This post may make a lot of you tune me out forever.

You may hate me, say mean things about me, and write me off as a feelingless monster.

I accept this reality and understand that you have to do what you have to do.

But I can’t hide my feelings any longer. I must bare my soul to the world. For honesty’s sake.

I hate dogs.

Okay okay I know that hate is a strong word.

I dislike dogs immensely.

And yet, all dogs (and often their owners) think that I absolutely adore those gunky eyes, matted fur filled with tiny biting bugs, that garbage disposal odor, and the slimy tongues.

They are wrong.

I understand that some people feel this way about babies, and rightfully so – they’re fairly smelly and gunky creatures as well. So I was careful to never foist my babies on anyone without them asking first – because I knew how I felt about those people’s dogs.

But dog owners, in general, do not seem to have figured this out. Especially the ones that take their dogs to see the Easter Bunny.

I find dogs to be a most disgusting animal, listed right behind Armadillos, and the only reason they win is because they’re usually dead.

But back to dogs.

On one of our regular walks, we often see a very rotund wiener dog (his belly actually drags the ground as he walks), and the dog’s owner always makes a point to cross the trail and bring the dog over to us…despite the fact that I and my children always back away from him and the dog. But he’s convinced we want nothing more in life than to scoop that monstrosity of a tiny dog into our arms and kiss him alternately on his nose and mouth.

And then there are the dogs on my favorite running trails. Without fail, they always feel the need to run over to me as I’m passing their owner and attempt to wrap their leash around my legs as I run full speed past them. One day when I break both my legs and dislocate my hips, shoulders and finger joints with one single fall, please know that a dog was responsible.

But they think that I cherish them. Because all dogs do.

One especially long spell of dog adoration included two dogs on our Mom’s Trip I planned not long ago. They came out of nowhere, no one knew who they belonged to, but they decided that they belonged to our group. They followed us everywhere, sat outside the lodge and looked woefully in as we ate, and laid on our front porch as we slept.

As I often do at Gorham’s Bluff, I walked out onto a rock ledge past the gazebo to get some pictures of the valley below.


This made the dogs extremely nervous. They continually paced from me to my friends whimpering and attempting to drag my friends to the ledge to save me. When I finished my pictures and came off the rock cliff, they celebrated with leaps and yelps and a thorough licking of my legs.

Not cool, dogs.

For the rest of the weekend, they decided that I belonged to them. They had saved my life, and now we were inexorably bound together.

Everywhere I went, I looked like this:


That dog is gazing so lovingly up at me as I instruct him to leave me alone and never slobber on me ever again.

And here it looks like I’m smiling, but it’s just the corners of my mouth in motion, repeatedly telling those dogs how much I dislike them and that they should really go find someone else to adopt.


I’m awful. Really.

But by far the worst dogs are hiking dogs. Because they’ve been through mud and water and they think that you most certainly want in on that deal.

Last week, Ali and I went hiking while Noah was in school. We were enjoying the beautiful day and the waterfalls,


when two girls and four large dogs crossed our paths. After a good fifteen minutes of a doggy/human photoshoot in front of the waterfall they commandeered from us, they were ready to move on. But not until after the dogs came over and rubbed all up on Ali and I, almost tripping her, and thoroughly soaking my pants with dog-infused waterfall.

The girls giggled affectionately and looked at each other happily as they watched their dogs “love” on us, despite our clear body language of attempted avoidance.

But then. We had gotten lost on the way back (we’d taken a new path), and were running late for Noah’s carpool. We finally made it to the last stretch of trail before the parking lot – a very narrow path running about fifteen feet above the stream. Below us there was a Labradoodle enjoying a deep pool in the stream while his owner was on the other side.

Of course the dog saw us. Because all dogs think I live to cuddle with them.

He barked. He swam all the way across the creek. He climbed the steep slope up to where we were. And he proceeded to gleefully run back and forth between Ali and I, rubbing, shaking, and gifting us with the gallons of water stored in his high-volume Labradoodle coat. While licking us generously to cover over any dry spots.

