Pets. You don’t own any but – you kinda do. Your camera roll is filled with pet selfies and your mom is always wondering why there are claw marks all over your favourite jeans. Not owning a pet but dating someone who does is like a hamper of tester bottles; free sneak previews into all the little perks AND drawbacks of having your own pet.
So here are 10 struggles we pseudo pet owners experience while dating an actual pet owner.
1. Surprise fur.
Everywhere. On the underside of your favorite sweater, between the keys on your laptop, in your mouth (why) – you could make a coat with the amount of hairballs that mysteriously appear in your room.
2. It’s a part-time relationship.
You’re only there for the cute moments; the midnight cuddles and playing fetch in the yard. You pose for those adorable selfies – but then you cringe at any thought of having to deal with drool, pee and other bodily excretions. To be honest, you’re still getting over the phase where you have to wash your hands after every cuddle session.
3. Splurging on exotic treats/toys/accessories.
Because you get to be the cool aunt that always visits with luxurious gifts to spoil the kids, then disappears when it’s time to change the diapers and rock them to sleep – while the real pet owners spend on boring, mundane things like veterinary bills and canned food.
4. Missing them while bae’s away on vacation.
Especially when they’re gone for a month-long ski trip in Canada and you’re fighting the urge to creepily visit their apartment when they’re not home just to reunite with their pets…
5. There’s a lot of collateral damage.
Or more specifically – having your brand new black leather flats gnawed on to bits because they thought it was their new chew toy. Plus, your stuff smells foreign. And pet code 101: whenever in doubt, eat to check if edible.
6. You can’t help the baby talk.
Yes, you know it’s annoying. And yes, it’s an animal, not a baby. But it’s mandatory – your voice has to go two octaves higher when you tell them how cute they are about 17 times in a row, then pinch their cheeks until you can feel them start to judge you.
7. Figuring out what is acceptable to feed them with.
So you’re not allowed to give them your leftover pepperoni pizza but they’re allowed to snag the vanilla cupcake off the coffee table? Someone please write a guidebook.
8. Constant temptation to get your own pet companion.
Because who wouldn’t want a best friend that can’t argue with you and is willing to give you love and attention 100% of the time? (Not to mention, a best friend that you can accuse of eating your homework and will definitely never sell you out.)
9. …but then constant reminders why you didn’t want all the responsibility in the first place.
Why don’t you have pets again? Oh right. Because you’re a lazy, irresponsible, forgetful piece of sh*t. And as much as you enjoy spending time with your boyfriend’s dogs, you have to remind yourself that you’re never the one to bathe them, hardly ever the one to walk them, only sometimes the one to feed them – though you’ll always be one to love them.
10. Not knowing who you’ll miss more.
…when you leave for college in the fall: your boyfriend or his dogs.
Okay, I guess that’s exaggerating a little. You’ll miss your boyfriend loads but they’ll come in a close second. They were after all the main third wheels in your relationship – perhaps even had a front row view of the first kiss (and many kisses after that). And no matter what other pets you’ll meet in the future, you won’t be able to help but compare and reminisce.
Because in your heart you’ll know, they are your first love of the pet-world – even though they were never truly yours.