I’m Fine Being Single, But I Feel Bad for My Dog


I’m a single gal living with her dog in a tiny little house in Los Angeles. I’m perfectly fine being unmarried and it just being the two of us. I feel bad for my dog, though. He would prefer a bigger family!

My pup, Riggins, had a human daddy when I adopted him, but that threesome only lasted the first year of his puppy life. Riggins is now 10 and has been forced to find a strong human male role model in anyone who will listen, because apparently I’m failing in finding a life partner to share our (Riggins’ and my) bed with.

Riggins has his tux and is ready to go! (All photos by Wendy Newell)
Riggins has his tux and is ready to go! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Of course I’ve dated over the past nine years, but nothing that led me down the aisle with Riggins following, rings carefully tied to his collar. It’s a no brainier that if I were to be married, Riggins would be a member of the wedding party. One gentleman caller pointed out that my adorable pup already has his tux on and is ready to go.

The problem is that Riggins doesn’t understand the benefits of being the only human living under our roof. He couldn’t care less what we watch on TV, and he sleeps on top of the sheets so he doesn’t care about sleeping with a cover hog. In fact, all the things that make living with a human male aggravating don’t bother Riggins one bit. Leaving the toothpaste top off, not putting a trash liner in the bathroom garbage can, checking a smartphone at the dinner table, and forgetting to put the toilet seat down don’t phase his adorable furry self one bit. In fact, the toilet thing is a plus since it means easier access to a drinking fountain at the perfect height for his hydration needs.

"Will you be my daddy?"
“Will you be my daddy?” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

When I am dating someone, the gentleman in question better like dogs, because I can almost guarantee Riggins will like him.

I remember one dude I had been dating, who sat down and was so overwhelmed by Riggins’ love and attention that he started to lose it. “Does he have to be next to me like this all the time?” he asked. Yes. Yes he does, and now let me show you the door, sir.

"Hi. You don't know me but will you date my mom?"
“Hi. You don’t know me but will you date my mom?” (Photo by Wendy Newell)
"This is a good one Mom!"
“This is a good one, Mom!” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Since Riggins and I are hikers, one very fit date decided to join us. He ran up and down hills unhappy when Riggins got tired and decided to hang out with me at the top instead of continuing to do laps with him. My dog loves men, but he isn’t insane. Mr. Athletic decided he wanted a dog who had a higher energy level. I told Riggins that it was OK because hiking with that guy was exhausting and I wanted a boyfriend, not another dog.

Then there are the guys who like Riggins way more than they like me. I once had a date who, very smartly, chose a location to have dinner where Riggins could join us. At some point in the evening, I just gave up and sat back with my glass of wine while Riggins and my date had a good time. My darling dog had draped himself over the guy’s lap and was French kissing him and enjoying food off his plate. Riggins was in heaven. I wasn’t surprised when I wasn’t asked out on a second date, but I was surprised when he didn’t ask if Riggins could go out on a play date.

"Mom. How about this guy?"
“Mom. How about this guy?” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Recently, a nice guy came by to pick me up for a date. I wasn’t ready, so told him to sit in the living room. Riggins was LOSING HIS MIND and HAD to go into the living room to hang out. When I was ready and went to grab my date so we could go, Riggins was happily lying on top of the guy, getting scratched behind the ears, and had a grin on his face from ear to ear. He was so happy I felt bad taking the guy away.

When Riggins and I are out and about together, my sweet baby boy is an overeager wingman. He will go up to every male at the dog park, lean in close, and force the guy to pay attention and pet him. When I look over at the duo, Riggins will give me a look as if to say, “I like this one, Mom. Can we take him home and keep him? Please?”

"This guy is cool Mom. What about him?"
“This guy is cool, Mom. What about him?” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

While on a hike, it isn’t uncommon for Riggins to stop in the middle of the trail so guys passing him have no choice but to tap him on the head. Any one of them would do just fine as far as Riggins is concerned. He isn’t picky. In fact, his bar is set very, very low. As long as the guy doesn’t smell and isn’t crazy, Riggins starts hearing wedding bells the second the guy bends down to give him some attention.

"I like this one. He is really good at petting my head."
“I like this one. He is really good at petting my head.” (Photo by Wendy Newell)
"Back off lady. I saw him first!"
“Back off, lady. I saw him first!” (Photo by Wendy Newell)

It’s obvious Riggins wants a human daddy, and I feel bad that I have failed him in not providing that. The once-in-awhile dating isn’t enough for my love bug of a dog. He wants to be able to jump up on the bed and be surrounded by humans who love him. I bet if Riggins could talk, he wouldn’t hesitate to suggest I look into polygamy. One dude is fine, but what about three or four? With that many people around Riggins would never have to be without the attention he craves. There would always be someone to pet him and scratch behind his ears.

I love my dog more than anything in the entire world, but not enough to invite a gaggle of men into my bed. I’m sorry, sweet baby boy. For now you have to be happy with just me!

Read more about pet parenting:

About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

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