Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Man's Best (Girl)Friend

I hesitate to write this blog only because I’m fully aware of the negative ways a comparison between owning a dog and having a girlfriend can come off. It could seem crass, insensitive, and just plain rude. And yet, I’m going to write it anyways.

For those of you who haven’t been bombarded by the pictures on Facebook of my treasure/terror, more commonly known as Abbey, I recently adopted a puppy from the shelter. Not the Chihuahua from my earlier post. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to help her. But at the same shelter, I found a cute little mutt who has come to be known as “the Abbster” or “Abba-Labba Ding-Dong” or “Abbey Dhabi” (when she’s behaving well) or “Abigail” or “Little Shit” (when she’s misbehaving) or “Fergie” (when she’s peeing all over the floor).

Abbey is working on next year's Super Bowl
Halftime performance as we speak.

Before I saw the Chihuahua running across the street a few weeks back-- an event that has had a domino effect on my life, leading me to where I am right now (sitting on my couch with Abbey nibbling the corner of my laptop)-- I had no intention of getting a dog. They’re always nagging you for attention, they never listen to your demands, and they’re expensive as hell. And although the easy joke would be to say, “And that’s where the girlfriend comparisons begin!” I’m not taking this blog in that direction.

While I put Abbey through the best Puppy Boot Camp I can-- a regimen of Beggin’ Strips, butt spankings and stern finger pointings-- she’s putting me through a type of Girlfriend Boot Camp, training me to be more prepared for my next relationship. And the results are impressive! I’m learning to share my bed (I usually like to spread out when I sleep), I’m starting to go out less and have more calm nights at home in front of the TV (Abbey is really into Family Guy), and my baby talk voice has even come back (to the disturbance of my roommate who hears some pretty strange one-sided conversations coming from my room).

Maybe he'll start going to the gym again
when you go back to shaving your legs.
Most of all, I’m learning to think about other people's needs and work them into my typically Todd-centric schedule, an issue I’ve struggled with in past relationships. For example, Abbey has many hobbies such as eating, going to the bathroom, chasing tennis balls, chewing shoes, and growling at her beaver (I know that last one sounds weird, but I’m referring to her stuffed animal). So because I have to come home and take care of all of Abbey’s pressing needs, I no longer can go to dinner with the guys or hit the gym after work. That’s right, I’m not seeing my friends as much and I’m getting fat. If those aren’t symptoms of having a girlfriend, I don’t know what are.

The most glaring similarity between owning a dog and having a girlfriend is the satisfaction one gets from all the hard work you put into the relationship. Sure it’s a pain to take Abbey on walks at 3 am or to wrestle with her after a long day of work, but in the end, when she gives me kisses and undying love, it’s all worth it. And that’s what a human-to-human relationship should be, too. Whenever I see my friends fight with their significant others or get yelled at for leaving the toilet seat up or have to miss out on going to a game because of dinner plans with the in-laws, I think to myself that it’s so much easier being single. But with most of them, I never see the intimate moments they share in private that make all of these difficult parts of their relationship worth it.

Abbey and her beaver.
What were you thinking?
And although in many ways it would be easier to stay on my own, I know that with anything in life, taking the easy route usually doesn’t bring as many benefits as taking the hard route. And I’ve been reminded of that from having Abbey in my life. So despite my occasional desires to be a bachelor or free of responsibility or just plain lazy when I get home from work, I’ve learned that I’m ready for a girlfriend. Even if I’ve realized that when I do get one-- because I’m such a sucker with the way that I love and care for Abbey, not to mention all the baby talk-- I will definitely be the one wearing the leash. I just hope I get as many awesome nicknames as Abbadabbadoo does.


  1. I'm so very impressed Todd. It's not often that a guy admits to needing to be more considerate or confesses to wanting those sweet intimate moments with a significant other....
    Is this all a ploy to win over some girl with your sensitive side???
    Either way, I'll be sharing this blog. ;-)
    Well done sir!

  2. Bana, if good writing was all it took to get laid I'd be Wilt Chamberlain.

  3. Buddy of mine... I meant the content. Not the quality. ;-)

  4. Todd, this blog exudes growth and maturity. I am very surprised and disappointed. JK man, unexpected, but interesting blog. I can't wait to meet her soon.

  5. Is this the best that Michael can come up with? To think that Darryl had already anointed him as funniest in the group.

  6. I'm just impressed he knew what the word "exudes" means.

  7. Sorry to disappoint you - he actually meant "excludes".

  8. Love it...Abbey is adorable so are you ;)