My Obsession With Dogs Might Actually Ruin My Relationship — He Just Doesn’t Get It

I’m a big animal lover and have a serious soft spot for dogs in particular. But even I can see that dogs dominate my whole life, and being with a guy who simply doesn’t share my obsession is getting really tough. In fact, it might even destroy our relationship for good.

My dog is the most important thing in my life.

I suffer from bipolar disorder and when I’m in a depression cycle, sometimes my dog is honestly my reason for living. That sounds very intense, I know, but I also know that nobody in this world will love him as much as I do. While my friends, family, and partner would be devastated if I was no longer here, they’re capable of looking after themselves and my dog isn’t. It’s hard for my boyfriend to accept that when life gets hard, it’s my dog that keeps me going, not him.

He gets away with anything and everything.

My little man is deaf so he’s a special needs dog. I taught him all the sign language he knows and we have a very unique bond. Because I know he only has a short little life, I want him to enjoy it to the fullest, and if that means my partner and I don’t get any sleep because he’s hogging the bed or it’s weird that he watches us having sex, so be it. He comes first no matter what. He’s the only creature I can depend on to be eternally loyal, never judge and always listen (in his own special deaf way, of course).

I worry constantly that I chose the wrong career.

I love my job and being a freelancer is something I work very hard at maintaining, but every now and then my conscience kicks in and I fear I’m not doing what my soul tells me I should be. It makes me kind of unstable and gives me the feeling I should just run away and spend all my money and effort into saving the lives of dogs and giving those who’ve had a terrible start to life the chance they deserve.

I always bring strays home without a second thought.

If I see a lost or abandoned animal on the street, they immediately come home with me. I’ve been bitten and scratched by scared animals too many times to count but I don’t care one bit. I know I’m doing the right thing by helping them and they’ll thank me for it in the long run, but my partner gets really frustrated when I just bring them home without talking to him about it first.

My boyfriend gets annoyed because I have to talk to every dog I pass.

I don’t really understand why this bothers him but it really does. I have an uncontrollable need to say hello to every dog I see, even when their owners are less than pleased at my approach. I think he gets annoyed because it takes us longer to walk places and maybe he’s embarrassed by my fawning over other people’s dogs, but I don’t care. It’s a simple pleasure of mine, it’s free, and I’m not hurting anyone.

I’m genuinely concerned I won’t love my future kids as much as our dog and so is my boyfriend.

I love dogs and animals more than I love humans. Humans are fickle and will always let you down even when they’re the best of the best. It’s in our nature. But dogs aren’t malicious in the same way. They only ever want to please you. They don’t always get it right but it’s not out of spite. My biggest fear is that we have kids and one of them turns out to be allergic to dogs. My little man is considered my firstborn, and while society would obviously tell me to get rid of the dog in that scenario, I honestly don’t know if I could do it.

He doesn’t want any more pets and I don’t think I can live without them.

It was a hard slog to get him to agree to the dog we have, never mind getting another one or even a cat. I think if we lived in a house with a garden it might be different, but for now and the foreseeable future, it’s apartment living all the way for us.

I care more about animals than I do people and he hates that.

If there’s a fundraiser or a charity asking for money and it’s for animals, I’m there in a heartbeat. If it’s for humans, not so much. It’s not that I don’t care about people, it’s just that I think enough people care about people and not enough people care about animal welfare. We can’t all care about everything and animals and dogs just happen to be my thing.

My retirement plans don’t involve heading towards the beach.

My boyfriend’s ideal retirement plan is to set up a beach bar in the Bahamas and chill in the sun all day. That sounds great, don’t get me wrong, but since I already feel like I’m not doing enough to help unwanted and abused dogs, I really feel retirement will be my chance to make a difference. If I had my way, we’d sell up everything, live in a shack, and devote all our time and money to building shelters and sanctuaries. Somehow I can’t see him jumping at that idea but if I never do it, I think my heart will always feel empty and all this love I have to give will be a wasted gift.

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