to get a girlfriend because It will take time away from him.

  • Killryan

    That poor dog is probably a nervous wreck. Dogs have instincts and needs that need to be fulfilled. They need leadership and rules in order to feel secure. It’s very selfish to project all that negative energy into your dog, and I’m sure he is not as happy as you think he is.

    • Proud beagle mum

      Oh yes and ignoring and neglecting your dog is so much better.

      • Killryan

        Lol, who said anything about neglect. I just make sure my dog gets excercise and obedience before affection. It’s ok for dogs to earn affection, and they live having a routine. Never neglect your dog. :)

  • disqus_NGrpMbtDJl

    My husband had a strange emotional attachment with his dog, I mean really bad. All of the above is true. In fact, we had to close the door to make love so the noises would not bother the dog…..We are no longer together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=63800328 Beth Cook

    This is me with my cat–she is and always will be my baby, no matter what!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1029052453 Paula M. Moncho Esteve

    Every single one of them 9 signs!! aah the jealousy.. and the leave-the-party-soon-so-I-can-go-to-her (yes, my dog is a she)
    And I know about the unhealthiness of it all.. and I don’t freakin’ care!

    I loved your post man, and I think Max is the cutest thing ever! (after Lexie of course..)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684830608 Kristi Kikerpuu

    Little reminder that dogs are dogs. And one reason why many dogs have behavioral issues, is that people treat their dogs like babies. I am a big dog lover myself, but I also believe in boundaries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582025255 Megan Estrada

    Oh goodness, this is fantastic haha. My family owns three dogs and my mom has pretty much hit all ten of these points at sometime with our dogs. Very well written, sir!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=27406851 Kaci Tidwell

    Oh goodness…I’m definitely guilty! Except for taking my pup on walks. She will just sit down after half a block, and I have to carry her. The worst is feeling guilty about leaving her alone all day while I’m at work. I even gave a key to my house to my BFF just in case I’m late and need her to go let out Sophie. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1603320065 Kirsten Zoe Hyer

    Oh…. oh lord. Rory, my 1 year old Australian Shepard Poodle mix is PRETTY MUCH my life. Like, I leave parties early to get home to him. Oh dear. Oh the upside, I feel like this is a suport group, and I’m so glad I’m not alone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=872895500 David Dean

    I absolutely love all these comments! So good to know I’m not alone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604108561 Colleen Osborn

    I can completely relate.

    I think this post needed some serious editing before hitting the interwebz though. Got some grammar mistakes, dude. Otherwise, pretty funny article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401451763 Sarah Kate Khoury

    this is such a sweet article! a couple of years my dog passed away. She was an amazing dog (person)and I loved her so much. I knew that I could never get another dog, because no dog could ever live up to how amazing she was. well, shortly after she passed away a friend of mine decided to get me a puppy to cheer me up. I had not finished grieving Maggie (I was not emotionally ready for another dog). I just don’t have the same emotional connection with Moose (my current dog). I find my self trying to overcompensate with toys and treats (he is a bit chubby). I feel like a bad person because of it. this article made me think of Maggie, and how I wish I could have this type of relationship with Moose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=669235267 Shona Johnson

    I just laughed all the way through this article, then all the way through the hilarious comments! Jaki Watson you are not alone! I have only had my cocker spaniel puppy for a month, but I’m pretty much obsessed with him. Sometimes he’s just lying there perfectly happy, and I’m practically in tears because I get worried that he’s sad. If I throw his tennis ball and he can’t find it, I run across the park like I’m in a movie, playing the part of a woman whose child is being attacked. He also has exceptionally good taste in shoes, choosing to eat not my crappy work shoes, but my new chucks. Good boy Alfie, well played.
    Hilarious article, thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=44601388 Chrissa Hardy

    Okay, now how do we get them to live as long as we do? Cuz, I’m not sure I want to experience life without my little Sullivan. He just GETS me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002581598663 Hans Johan Svensson

    I must admit that I find it hard to relate to this. I´ve seen it in others.
    An animal, to me, is either food or has a job to do.
    Having a dog seems to be reason and topic with other dog owners aswell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1164811402 Melissa Grocott

    I am so in LOVE with this article! I definitely get separation anxiety from my dogs, and will most likely stay home and be a hermit just for them! I have three pups and I will over think their feelings especially when giving treats and try to be fair, as if they really care and realize this. This totally made my day to know I’m not the only pet dork! <3

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