The owner, much like the last owners we ran across, clearly assumed that we didn’t mind his dog nearly knocking us off the path that we had been previously speed-walking down.

He also seemed to interpret our body language of shying away from the dog and literally climbing the mountain to escape him as actually being pent-up love for his dog.

We picked up our pace, trying to lose this foul creature, but he matched it and increased his frequency of sharing our personal space.

Finally, because he realized he was losing his dog down the opposite path, the owner crossed the creek and began calling the varmint.

No luck. The dog clearly liked us better.

We picked up pace.

The dog picked up pace.

The owner picked up pace.

Finally, he caught up and had to literally drag his besodden creature off of our legs.

And so we showed up to carpool dead last and smelling of Muddycreekadoodle.

I strongly dislike dogs.

And I completely understand if you now strongly dislike me.

54 thoughts on “The Feeling Is Not Mutual.

  1. No judgment here. I’m totally with you. Probably because I was raised by a dog-hater (the nomad dogs in our community used to love my dad’s garden…). It doesn’t help that all my inlaws are dog lovers. When one dies, they go right out & get a new one (I’ve been married a while & they always get rescue dogs so this has happened a few times). Then we have to arrange any family gatherings around when the little lickers need to go to the bathroom or what hotels allow them to sleep inside. They can be cute, but mostly for me- they’re a pain in the butt!

  2. I do hate them and I am not ashamed to say it. Dog lovers think their annoying creatures are loved by everyone but they are wrong! And the more you hate dogs the more they try to win you over. Take heart, you are not alone.

  3. Well I love dogs but when I owned dogs I never assumed others did so I always kept them close unless the other person approached and asked if they could pet them. It helped that one of my dogs didn’t really like people other than hers (my family) she was an Australian Cattle dog who are very territorial by nature.

    I am sorry that you are always having dogs forced upon you. But know that not all dog owners are like those you seem to encounter some us try to respect other people’s space.

  4. Aww, it’s okay. Instead of disowning you (even though I am a lover of ALL dogs), I just hope that someday you can meet a dog that will change your mind–they can be wonderful little friends and companions. I don’t know what I would do without mine. (Except have a truly clean house. And be able to wear white without fear of paw prints. And not have to pick up poo in the back yard. But it’s all worth it to me because I adore them.) I would never, ever foist them on anyone, though, because I am an introvert and hate any kind of unwanted contact, either animal or human.

    1. You never know…miracles do happen. :-)

      We did have dogs growing up and I liked them okay, but never loved them, I loved my rabbits though, because I’m a weirdo.

  5. haha. Love this post. I’m not a big dog fan either! And some owners forget this and let their dogs jump up on anybody without thinking that not everyone likes them and some people are a bit nervous of big dogs.. That picture of the two dogs following you walking is really quite sweet though!

  6. I totally get your post! I love my dog. But not all dogs. I am very selective. You were typing my exact thoughts when I meet dogs on a run, at the park, etc.

  7. Guessing you don’t have thoughts of hurting dogs. I’m not classifying you as a monster. Yet.

    I have a dog. I love MY dog. I generally only like dogs that I know and have grown to love. I can’t stand dogs jumping on me, and licking or sniffing me (sometimes in private areas). If you are a germ freak, never own a dog.

    That said, I can turn into a crying mess if talk turns to our dog that we had to say goodbye to a year or so ago. When they’re your best friend, there’s nothing better.

    That’s pretty much how I feel about babies and children. I love MY children. Other people’s babies and children? Cute, but I don’t need to hold them and they can keep them.

    If you don’t like dogs, you just haven’t found the right one yet….maybe you never will…and that’s okay with me.

  8. I love dogs, but that should never keep us from being friends. I can tell by your tone (and probably your body language) that you don’t like other dogs but still have room in your heart for mine. I am guessing that you would be so happy if MY dog were to run up to you, asking for attention. Shhhh. Don’t deny it. It’s OK.

