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Dog Owners Are The Worst

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I was taking the elevator down to my apartment’s lobby this morning when it stopped at the 11th floor. A woman was waiting in front of the elevator door holding a leash — no dog in sight. Just a leash. She realized the elevator was there, looked to her left, and said, “Roxy.” Again, “Roxy.” A third time, “Roxy.” I started to get angry. I’m thinking, “Go grab your dog, I have fart jokes to write and it’s 10:50 a.m. I woke up early.”

The door begins to slide. The woman throws her hand in the way to re-open the door. It slides open. She keeps calling for her dog. No real urgency. It was like she was calling for her boss to answer the phone. Like if she pushed too hard, she’d be yelled at. Now it’s a full three-minute ordeal. I’m in an elevator so I have no service. Swiping on Bumble isn’t even an option. I’m basically in hell. I wouldn’t wish this fate on a captured member of ISIS.

Finally, Roxy comes. She’s in less of a hurry than the woman. Sniffing the ground as she saunters on the elevator like a queen stepping onto a slave’s back to reach her chariot. The door closes and Roxy decides to sniff me. The owner just watches. Roxy jumps up my leg. I am visibly annoyed. I’m actually trying my best to look annoyed. At this point, I’m your girlfriend when she sees a text notification from another girl. I want this person to know. I need her to know. She takes notice and says, “Oh you don’t like dogs?”

No. I don’t “hate dogs.” I hate this dog owner. I hate Mrs. Roxy. The one that allowed for this whole ten minute disaster to even happen. If that dog were her little boy and he held the elevator up before getting in, looked at me, started sniffing my leg, then rubbed on me for a bit, she wouldn’t ask if I hated kids. She’d apologize for her shitty kid that she brought up and she trained and she felt embarrassed about. It wouldn’t be my problem with kids that would get examined. But dogs are never about the owners. Dogs are an easy out for any shitty person. If you show even a little annoyance at a dog then you’re always asked if you hate dogs. Even if you’re indifferent to dogs (which I am) you’re told that you hate them.

This is a purely dog thing. You can say the worst stuff in the world about a cat and nobody even cares. I could say, “Oh cats? I hate cats. I try to step on them anytime I see one,” and the response would be, “Well not everyone likes cats.” The person would then shrug and move on. But not dogs. You can’t have any negative feelings about a dog’s actions without being considered a monster.

But this is why a lot of people get dogs. They serve to displace. The girl who can’t find a boyfriend buys a dog and — all the sudden — she has someone who never disagrees with her. She’s found someone who loves her shows. She magically found a guy who kisses her anytime she feels lonely no matter how long her story about the girl at work went on. The single guy who couldn’t talk to girls gets a puppy. Now they’re easier to speak with about the weather. All the sudden they have a date set up to talk about the weather again. The lonely older man I see with his dog at Starbucks gets a dog and now anyone the dog jumps on is a new person to tell why Obama sucks. Go on any flight and there’s at least one dog with a crossing guard’s vest because a hot older woman claims it lowers her anxiety. Most dogs aren’t out there fetching or teaching young children about responsibility, they’re out there taking on the brunt of our social deficiencies.

The dog thing is what’s happening a lot these days. I see it on the internet all the time and I’ll see it in the comments below. Say something about one thing and someone answers it with a totally tangentially related thing that’s about them and a group’s real issue is done being discussed. If someone says “Black Lives Matter” then they must hate cops and then someone screams “What about all lives?” and a very difficult issue about police training and gun issues and interracial relations drifts to sea so someone can feel good that we aren’t talking about them anymore. If a girl writes about online harassment, a guy will respond with “But not all guys” and the real conversation is completely over. The fair point she made about women enduring an unreal amount of hate over the internet is now about how this guy is one of the good ones.

I think we can all agree, there’s SOMETHING big going on right now. Elections, guns, gender issues, race, police, socioeconomic divides. The internet feels like a bunch of dog owners. Everyone has their own dog — or issue — and the minute someone makes a face, they’re the asshole for hating your dog. Doesn’t seem like a good way to solve an issue. We are all Mrs. Roxy, everyone else has a problem but us.

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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