Dealbreaker: The Guy Who Hated Dogs

Judging by box office returns, hundreds of thousands of people went to see “Marley & Me,” the movie about that goofy yellow Lab. My ex-boyfriend was most certainly not one of them.

I met “Greg” online. Actually, a friend of mine hand-selected him for me, apparently because when left to my own devices I choose poorly. In any event, Greg and I met for dinner, and I thought I’d struck gold. He was quick-witted, employed, and even mocked his own bald spot. So, at the end of dessert, when he went on a rant about how dogs smell and are “pathetic substitutes for children,” I refrained from punching him in the face and instead agreed to a second date. Besides, I thought, he might say he’s not a dog person, but once he meets my amazing dog Perry, all bets would be off. I mean, have you seen Perry?Full disclosure: I’m probably a little more “enthusiastic” than your average dog owner. Examples of this include but are not limited to getting Perry’s hair done by a “senior stylist” as part of his monthly Oatmeal Spa Package, obtaining pet health insurance on his behalf, and conducting annual holiday card photo shoots at Petco. I treat him the way I would want to be treated if I were a dog. The jury is still out on reincarnation, and a girl’s gotta hedge her bets.

My prediction that Greg would become a card-carrying ASPCA member upon merely glimpsing Perry turned out to be 100 percent false. As I gave Greg the grand tour of my apartment, Perry jumped up on him, barked, licked him, and begged for a belly rub, all to no avail. Greg ignored him.

The canine silent treatment persisted as Greg and I continued dating. It was devastating that he wouldn’t even give Perry a chance, but I figured if this was Greg’s one tiny flaw, I could try to overlook it.

Not surprisingly, dog hatred was a harbinger of Greg’s many, MANY other loathsome qualities. He threw a tantrum in public when I suggested he get some new clothes. He trash-talked his sisters and young nieces. He spoke to me in a baby voice, which alone was grounds for immediate breakup. And I’ll spare you the details of our awkward and halting sex life, except to say that for a guy whose lifelong dream is to have kids, he might want to, um, “work” on getting certain things to function properly. Not ideal.

That someone could hate one of the most lovable beings and one of the beings I love most should have immediately sent me packing, but it was only in retrospect that I realized the correlation between dog-hatred and total insanity. I always thought one would have to be crazy to hate my dog. Now I know for sure.