  9. I’m halfway there with you. I like MY dogs. But they’re small fluffy shih-tzus who live mostly indoors and are bathed regularly and do not drool. And again, they’re small. Small dogs = small messes. Small dogs = easier to control. Because you can pick their furry butts up and toss them into the backyard if they’re being a pain.

    I do not like big dogs. At least I like very few of them. They have to be extremely mellow and sweet tempered. I cannot stand my in-laws’ dogs. They’re awful. And my father in law used to be completely delusional about it and thought they were the most angelic dogs on the planet. But there was an intervention conducted by my husband and my mother in law. The dogs went to training. I still have no great love for them, but it’s not pure torture to be around them at least.

    Isn’t it weird how animals are always drawn to people who don’t like them? It’s like me and cats. I can’t stand cats. There are exactly two cats in my lifetime that I have liked. Plus my husband and son are highly allergic. But where do the cats park it? On MY lap. Of course.

      1. I know right?? I wasn’t there. I was seven months pregnant and the stupid dogs would seriously knock me over jumping on me. And my toddler was terrified of them. Things have changed a lot though. They even put the dogs away when people come over, at least for a while until the dogs calm down. It’s nice.

  10. I love my dog. He’s small, he’s clean, he doesn’t bark, he doesn’t lick people, he doesn’t jump up on your legs when you enter a room. Everyone who’s ever met him loves him.

    But I would never force him on anyone. When we’re out for walks I just keep walking, unless the person we cross paths with *explicitly* says they’d like to pet him.

    Unruly dogs are generally poorly trained, and I think you can feel free to judge their owners.

      1. We also keep him groomed and brushed. No mats, no smelly. I am actually more judgey of poorly trained dogs and their owners now :)

  11. I am with you! There is nothing worse than dog licks in my book, and to see people letting one lick them in the face is enough to send me into spasms. We won’t even talk about the video I saw of a man allowing a dog to lick INSIDE his mouth. *shiver*

  12. I love my dog and a few other dogs, but I am not a dog-lover. People who take their dogs everywhere, put them on equal standing with children, and let them roam free bug the heck out of me.

  13. I read this because I suspected you were going to say you didn’t like dogs. I’ve had dogs all my life but they belonged to my husband or my kids. I was more annoyed with them than anything. And I couldn’t understand people loving dogs like one of their kids. I had a reasonable fondness for our family dogs, but I never “really loved” a dog until I kept my daughter’s Japanese spitz puppy for 2 months while she was in Uganda teaching in orphanages on a missions trip. I fell. Head over heels. If you could’ve told me it would happen, I wouldn’t have believed you. However, the spitz breed is different from other dogs in many ways. One way is they have a Teflon coating on their fur and dirt and mud just falls off of them. They require few baths and they don’t smell like regular dogs. Their fur has a cotton candy scent. And I quickly learned how smart this breed is. I could never trick her into doing anything. She was too smart. To me, she was more like a child with fur. She is the first dog I truly loved. A couple of years later, we got our own American spitz puppy. He is the second dog I have loved in my life. He also has the Teflon fur and cotton candy scent and no doggie breath. So. It was really just a matter of finding the right breed of dog in my case. I can’t say I love all dogs, but now I do have compassion for all dogs. The spitz breed eliminated many of my reasons for not liking dogs. Koda is so close to us, he’s like a family member. From knowing and loving these two dogs, my heart has broken for all dogs in kill shelters and those abused and used for fighting. We’ve rescued many dogs, and helped some fosters find homes. So, Give yourself some years and some time. You may find that one day you’ll unexpectedly meet the perfect furry friend who will surprisingly turn your heart in a different way. Those puppy eyes just might melt you one day when you least expect it. It happened to me. :)

  14. Time for some assertiveness training! Don’t be afraid to tell the dogs, “NO!” very sternly. And don’t feel bad about it – my opinion is that their owners are the rude ones for not stopping their dogs before they get to you. Or better yet, training them to not behave like this. I love dogs, but despise the poorly trained ones.

