June 6, 2010

The Magnet: Managing your Expectations of the Benefits of Dog Ownership

As a young, healthy American male I have certain expectations of the Rules and Laws of Attraction. I'm not talking about the James Van Der Beek film, just so we're clear. I think my expectations are both well founded and reasonable, and they are as follows.

  • The ability to play a guitar will correct any unfortunate physical attributes up to premature baldness as well as, and more importantly, an utter lack of income. 
  • An accent from any of the British Isles or former commonwealth colonies (except Canada) will offset any personality flaws. Note: Australian and Scottish are best. Cockney only appeals to immature dudes. 
  • Driving an awesome car implies you have a really small penis. However, some girls are willing to overlook this. It also is guaranteed to make all other men irrationally jealous. Pending your outlook and strategy, this may outweigh the small penis implications.
  • Dogs are a guaranteed "chick magnet." Whereas cats denote your sterility and mommy issues, a dog assures all women that you are virile and not a push over. A dog is a subtle way of letting you walk around to boast of your ability to impregnate. Even if a woman doesn't want this now, she'll pencil you in for "eventually."
Let's be frank. The benefits of dog ownership are many. You get an (ideally) cute creature that licks your face, often with feces on the breath. You have a new monetary drain on your bank account. Most importantly, you have a compelling reason to be up at 5:30 AM. If you're unaware of what 5:30 AM is, don't seek it out. It's a terrifying place.

These benefits of dog ownership are not, however, the ones detailed in bullet item #4 above. They are not a magnet. To be more specific, they are not a good magnet. I have prepared a simple series of case studies to support this thesis, though with the evidence before me I'm ready to just call it scientific law.

Note: I am not single and that makes this article's purpose understandably confusing and questionable. Know that I am a scientist. I do not always seek knowledge for myself. It's called being unselfish. You should look it up.

The Biggles Effect
Dog ownership allows you to approach that large group of people milling about the park with puppies and dogs yipping and wrestling. These groups are usually filled with a broad mix of people, and typically a mix of broads.

Dogs will be dogs.

They wrestle. They bark. Sometimes they get a bit protective, which means wrestling turns to mashing teeth and friendly barking turns to clich├ęd hag mother-in-law shouting (but in dog speak).

An ugly dog named Mr. Biggles (not Bigglesworth mind you) bit my little puppy in the ass. Woah there Biggles! Not cool. Mr. Biggles was owned by a woman, so as you can imagine when we went to fetch our belligerent hounds an opportunity was created out of chaos. Am I using my dog's misfortune for inter-gender relational benefits? Absolutely.

Unfortunately, we didn't have that accidental hand touch as we went for collars. We didn't make eye contact when we knelt to apprehend the beasts. And that's good because Mr. Biggles' owner was old and unrepentant for her dog's misdeeds.

"Bro!" says you. "Take advantage of the Grey Wolf!" Point noted. However, one must steer clear of the den of the type of Grey Wolf who names her dog, a name she must use out loud and in public, Mr. Biggles.

CONCLUSION: Dog people can be nuts and like parents of human children, will often see way, way past their dog's flaws. The stupidity of the animal's name and ugliness of the breed are typically good indicators of badness. Remember, hot chicks prefer cute animals.

Cuteness brings us to our next point.

Chasing After Peaches
It is entirely possible to go too cute. Some breeds are more guilty of unnecessary cuteness than others. I picked the worst offender.

I mean goddamn. Look at that. Acceptable breeds for cuteness include Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Samoyeds, and most Bulldogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs are also on the approved list.

However, once you start picking animals with ridiculously stupid proportions that favor chubbiness, awkward walking, and comparisons to rabbits you're in trouble. You have failed.

You can perhaps salvage this if you give your dog a manly name and teach them cool tricks. Then you can say things like "Sure, Dash isn't a bruiser like that lab over there, but check out this Frisbee flip."

Instead, I find myself running through a packed Crissy Field with a leash in my left hand and filled poo bag in the right shouting "Peaches! Peaches! Come back Peaches!"

I have used the following graph to convey this via science. Note: It's been a while since I've taken economics, so this may be incredibly wrong.

CONCLUSION: Your ability to use your dog to attract females is negated almost entirely if you push too far on the cuteness scale. A pretty cute dog gets you a phone number. A ridiculously cute dog gets you on the friend ladder. You need to ask your breeder or rescue clinic the tough question of "Is this dog too cute?"

It Takes Two to Dog Walk
Young women apparently don't obtain dogs on their own. From my two months of study they walk their parents' dog or obtain one with their steady boyfriend. This behavior is what psychologists refer to as "entering the breach" as it's the first step towards parenting.

The boyfriends are always there so I'm not even sure sleazy guys could work their way in. Bored, disinterested, the boyfriends sit on the bench and play with their iPhone while their lady socializes with other owners. They don't even scope out the other bitches.

I have heard of bars that allow dogs (I heard this on NPR so it must be true). If there are bars filled with dog owners, I believe it's fair to assume the following:

1.) There are single women there.
2.) There are single women drinking, some to excess.
3.) There are some single women drinking excessively and acting with promiscuity.
4.) There are one-night-stands.

So there's hope! But, my question is -- do the dogs watch? And are they drunk? Due to some of the trash found at dog parks (See Also: "The Biggles Effect"), I'm inclined to believe the answer to at least one of those questions is a resounding yes.

CONCLUSION: Like the animals we think we've domesticated, humans are social creatures. Even though 99% of the time a female will be paired with a male for eventual breeding purposes, there are potential venues for hunching.

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