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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

I Wouldn’t Want to Be a Dog

My dog Egon, who has a ponytail to keep the hair out of his eyes

Why do people want to be dogs?

I’m guessing it’s because they see them lying around and sleeping with no responsibilities. They get their food given to them and they don’t have a care in the world.

When I try to put myself in my dog’s shoes, it does not actually seem that carefree. In fact, the more I do it, the more reasons I think I wouldn’t want to be a dog. I’m sure this ties to many of my autistic ways of being, but here are the reasons I wouldn’t want to be a dog:

  • No control over temperature. If you’re hot, good luck. You better just pant it out or hope your owner notices and turns the AC down. If you’re cold, same thing. Hope you’re furry enough to not freeze

  • No regular access to preferred food. I would not want to eat the same thing every day. My dog doesn’t like it either. He gets very excited for new dog food, but with time sniffs it and leaves it there, munching at it in the middle of the night when he realizes that’s all he’s going to get. For the most part, dogs are dependent on humans for when and what they eat. That sounds pretty miserable to me.

  • No verbal communication. Dogs cannot ask what is going on. They cannot ask when you’re coming back or how long you’re going to be gone. They cannot figure out if this is a good new friend or a bad one. There are so many things they just have to guess and don’t know. This seems highly uncomfortable.

  • Leashes. Leashes have their place. They keep dogs safe, as well as the dogs and humans around them safe. But no way in hell would I want a leash on me. I’m pretty sure I would try to walk as properly as possible, but I’d probably still get the occasional yank to stop sniffing something interesting. I hate being unexpectedly pulled on. Or pulled away from something I love.

  • No alone time in nature. Unless you’re a dog from some old movie who lives out in the woods, dogs these days never get to be out in the woods by themselves. They have to be with their human. Even when off leash, you still have to be attentive to your human. I would hate this. Always being beholden to another and not getting to go about things at your own pace. Not being able to enjoy nature on your terms. No thank you.

  • Unsolicited touching. What if I don’t want to be pet? That little kid is still coming for me anyways? What if I’m a soft, fluffy dog that people just cannot resist? I don’t want to make them feel bad, but I certainly don’t want to just be touched whenever.

  • No control over preferences. What if one day I wanted to go to the dog park? But the next day I was a little tired and instead didn’t want a long walk? I’d have no way of communicating or controlling my preferences. I just have to put up with what is. Maybe I’d get used to it, but it sounds pretty miserable

I’m sure that for every above point, some dog lover or dog behaviorist could explain how dogs work and they’re actually very happy. Well good for them. I just don’t want to be one.


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