  15. I completely get it. I *am* a dog lover, but I don’t automatically assume that everyone is. When I take my dog in public, she’s always on a leash. I keep her right beside me and don’t let her approach strangers unless they specifically indicate they want to greet her. I get terribly annoyed by many dog owners who ignore leash laws and let their dogs roam free in public spaces or take their dogs into stores. My son was bitten by the neighbors’ dog, and terrified of all dogs for several years. I finally convinced him that not all dogs are mean and we found our sweet little rescue dog, who he adores immensely. I realize that some people are afraid of dogs and some simply don’t like them or are allergic to them, so it’s not fair for any dog owner to assume their dog is welcome by everyone.

  16. I love my dog, she is like family to us….but we do not take her everywhere we go. She’s content at home. I do know some folks who take their dogs EVERY WHERE and it drives me crazy.

  17. I am half way there. I like dogs well enough and would maybe get a medium sized dog in the future, but dog owners who assume you like their dog drive me crazy. I have had large dogs jump up on my small children, scaring them half to death and screaming only to have the owners laugh it off like “he’s so friendly.” Not cool. And I don’t like strangers dogs. If I don’t know you then I don’t want to get to know your dog. But my oldest absolutely loves dogs. She had been begging for one for years and knows all the neighbors by their dogs.

  18. I like dogs. I want a dog. But I totally understand!!! This weekend specifically. We were playing at the beach and a dog ran over to my son as his owner was leaving. My husband pulled out son back the owner called out, to us not her dog, and said “he’s friendly!” My husband hollered back “he’s allergic!” The owner then tried to get her dog back. =( Don’t assume. Even though they my kid loves dogs that doesn’t mean they can be all over him!

  19. We are dog lovers in our home. We have two Buggs (Boston Terrier/Pug mixes) name Oscar and Mia. They spend the majority of their time inside, except for walks and “bathroom breaks,” well for Oscar anyway. Mia is litterboxed trained so we just have to let her out into the garage.

    I will admit they can be yappy, and will attempt to jump on you for attention as soon as you walk in the door. However, when out in public they are always on a leash and under control. We love them dearly.and will be heartbroken when either of them pass.

    That being said… our family despises cats. Our neighbours have two that they allow to wander the neighbourhood on a daily basis. At least once a week we will see them stalking and very often killing birds in our yard. They also lay in yard and seem to be taunting our dogs who are restricted to our deck, and wander in and out of our garage if the door is left open. Last summer our neighbours asked if we had seen their grey cat as it had been missing for 4 days. Later that afternoon, my husband went to get the lawn mower and the cat came running out like a shot when he opened the doors, from what we could tell it had been trapped without food or water the entire time.

    It is beyond me why people do not keep their cats at home. We never have a loose dog in our neighbourhood, however we have cats wandering all over digging up flower beds, messing on our lawns, and as already mentioned killing birds. It irks me to no end. Rant over

    So if you don’t hold my disdain for cats against me, I won’t hold your loathing of dogs against you. :o)

    1. Ha! Fair enough. That’s now why we have not one, but TWO stray cats who call our porch/yard home. The kids like their company and they don’t cause any trouble, so it’s fine with us. But it does seem rather irresponsible for their real owners to let them roam to the point that they take up with another family nearly full-time.

  20. I feel you. Not being a huge fan of dogs, myself, I always think dogs can sense that and they’re really just trying to change your mind. By jumping on you. And licking you. The only dogs I really like are big, docile dogs that are lazy. My dad has a fat weimeriner (sp?) who is quite lethargic and cuddly. I’m okay with him. I’ve always said I’d like a great dane, because they strike me as huge and lazy, as well. I’d name him Kevin. I don’t know why. I think it really boils down to being a die-hard cat person, and I feel like you can’t be both.

