I am not Dr. Seuss

D is for "Dog"

in The Alphabet of Bad Ideas

You're walking past the animal shelter, and a shaggy little beast catches your eye through the window. You've been on your own for a few months now, and some company would be welcome. Besides, you rationalize, maybe having something else around to take care of will help you keep your mind off of your many problems.

And so it is that centuries of inbreeding and the intentional dumbing-down of a once-proud species have culminated in your new best friend.

Things will be fine at first. You won't think much of it when your new puppy leaves trails of urine and fecal matter all over the hardwood floor. You'll call these incidents "Oopsies", a rather euphemistic way to refer to shit and piss. Housebreaking is an involved process, after all. You'll take your furry friend on regular walks in an attempt to get him comfortable around other people and animals.

The "Oopsies" won't stop. Your home will have transformed into an apartment-shaped toilet. The socialization won't take, either; he'll be too skittish and unpredictable, and the walks will have to cease entirely when he nearly bites a small child.

Soon, you'll stop trying. You'll step over mounds of excrement as you walk between your bedroom and the kitchen, the only two rooms to which you still bother to venture. You won't bother feeding him, content with the knowledge that he's already gorging himself on your furniture and various belongings. You try to avoid contact with him, if only because the sight of him wracks you with guilt.

Nobody will come to visit any more. If the disgusting state of your apartment weren't sufficient deterrent, your dog's surly attitude and aggression would be.

You'll know deep inside that this was all a gigantic mistake. How could you be expected to care for another living being when you can't even take care of yourself? How could you expect to train a dog, to control another creature, when you can scarcely control yourself?

Research indicates a tendency for dogs to look like their owners. With your standoffish personalities, swollen guts, and thick coats of "Oopsies", the two of you will be just another tally in the spreadsheet.

Enjoy your new best friend.