Must Love Dogs (Platonically)

Posted on April 9, 2012

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Dave had mentioned his pitbull, Benny, when we met online. It just happened to be Benny’s birthday, so the fact that our email conversation was heavily dog-related didn’t seem strange. Plus, I like dogs. Dave even sent me a picture, and Benny was a cutie. When he offered that we hang out while taking the dog for a walk, it sounded like a great idea.

The next day, he met me on my block, Benny in tow. The dog was as cute as his picture—and so was Dave. We walked along the East River, making small talk and drinking iced coffee. Though I wasn’t totally enamored with Dave, he seemed nice enough and we got along well.

“I’ll just drop Benny off, and we can get a drink,” he suggested. His apartment was only a few blocks away. Though I usually make it a rule not to go up to a guy’s place on the first date, we were only planning on stopping by for a minute, and that coffee had gone straight to my bladder.

His apartment was small but nice. I headed to the bathroom, and as I was on the toilet, Dave shouted to me, “Hey Raz, I actually have a pretty nice bottle of wine, if you just want to have a drink here.” Flustered by peeing and talking to a man I’d just met at the same time, I hastily agreed. When I stood up, I noticed that the bathroom wall was covered in framed photos of Benny the pitbull. Benny on his dog bed, a close up of Benny’s face, Benny on Halloween (as Batman), etc.

When I emerged, the real life Benny was on Dave’s bed, rolling in the covers. As soon as I stepped into the kitchen with Dave, Benny bounded past me into the bathroom, where he promptly started drinking out of the toilet.

“I’m so sorry I left the door open,” I said as I went to pull Benny from the bathroom.

“Oh, leave it,” said Dave. “I don’t mind him drinking from there.”  He motioned me towards the couch and handed me a glass of wine as Benny slurped away.

I tried to distract myself. “So, do you like living alone?” I asked.

“Not really,” he said, “but my ex moved out, so what could I do?” Ah, the mentioning of the ex on a first date. Always a good sign, right?

Then he asked, “You eat right?”

“What do you mean?”

“My ex didn’t really eat,” he said. “She just texted me yesterday to say she’s starting a cleanse. She’s only drinking lemon juice.”

“Wow,” I said. “No, I definitely eat.” We needed a subject change now.

“So, you said you were abroad in Amsterdam in college,” I said. “How long were you there?” Subject change successful.

“Well, I was supposed to only be over there for a semester, but then my ex joined me and we actually stayed for two years. It was amazing.” Subject change fail.

Finally Benny’s thirst was quenched, and he ran towards us from the bathroom. My momentary relief that we had something to distract us from the ex talk was replaced by disgust, as Benny went straight for Dave, wiping his toilet water soaked tongue all over Dave’s face, and inside Dave’s open mouth. Dave was enjoying it, kissing the dog back to the extent that, I swear, Dave’s tongue was even inside the dog’s mouth at one point. I looked the other way. After all, watching others make out for too long is awkward in any situation.

Dave finally pushed Benny away, and the dog went back to the bed to do more rolling around in his sheets. Before I had time to process, Dave’s hand was behind my neck, and he was going in for the kiss. Any plan to pull away was out of the question. He was too close, and coming closer every second. It happened.

Maybe it was all in my head, but it literally took days to get the taste of urine and dog saliva out of my mouth.

—Raz, 25, NYC

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Posted in: My Stories