  21. LOL…could never hate you! I love all animals…but with boundaries. My pet peeve is letting your animal run wild, whether at home or in public. I get up at 5:15am to walk my dogs..on a leash. When we walk them during the day, or at night…they are on a leash! If we go to the dog park…well, at least until we get inside one of the fenced sections..they are on a leash. There are families in my neighborhood that let their dogs run wild because they are too lazy to walk them. My other pet peeve is bringing your dog into a business. NO!!! I don’t care if the clerks are ok with it and your dog behaves…you have no idea if other people are allergic to them or will bring in THEIR dogs…and its just weird.

  22. I totally get it!! I like dogs, and whenever I see a cute one, I almost want to get one. But then reality hits, and I see visions of ME cleaning up dog poop, dog hair, dog throw up. After taking care of five children, I just can’t!!! So I am content with petting Rover on hi cute little head, and going home to a dog-free environment!! My pet peeve: the dog owners who don’t know how to clean up after their dog poops!!! Grrrrr!!!!

    1. Oh yes. I totally left out the part about avoiding dog poop and dog vomit on my runs. Once there was a giant pile of dog vomit within feet of the “do not let your dog poop on the trail” sign. I guess they inferred the “but giant pukes are just fine!”

  23. Lol! I admit I don’t know how anyone could not like dogs, but I feel that way about cats so I guess it’s understandable. There is NOTHING good about cats! They are horrible, repulsive creatures! They are only cute for a few months as kittens. So as long as you can live with my cat hatred I can live with your dog hatred. :)

    1. haha I LOVE dogs. I can’t understand not liking them, but I love Rachel and her kids are too cute so she gets a big ol’ pass. Especially because she seems to have a sense of humor about it! LOL I used to be like you and absolutely hated cats–thought they had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Then I got a tiny little kitty when it was only 4 weeks old and I still couldn’t stand cats! LOL Somehow, he grew on me and I must admit, I’m a kitty lover. Once I stopped expecting cats to behave like dogs (that is, be trainable!) I developed a whole new respect for them. Also, they’re just so darn cute.

  24. I’m not a dog-hater, but I can totally relate. I hate cats. I’m allergic to cats. And despite these facts, cats are attracted to me. I’ve been rubbed, stretched upon, licked, purred at, meowed at, and tangled up in so many felines over the years. I’ve come to believe that they all have a sixth sense and are openly mocking me with their “love”.

  25. I’m with you. I feel sure of my eternal reward because I’ve given up everything I believe in for the sake of my die hard, dog loving husband and son. That’s right. I, a person who shudders to be around dogs, now have a large flatulent, more-hair-shedding-than-I ever-dreamed-possible, slobbering, carpet ruining, more-work-than-a-baby, people-climbing, face licking, under-your-feet-every-minute, four-legged beast who has made me into a human lint brush, son-nagging, crazy-minded, itchy, flea checking, poo-between-the-toes, mouth breatingr, glove wearing, lunatic, . It’s enough to make me seek therapy.

  26. Reading this on my phone and, unfortunately, the pictures aren’t showing up. I would argue that cats are the most disgusting animal, though. :) we have one dog- the most low maintenance dog in the world- and we love her for it. We are definitely not like these weirdos you keep encountering, though. When our dog approaches a stranger for attention, we try to shoo her away from them. Normal people with common sense and the ability to relate to others should understand not everyone is a dog person, just like not everyone is a baby person. That’s the kicker, though- common sense seems to be in short supply!

  27. No judgment from me. I’m with you. And just a bit worried that my 16 month old LOVES our neighbor’s dog…

  28. I totally get this! I grew up with a dog and I loved him, but two reasons why I do not want one now: 1) I’m already responsible for cleaning up other’s poo, why would I want to add a dog to that? 2) we live in the PNW where it rains all the time. People still walk their dogs in the rain. That means wet, smelly dogs come back inside. No Bueno. Maybe in ten years?

  29. Clearly, you stole this post from me, replacing the word “cat” with “dog” and photoshopping yourself and random dogs into my pics. Shame, shame.

