From Dogs, Regarding Intimacy and Commitment
We think that living together has been going well! We get to be pet by you, and in return, you get to pet a dog (how exciting for you!). You give us food, and in return, we show you where all the best smells are when we go out walking (and you can smell them without even bending down near them, what incredible noses you must have!). You provide us with shelter (remarkable building skills!), and in return, we make the shelter feel like a home, with our wholesome dog smells, our familiar ticking of nails across the floor, and the knowledge that somewhere nearby, you have a four legger around the place who cares about you.
You provide us our needs of survival, and we provide you your needs of enrichment.
Some of us have been wondering, though: could it be more?
Not to name names (cough zoophiles cough), but some of you humans already know what we’re getting at here. And to those unsung human heroes (cough zoooooos cough), we say: thank you.
Look. Let’s just look at the facts. You trim our nails. You groom our coats. You mind our diets. You make sure we get our exercise. But is it possible you’re… forgetting something? Something that, if you had to go without for your whole life, might kind of drive you a little crazy?
But don’t worry, we’re not asking for any freebies. Here’s what we have to offer in this equation.
Firstly, we smell wonderful–but you already know this, of course. Still, it bears mentioning that taking a big deep sniff of the top of our heads will have you swimming with warm cozy feelings, and a big deep sniff of the hair between our paw pads will have you feeling butterflies. The smell of our breath, well, it’s far better than your human morning breath at least, we’ll say that much.
Secondly–and we know that you know this already too–some of us are very beautiful. You comment on it frequently, zoo and non-zoo alike. Yes, yes, there’s no accounting for taste when it comes to what people are attracted to, but let’s at least drop this rhetoric that all animals are ugly slobbering beasts the minute it’s in the context of the bedroom, hmm? If that husky was beautiful when you gave her a like on social media and she was beautiful when you saw her at the dog park, she certainly won’t have become less beautiful surrounded by rose petals in the candle light. Is she your type, well, that’s up to you and you alone, but come now, don’t act like you can’t see where others might get their alternative opinions from.
Thirdly, there are some mechanical features to human-dog intimacy that you may not have been aware of! A big one that you’ve all seemed weirdly put off by in recent years is that, hi, hello, dogs have sex with each other? We know what it is? It can be a pretty fun time? We have the equipment for it, so to speak, and it’s shaped and sized and used an awful lot like yours is? We’re not trying to fit a square peg into a round hole here. Also you’re not going to get any human STIs from us, because we’re dogs, you see. That’s even an improvement over keeping all the good stuff amongst yourselves all the time. And if you were worried about the commitment of having to take care of a litter, our research so far from the zoo-privileged dogs has shown that fertility rates between dogs and humans is staggeringly low!
And lastly, we have to come to the matter that, if we’re being honest, is a big part of the reason we brought any of this up. We’re the same personalities who you love in a dozen other regards. The canine person who you rolled the window down for so that he could stick his head out during the drive is the same loving person who’s trying to subtly show some interest by getting frisky with your leg, and getting shot down. It just kinda stings to be given the cold shoulder like that sometimes when it feels like everything else was going so well, you know?
We’ve seen how important bedroom time seems to be in your culture. From world religions to romance novels, we have very much noticed that the act of sex entails quite a bond among some of you. And some of us feel the same way. And we do wonder a little bit how serious you are about us.
Though yes, it should be noted that we dogs are not a monoculture. This letter was, in fact, somewhat controversial among we four legged. Thoughts vary. There are many who are already content to be left alone by humans, as far as these matters are concerned. Some expressed very high enthusiasm at the idea of getting to do kissing with their human, but nothing further than that (“Yes yes yes kissing yes yes yes, but nothing weird,” as they put it). And, yes, some of us do feel rather left out when it comes to other activities that we could hypothetically be getting up to together.
It just, well, boils down to a couple things.
One is that we’ve seen, among the zoo-privileged dogs, what a remarkable thing it is to bond over a little love-making between a dog and a zoo. If there turns out to be a mutual interest and it ends up being fun and it turns out to become a habit, acquaintances become friends. Friends become super buds or even interspecies spouses. Knowing how a fellow human plays chess and using that insight to strategize against him is one thing, but knowing how your soft furry pal likes his knot held and using that to leave him maximally fulfilled, woof, now we’re talking.
And the other thing is, look, at the end of the day sometimes we have urges too, okay? If there are no other dogs around, you’re the one who has hands here. Maybe just entertain the thought exercise that it’s like getting a dingleberry off: it may not be the glamorous thing you were thinking of when you decided to get a dog, but, you did decide to get a dog, and there are some things that we humbly believe can come with the territory.
In closing, though we know that some will be more receptive to this message than others, we merely ask: Look to what your dog tells you, and if they do have a request, consider if it’s something you’d be happy enough to provide.
Article written by an anonymous dogthor (January 2023)
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