What Not To Do When a Guy Thinks Your Puppy is Cute

PROBLEM: Gorgeous man with beautifully shaped skull, thinks my dog is cute…..

Hey kids! Let’s all listen to see how brilliantly Hailey can muddle this golden opportunity!

Her awkwardness knows no bounds I tell you!

Enter: Hailey

So it’s seven o’clock at night and I’m taking puppy outside to take care of her evening business. It’s a cloudy night, the sun is in the process of setting, so the light it casts is the type of light that makes seeing in one particular direction mildly difficult.  Puppy is in her ‘run around and sniff everything all at once’ mood, and I am the lucky appendage that gets to follow along. After an apparently desperate pee, we wander and eventually take care of the rest. We run and play for a little while in the relatively small square patch of grass with benches that people in the city call a park, and then head for inside. As we crest the small hill that leads up to the parking lot of our building, standing in front of the setting sun, is a man. A man with a dog.


The dog, which was a big white and light brown, long faced and springy eared bundle of love wasn’t too bad either, but I’m not particularly into that.

Puppy is still a concentrated ball of energy and instantly wants to play. Being the smaller dog, Smudge, my puppy, jumps towards her new potential friend and lays down submissively right before it’s nose, tail nub wagging one hundred miles a minute.  They sniff each other for a second and I am left to ponder the social implications of that kind of human behaviour. I know my body might have been telling me to leap in front of said GORGEOUS man and wait till he sniffs me, but instead my brain says ‘run away – Danger! Danger!’ because my brain is clearly no fun at all.

Did I mention this man is GORGEOUS?

Ok…good…just making sure.

Then in happens…delicious bit of man-candy with the kind of head shape that an osteologist can appreciate said “Wow, your dog is cute!”

Buahhhh??? My ‘no fun at all’ brain just shuts down….I have no idea what to say or how to begin to respond to that. Do I say thank you? It wasn’t a compliment I can exactly take credit for…I didn’t make her cute. Her silly underbite makes her look that way….But I can’t say that, because then he might think she’s a genetic reject and full of inbred wonky chromosomes, and we don’t want that either. I can’t say “I know” or “yeah she is!” because that’s arrogant and I’m not an arrogant person at all…most of the time. I’m at a loss. This is becoming a tragedy and fast approaching disaster as the only thing I can do is stare blankly at his beautiful head.

God, I’m so awkward.

This is embarrassing.

…Stuck with a creepy-eyed goofy grin on my face, while trying to keep puppy from jumping all over everything, he eventually breaks the silence and asks how old she is.

Phew…I can answer that one. That’s an easy question!

Freed from the deadlock of awkward conversational pauses, I convey the necessary information with just enough confidence so it doesn’t sound like I’m lying.

The dogs are bouncing away.  His turns out to be a 2 year old that still likes to think it’s a puppy, and mine, 1/3 of the size and 6 months of puppyness is always ready for a game. Then they begin to get a bit rowdy, which was eventual. Fearing the ‘not at all romantic entanglement’ that dog leashes provide in films, we both begin to linger in opposite directions trying to coax the puppies apart.

Panicked because of the fear of an unsatisfying end to the encounter, I speak in his direction a little too loudly, (because I do that sometimes) and ask ‘What’s her name?’ Immediately after saying this, I remember that he regularly referred to the dog as male, and I feel like a tool once again.

“His name is Max” He says as I laugh nervously hoping to cover up my ‘preferable pronoun’ blunder, and then I hear “…And my name is Matt”… as they walk off in the distance with a smile, to wherever it was they were going.

Whatt??? He told me his name! Dog owners never do that…they always know what the dogs in the area are called, but be damned if any of them can put a name on any of the owners. Does this mean I’m special? Was he inadvertently calling me cute too when he was referring to the dog? I am clearly overthinking this, but that is also, what I do.

And then I think some more…

He doesn’t know my name! I wasn’t clever enough to fit it into the conversation! Oh no…he doesn’t even know the puppy’s name, I completely forgot to tell them! I’m such a horrible and rude person! I shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.

I wonder if they live in our building. Maybe we’ll see them again, maybe we wont. either way, I may as well be prepared, with feverish rehearsal of all possible conversational directions, I can’t possibly mess the next one up, am I right?

There’s nothing else to do at this point other than to keep walking inside with a stupid and embarrassed grin on my face, and drag puppy along behind me, as she probably had the same kind of awkward conversation with Max, and painfully regrets it now too.  They do say that pets and owners are alike, after all.

Also,…let’s not tell Chris.

Even Puppy is concerned with the outcome of this encounter...

Puppy is increasingly concerned with the outcome of this particular encounter…

-Miss Hailey Jane


2 responses to “What Not To Do When a Guy Thinks Your Puppy is Cute

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