Dogs are man’s best friend. In this age of equality, they are woman’s best friend too. That’s how egalitarian our canine friends are. The English phrase “A dog’s life” depicts misery and undue hardship. Whoever coined this phrase has clearly never met the Fur Babies (it is offensive to call them dogs) of California and New York. I do not believe in re-incarnation, but if it is a thing, I would not mind, in fact, I would love to come back as one of these Fur Babies. To call them pampered is an understatement. They have manicures, pedicures, dental visits (to make sure their pearly whites are sparkling), massages (’tis a stressful life) and dog whisperers to guide them through Fur Baby problems. The struggle is real y’all.

The petite Fur Babies of San Francisco, for example, wear jackets and shoes to match their parents’ purses (owner sounds too much like a forced relationship). I have stood in line next to a woman carrying a rather nice purse only to be startled when a furry head popped out of said fancy purse, pink bow in hair and frilly jacket covering it’s torso, big round eyes judging me. No self-respecting petite fur baby walks au naturel in San Francisco.

My friend, who will remain anonymous for this story, and who I will refer to as DS (Dog Searcher), has wanted a dog for a while. She is not looking for a petite fur baby who comes with a list of demands that would put divas to shame. No, she wants a dog. A barking, bone-hiding, tail chasing dog with some street credibility. Where, you ask would she find this street-wise dog? The pound of course.

Now, her search for a dog did not start at the pound. She knew that she did not want to spend the rest of her dog’s natural life sneezing due to fur shedding (some dogs shed enough to make a decent rug and a winter coat). She did her research and found a mid-sized labradoodle breeder, and seeing as labradoodles have hair and not fur, their shedding is negligible. Also, this breeder promised mid-sized labradoodles, and not the horse-sized version that is quite adorable as well- it was a match made in doggy heaven. She went home, excited at the upcoming puppy birth, and patiently waited for a few months. The breeder would call her once the puppies were born and she would pick one, and thus her dog search would come to a happy conclusion.

The promised due date came and went, with no word from the breeder. DS waited…and waited…and waited…for a few days. She figured it might take the breeder a few more days to get the paperwork and other minutiae out of the way. When she couldn’t wait any longer, she called the breeder. The breeder non-chalantly informed DS, after months of waiting for the puppy arrival, that the bitch (female dog), was not even pregnant in the first place. Where I’m from, we would say come srowry??? Meaning, WHAT???!!! Long story short, DS’ theory is that the breeder found a better deal and sold her puppy to someone else. And that is how DS came to find herself online, searching, not for the right man to spend her life with, but for a dog with street credibility. There’s an opportunity out there for a dog tinder. Swipe. Woof. Swipe.

Applying to adopt a dog in California is no joke. Your name, address, occupation. Why do you want a dog? What happens if you can’t care for the dog. Who is the next of kin. Do they know they are the next of kin? And if something happens to the next of kin, who comes next? (It is at this point that she should have started to question if this dog had madimoni. (Demons) that would cause so many owner deaths hence necessitating the string of next of kin). The chosen next of kin would have to fill a form longer than a mortgage application. But DS was determined to get a dog, and so she filled the form and submitted it. The waiting process to find out if she had been accepted by the pound was as nerve-wracking as waiting for a college acceptance letter.

The pound finally deemed her worthy to visit their dogs, and she went in, eager to meet this labradoodle she had seen online. Luckily for her, this puppy did not post a fake photo taken ten years and fifty pounds prior. He looked exactly like he did on his online profile and lived where he said he did. As DS approached the pen holding her puppy (she was that optimistic), she noticed that he was one of several puppies. She walked into the pen to hold him and was almost tackled by two women who apparently had their eyes set on some of the puppies. These women would put some linebackers to shame. They grabbed their desired puppies and clutched them close to their chest lest DS snatch them out of their grasp. DS picked her puppy and instantly felt a connection. The puppy hadn’t been fazed by the linebackers grabbing the other puppies- if that’s not street cred, I don’t know what is.

DS was very excited. This was finally happening! The dog search had come to a beautiful end. Next up, paperwork and then home with the puppy. Squiggly puppy in her arms, she headed towards the office, where she found the linebackers signing their paperwork and being waved out of the office, their new puppies in strong arms. DS approached the desk and found a very formidable woman (FW) staring at her. The following is the conversation that occurred. Names have been concealed to protect identities.

FW: What is your occupation?

DS: Answers.

FW: How many hours a day will this puppy be in the house by himself?

DS: Seven hours.

FW: (frowns and twirls pen) hmmmm…

DS: I will hire a dog-sitter to come and walk him at lunch time and take him out.

FW: Hmmmm…

DS: Is there a recommended occupation for dog owners?

FW: Most of our clients work from home, work part-time, are unemployed or retired.

DS: I work full-time but the puppy will have his meals and everything he needs.

FW: Here’s the thing. You will go to work and leave this dog in the house by himself. He will pee on your carpet. He will poop on your carpet. He will chew your furniture and you shoes. He will bark loudly all day and your neighbors will hate him and they will hate you. You and your dog will both be hated by your neighbors (she repeated for good measure, in case DS missed it the first time). And then you will come home after a long day at work and you will find a mess, your carpet will smell like pee (she didn’t specify whose), your walls will be smeared with poop (again, with the ambiguity about the origin of the poop, plus this puppy must be a poop picasso) and you too will be angry at this dog. Do you know what happens when a dog is left alone all day, he becomes an Angry Dog!

FW asked DS to hand the puppy back, as she was too gainfully employed for their taste. If she was willing to resign from her job, or change occupations, or find a way to stay home with this puppy, then they would reconsider her application. Anything to prevent the existence of another Angry Dog.

PS: DS’ search for a puppy with street credibility continues…