Ruby and I are both on the shy side and a wee-bit socially awkward. I am an introvert and I like to think Ruby is, too. This isn’t breaking news. Long time readers already know about our struggle to be more social. I am a nice person and generally friendly, but I don’t think anyone would ever describe me as chatty. Ruby is a sweet dog; she’s just kind of anxious. It’s like she doesn’t know how to be a normal dog (in the same way I don’t always know how to carry on normal conversation). We are lucky to have each other to lean on (aka hide behind).
Maybe we could both be more social. Maybe I should try harder to socialize Ruby around other dogs. But truthfully, it seems unfair to ask her to do something I don’t really want to do either. And bonus points: having a dog that is socially awkward, gives you a built-in excuse to wave and keep walking without the judgment or guilt from extraverted friends and neighbors. “Sorry, my dog is having a bad day. Can we chat another time? Maybe next year?”
It’s Not You, It’s My Dog (and Maybe Me)
Fortunately, pets and kids are the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card. And by jail, I mean awkward social stuff. Only kids eventually reach an age when they want to be more independent and spend less time with their socially awkward, introverted parents. But pets, especially complicated-in-a-good-way dogs like Ruby, never get tired of us – the more time we spend at home the better! Not to mention the cats and mice who are also kind of homebodies but for different reasons. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Disclaimer: If you don’t quite get the whole socially awkward or introvert thing, no hard feelings. Feel free to just enjoy some pink sweater Ruby cuteness.
14 Excuses To Get Out Of Almost Anything (Because Pets)
1. I will go if I can bring my dog and don’t have to talk. But if I have to talk, my dog and I are a no-go.
2. I have a work thing. And by work thing, I mean my dog and I are busy watching reruns of The Office.
3. I need to wash my hair, clean the house, water the plants, organize my closet, eat some chips, feed the cats, watch the mice run around on their wheel, get mad watching cable news, prepare for the apocalypse, eat more chips.
4. My rabbit won’t stop thumping. She has anger issues. I need to go buy her some cilantro before she completely loses her mind.
5. It started raining and I didn’t have an umbrella. So I gave up and went home to my dog who coincidentally doesn’t like rain either.
6. My cats are going through a really bad break up. Fluffy is super depressed and I need to make sure she doesn’t leap from the top of the refrigerator. Contrary to popular belief cats don’t always land on their feet.
7. My blood sugar is low and I feel faint. I need to stay home and eat lots of chips. And you know who also likes chips? That’s right, my dog!
8. My dog ate my glasses or maybe I stepped on them or maybe they slipped down the garbage disposal with some strawberry rinds. Something bad happened to them – I’m not exactly sure what because I wasn’t wearing my glasses.
9. I missed my train; the bus never came; I couldn’t get a cab; the tires on my bike are flat; it’s too far to walk; my dog looked sad. I tried.
10. My cat is sleeping peacefully in my lap and I don’t want to disturb her (see #6 above).
11. My dog refuses to get off the couch. We are planning an intervention about how her behavior (and refusal to share) is impacting others.
12. The mice are going through a rebellious phase and seem bent on escape. They know about the cats and don’t seem to care. I think they might be depressed or maybe nuts.
13. I need to go home and eat all the halloween candy, Christmas cookies, Easter eggs, insert other holiday treat here. Because this stuff is really bad for dogs and cats and I like to keep my pets safe.
14. It’s not you it’s me – and maybe you because you keep inviting me to scary social things where I can’t bring my dog.
Dogs (and cats and even mice) don’t care if you leave your house, answer your phone, make a fool of yourself, fall down and go boom. They love and accept you, social anxiety and all. As long as you have each other and a socially awkward friend or two, you are good to go – or stay home, depending on your personal preference.
Have you ever used your pets as an excuse to get out of social situations? Feel free to share your best pet-related excuses in the comments.
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