Okay, before I start this rant, I would like to state a disclaimer: I like pets.
I love cats, and have a soft spot for rabbits. However, I hate dogs; but not because I have a hatred for the dog species. It’s just that they scare me (Yes, even the supposedly cute and cuddly ones). In the words of the great Chandler Bing: “They are needy, they are jumpy, and you can’t tell what they are thinking, and that scares me a little bit. “
So, with that out of the way, let’s crack on.
I have a new problem in life. I can’t stand my neighbourhood pet owners. To be precise, I can’t stand dog owners. Notwithstanding my latent hatred for dogs, it is the behaviour of the owners which bugs me. To the untrained eye, dog owners seem like normal people. They do normal people stuff like waking up, brushing their teeth, taking a dump, and cleaning dog poop (Okay, maybe not that normal). Don’t be fooled though! This is just a facade. These are the most annoying people on earth. I’ll list a bunch of idiosyncrasies common to dog owners.
First, when you meet a dog owner, you will notice that small talk only lasts for about two minutes before the topic of conversation turns to the dog. Just to give you an example, this is the conversation I had with my neighbourhood dog owner the other day:
(After two minutes of small talk)
Me: Hey, Mr Dog Owner, can I ask you for a favour?
Mr Dog Owner: Yeah, sure, anything! You see my dog loves to run to me when I get home from work. And he is so sad when I have to leave him alone…
Mr Dog Owner: …I’ve bought him a bone that’s shaped like me. It has a built-in app that can record my voice and…
Mr Dog Owner: …For some reason, he hates biryani; even the Hyderabadi biryani. So I feed him toilet paper…
I don’t suppose the conversation went exactly like that, but I think you get the gist. Talk about politics, and he will reply how the other local dogs being basic bitches were conspiring against his dog. Speak about economics, and he will lecture you on Pedigree inflation. Talk about your mother, and he will talk about dog birth videos. The point is that irrespective of the issue being discussed, the dog owner will always find a way to talk about his dog.
Secondly, when the dogs are apprehensive of strangers (Me, in this case), the dog owner will make baby noises and call the dog all sorts of puke-inducing names including baba and beta. Ostensibly, this calms the mongrel down, although I’m yet to see proof. In practice, the crazy canine keeps barking louder and louder till you are unable to hear the owner’s pathetic swooning (Which is not a bad thing).
However, what really gets my goat is the following statement:
Mr Dog Owner: Beta, no. Don’t do this. Uncle is really nice.
Me (thinking): What the F did you call me? Uncle? Did you just tell the effing dog to call me Uncle? Look buddy, I don’t care if the dog is your son or your grandmother’s ex-husband, but don’t you dare club me with the filthy, mangy curs. Hell, I’ll even beat your “human” son if that punk calls me uncle. Have you even looked in the mirror? You are old! I’m not! Exclamation! Avada Kedavra! Exclamation!
Me (actually saying): Oh, yeah. Really nice. Come here, poochie poochie.
Seriously, dog owners don’t understand that it’s not cool to call me or anyone Uncle. The dog probably has an uncle he loves and holds in high regard. He does not need another. By the way, the reason Satan keeps barking is probably that they always tie him up and take him on their stupid, slow walks that don’t do their or his health any good.
Which brings me to my final point: dog owners seem to have nothing else to do than walking their dogs. Of course, that’s not a bad thing. Walking is a great exercise. What’s wrong is that the dogs always seem reluctant to walk. It’s like the owners force the hapless creatures to not enjoy their natural laziness. The sight of a woman trying to play tug of war with her monstrous, killing machine of a dog who only wants to sleep on the footpath is not uncommon. Alternately, I often spot one of my neighbours – who is six feet and weighs about a hundred kilos – dragging his poor little pug on his evening walks. Just the difference in sizes of the two beasts is enough to file a case for animal cruelty. For every single step of my neighbour, the poor dog is forced to take eight tiny, rapid steps to keep up.
Whether these owners are the exceptions to the rule, or represent the larger community, I may never know. What I do know is that they are the last persons you should invite to a party. Trust me, they are not fun. The three examples I have mentioned only scrape the surface of their un-coolness. There are innumerable Facebook posts with close-ups of the dogs with captions on “how they didn’t choose the dog life and the dog life chose them.” There are WhatApp statuses updating every single walk with the dog, and blog posts on the latest dog shampoo in town. The list is endless.
So, dear readers, stay safe and believe in the saying, “Never mind the dog. Beware of owner!”
Note to Dog Owner: If you are a dog owner and a pedant, you will notice that I used the word “dog” 43 times and the word “owner” 23 times. I also used a misleading title. Go ahead, sue me!