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Monday, February 22, 2016

Walking the dog

We got a new Cairn Terrier to replace the old one. (The new one is dark, which makes him the spitting image of Toto.) My wife was away this weekend, so it was my job to exercise the dog. I did so in the dog-walking area of my hometown.

While there, four different women started conversations with me. They had no interest in me, the cute little Cairn was the draw. But I was still surprised they would just start talking with me. When I'm dog-less, most people seem to view me as a potential Ted Bundy. With one, I'm evidently instantly trustworthy.

As I said in the post linked above, I'm not really a dog lover. I appreciate their many remarkable qualities. They are fierce, great runners, have incredible senses of smell, and are loyal and protective. But I'm not so overflowing with maternal instinct that my affections slop over onto anything furry and vaguely cute.

Women are different. Millions of years of evolution have selected them to feel affectionate toward anything small and cute. And they are completely uninhibited about coming up and ooh-ing and aah-ing over a 20 pound Cairn.

Dogs have long had a reputation as a useful prop for men looking to meet women. I now see why; if I were young and on the prowl, I'd consider getting one.


Jackie M said...

Very true about the female gender's nurturing instinct. My 3-year old Down syndrome son Noah started a new childcare a few weeks ago; because of his condition he is "diminutive" (doctor's term, not mine). I was told by the childcare centre workers that the girls in his class have really taken to him and just want to play "house" and feed cups of "tea" to "baby Noah" all day. The teachers say they keep having to tell the girls he's not a "baby" and I'm sure they have their reasons to train the kids to consider him as one of them rather than someone to coddle and pet, but I personally I find that really cute since I had been very worried about his not fitting in.

John Craig said...

Jackie M --
There was a girl with Downs on the local track team my daughter was on and all of the girls seemed to take to her. They didn't treat her like a baby (she was older than Noah) but more like a much younger sister. I didn't see them at practice but at the meets they always cheered for her enthusiastically.

whorefinder said...

Having lived in NYC, I've found that lefty women who pick dogs pick small, yappydogs that they never train. The small for the cuteness, the small apartments, and the ease of care; the yappy for an alarm in case someone is threatening; the lack of training because their maternal instinct ends at "aww" and doesn't run to discipline. Often these dogs are bity and protective because the women are too self-centered to discipline them and the dogs start to think of themselves in charge of the women.

John Craig said...

Whorefinder --
Yes that rings a bell. Plus I think these women think they don't have to train the dogs because they're too small to be a threat to anyone. Our Cairn is on the small side but they were bred to be rodent hunters, not lap dogs. He's very well behaved outside the house, doesn't bark at all, but inside the house he barks way too much. Sorta reminds me of my daughter when she entered her teenage years. She would act like a perfect angel to outsiders, but in the privacy of our house would constantly tell me how I was a dork, or not funny, or lame, etc, etc.

Dave Moriarty said...

if the pup got this response try walking with a little baby in a carriage. talk about chick magnets! the baby brings ooo's and ahhs and being the caring dad gets points where the adoring fans are hoping to hear the missus tragically got hit by a bus.

of course I stop to see puppies too so they are universally appealing

John Craig said...

Dave --
You're right, women do go crazy over babies. I've never gotten all that excited about other peoples' babies, though occasionally I've been called upon to fake it.

I have to admit, puppies are cute. (Though I don't think they're worth the bother of basically having another child.)

Steven said...

I've noticed with family babies that a lot of women have a really strong and natural interest in them. Men love babies they are close to, their own children, grandchildren or nephew/niece and they enjoy bonding with them and take joy in them, but with women its on a different level and its more general.

When you see such things up close, they are so obvious. I've always got the impression women have more empathy than men on average too.

Unlike women hating PUA bloggers, I've always had very positive relationships with female family and friends (the only people who have harmed me have been male) so my instinct is to regard them positively.

I actually feel more affection for dogs I don't know than for people I don't know (ie some) and this isn't uncommon. I remember during the Paris terrorist attacks, a police dog was killed in a bomb. On some article a commenter wrote he was more sad about the dog than the people and it had A LOT of thumbs ups and people saying they relate. Dogs are seen as almost universally good natured, simple and innocent.

John Craig said...

Steven --
No question, men and women have different instincts. And are better at different things. If that weren't the case, evolution would have made no sense at all.

I've only read one PUA blogger, and while he's brilliant, he does seem to dislike women at some basic level that I can't help but suspect has something to do with his relationship with his mother.

Anonymous said...

me amd my buddy were just talking about this...I was telling him that, even better than the dog would be the CUTE TINY MUNTJAC DEER...there are several species being trendy pets, here is one acting cute:

John Craig said...

Anon --
You're absolutely right, a muntjac deer would be a real conversation starter. No woman would be able to walk by without commenting on it. I hadn't even realized that they were kept as pets.

Yikes, that house in the Youtube video has got to be one smelly place, between the cat and the deer.