That Guy: Dr. Doolittle

I think I should have made procrastination and writer’s block my that guy for the week, because it hit me so hard I didn’t even cobble together a that guy for last week. I know all two of my readers were really missing it so I’ve decided to bless y’all with a double dose of that guys. This week’s winner came to me as I reminisced on an encounter I had about a year ago (I know, why the hell am I thinking about conversations I had a year ago. I don’t have any idea either, ask my crippling anxiety). As I pondered over everything that happened I got increasingly annoyed with the way things happened and realized not only was this not the first time this happened to me but there’s no way I’m the only person that’s experienced this either. So, I’d like to dedicate this week’s nomination of Dr. Doolittle as That Guy to everyone who’s ever been harassed/antagonized by an amateur Jack Hanna.

I’ve written before about how annoying I find it that people take my dog to be a justification for talking to me. The whole reason I got a dog in the first place is so I wouldn’t have to talk to people as much. Yet here I am getting accosted every time I take her out in public by people wanting to assault my personal space with their completely useless comments and conversation. For the most part it’s largely benign, just people who can’t keep their hands to themselves and want to pet her. Occasionally I’ll get someone who thinks I’m just as horny to hear about their precious little angel buttersprinkles the toy Pomeranian as they are to coo baby talk at my dog while trying to fuse their face with hers (side note: she hates this and I always wind up having to apologize for her trying to eat the person who just tried to french kiss my dog). But about a year ago I got by far the most intrusive and insufferable encounter I’ve ever dealt with before and since.

I was sitting at Cain and Abel’s in Austin with my capital R roommate watching the Red River Shootout (Texas vs. Oklahoma football game). We got there a little late so by the time we sat down we were descending on an already impassioned and intoxicated crowd. This is never a good environment to bring a dog into. Drunk people love dogs. I know this from personal experience, both through observing how much more I enjoy my dog’s company and seeing drunk people lose their shit when a dog, particularly my dog, comes around. Somehow though, we made it to halftime without having to deal with anything greater than people wanting to stop and bless my pup with some head scratches or sneak a Snapchat pic while they sat across from us.

But then this audibly intoxicated woman sat next to us. As soon as she sat down she spotted Belle and lost it. She exclaimed like she’d just found a diamond in her nachos and proceeded to ask insist herself upon my dog’s existence. Now, Belle’s very choosy with the strangers she’ll tolerate. I’ve yet to find a rhyme or reason for it, some people she likes and some she won’t let get within two feet of her. Unfortunately, this woman was of the latter category. She reached down to give my dog a Lennie style pat on the head and Belle promptly let her know that’d be a great way for that woman to start getting all her packs of gloves at half off. I apologized, wrongly assuming this woman would do what everyone else does, slink off in disappointed rejection and never approach us again. She, however, was not to be discouraged. She spent the remainder of the game bribing my dog with queso slathered tortilla chips trying unsuccessfully to not only get her to accept her long enough to give her a head scratch, but to teach her to shake as well. All the while this woman is negotiating with my dog like Sherman and Lee at Appomattox she’s regaling me with her credentials as the area’s topmost animal expert. Finally I had to tell her drunk ass to stop putting my dog at risk for diabetes and take her “expertise” elsewhere. Reluctantly, she turned back to her own table while muttering my dog must surely have suffered abuse, otherwise she’d be doing backflips out of the palm of her hand.

Any animal owner has at one point or another encountered a situation like this. Some total stranger invites themselves into your world to impart their unsolicited ass harvested knowledge on animal ownership.

“What kind of dog is that? Oh, you’re not sure? I am, it’s got to be a Dalmatian ferret mix, my cousin’s next door neighbor’s grandma had a Dalmatian ferret mix when I was growing up and it looked exactly like your dog. You know Dalmatian ferret mixes can’t be out in the sun right? You’re basically killing your dog right now.”

Self proclaimed Doolittles are the worst. They never come to you with anything useful, it’s always Jeopardy trivia crap that’s not even correct in the first place. I appreciate you fostering ten dogs with your tip based salary, but that doesn’t give you the right to think it’s okay to flag me down and let me know I MUST dip my dog’s paws in honey before I take her out for a walk or else they’ll crack and bleed and she’ll go limp within the hour. Pretty sure the last time I took Belle to the vet the tech thought she was a third her actual age so I think we’re doing just fine. Just keep your holistic $57.99 a bag dog food to yourself and let me keep giving mine cheesy scrambled eggs once a week and a steak on her birthday. See you at the dog park (no you won’t, we hate the dog park).

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