  30. I am allergic to a lot of dogs. Some I have a hard time with if I am in their environment too long butost it is just when they lick me or I pet them. I can not tell you how many times a dog owner tries to convince me that I can just pet the dog, he is friendly after I explain I am allergic. The argument of, just one pat on his head and he will love you does not win me over. I do like dogs, but my itchy eyes and hands and lovely hives keep me at arms length!!!

  31. I always hated dogs. I’m still terrified of my brother’s dog, I refuse to go into the backyard because I know she’ll jump up on me and lick me. But my in-laws dog is the greatest dog in the world, even a dog hater like me was able to fall in love with him. My husband is constantly begging to get a dog and I’m so torn, I think I could only have one if it behaves exactly like my in-law’s dog… for now I make sure we live in apartments that don’t allow dogs to make it impossible for him to get one. It may seem mean but it’s necessary.

  32. Dogs are gross. Wouldn’t be so bad if not for the hair, drool, licking, barking, and poop. So…stuffed animals.

  33. Take all of your feelings about dogs and add an allergy that makes any part of your body that touches a dog break out in itchy hives and causes swelling and itching of your eyes and throat if you get within 20 feet of a dog even outdoors…and you’d be me. One of those “Ha ha, don’t worry, he’s friendly!” dog owners can really derail my plans, as I seek out water to wash off the dog dander and take some Benadryl and try not to scratch myself raw before it takes effect..

    I ride public transit to and from work. My office is a few blocks away from a school for the blind. If a person with a helper dog is on a bus, I have to get off. Their legal rights trump mine. This is one reason I have an unlimited bus pass rather than paying by the ride!

    I recently tried the ePantry service (review of the service and lots of green cleaning products here) and the literature with my order bragged that they have 3 dogs in the office, as if that makes them more green. But it doesn’t–dogs are BAD for the environment–and it also makes me concerned that my order could be contaminated with dog dander, although I haven’t had any problem so far. I keep seeing articles about hip new businesses that let people bring their dogs to work, as if that’s proof of cool, and I’ve never yet seen one that acknowledged that some people are allergic to dogs. Grrrr!

  34. I am definitely not a dog lover. I was terrified of dogs as a kid – big dogs like the doberman that my friend owned sent me into a panic and small dogs like the dachshund my neighbor owned made me run for the hills. By the time I was a teenager I got over the fear and reached an understanding with dogs = if you stay at least 10 feet away from me I can admire a few of your cute qualities. My husband is a HUGE DOG LOVER. After 10 years of marriage and a move to a home with a large yard he and our daughters were able to convince me that we had to become a dog family. Naturally the dog they fell in love with is rather large, fairly smelly, extremely hairy, and obsessed with me. It drives me nuts. My husband keeps saying it is only a matter of time until I fall in love, but it has been 3 years and love is NOT a word I would use. There are days when I truly hate this animal due to her waking the baby and days when I tolerate her. I’ve taken her on walks a few times when my husband is sick and the idea is almost fun, until she yanks my arm off while trying to chase a cat. And cats are not any better. Kittens are cute. Cats are just obnoxious.
    I echo so many of your sentiments and just want to add exclamation marks to your words!!!! Man, I sound really cranky when talking about animals.

  35. Unfollow.

    Wait. Scratch that. I want to know what Chris thinks of dogs?

    I. I just don’t understand . . . it’s like the whole internet is a lie now . . . I can see being ambivalent about dogs, but I feel like this has moved past, into an unhealthy hate . . . what can we do to fix this? Should we all chip in and buy you a puppy? Who hurt you? Are you passing this on to your children? Egads!


    Okay. Maybe not. But maybe.

    1. Oh! Don’t leave me! I actually like you!

      It’s actually the other way around. I didn’t mind dogs until I had kids that hated them. Then they made me hate them because I was constantly having to shield them from the dogs they disliked. They’re still not fans but that’s at their choosing. They like certain dogs that are in their lives a lot, but not if they get hyper.

      So my children hurt me, Travis.

      Buying me a puppy would DEFINITELY not aid your case.

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