Why would anyone buy a dog? A filthy, barking creature that costs a fortune and may even bite you to death. Where's the payoff? At least a baby can eventually buy you a beer.
My missus conned me into getting a dog called Dexter for the kids. It's a pugalier, meaning it's half pug and half King Charles cavalier. But it's all pain-in-the-arse.
If you're wondering whether this is just another rant from someone who hates dogs, you'd be right. And I've got plenty of reasons to hate them.
Once bitten, double the dislike
When I was a two-year-old I was bitten just beneath the eye by a neighbour's fox terrier. As a teenager, a notorious stand-over man's Doberman bit me on the thigh as I walked past his house (for obvious reasons, we let that one slide rather than reporting it). And jogging along a beach one day I was attacked by a brown mutt that punctured my calf muscle and resulted in a quick trip to Emergency.
Each year in Australia dog attacks result in more than 2000 hospital admissions. Between 2000 and 2015 there were 25 deaths in Australia attributable to dog attacks. Considering there was a similar number of fatalities due to sharks in the same period, perhaps we should be netting dog parks and carrying out the occasional puppy cull?
A smelly situation
Then there's the whole hygiene thing. Dog people never realise it (indeed dog people are oblivious to a whole lot of stuff) but their dog makes their house and car reek like Danny Green's boxing gloves. Since we got Dexter I've had to burn sandalwood incense all around the home to get rid of the pong, so whereas once I had an elegant inner-city apartment, now it just smells like someone took a dump in Nimbin.
I've never seen a creature s**t so much and so often. Dexter produces a veritable mountain of poo wherever and whenever he feels the urge. And usually I'm left to pick it up behind him. It's quite frankly disgusting.
Jerry Seinfeld was spot on when he said dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?
I'm not one of you
Then there's the whole dog park scene. When two dogs meet each other they don't act all cool and ignore each other like cats, or people from Point Piper. Instead they sniff each other's bums like the second row of the Wallabies.
But worst of all is that fact that other owners assume I'm a 'dog person' just like them. Which means while Dexter rumbles, I have to endure a tedious conversation about the best flea treatments and why dogs should be allowed in public swimming pools. I live in Sydney's inner-west; an area that has quite literally gone to the dogs and where every park is actually a big green dog lavatory. Heck, there's even a local 'dog café' called Bones. Yep, it sells Puppacinos.
The price of cuteness
Which brings me to the cost of owning Dexter. Just buying him was a major purchase that meant the kiddies couldn't eat for a month and had to go to school with no shoes. The breeder called him a 'designer dog', but – correct me if I'm wrong - you whack two different types of dogs together and surely the result is a mongrel?
It's the ongoing expense that's the killer. Like airport cafes and plumbers, veterinarians believe they can charge whatever number pops into their heads. And so, a simple operation will ensure the vet gets to upgrade his or her BMW and whack a jacuzzi on the penthouse deck.
There's also the cost of Dexter's bedding (a dog futon for Chrissakes), organic-free-range-food, faux-grass toilet pad (that he has never worked out how to use), designer water bowl, collar, lead, harness, engraved ID tag, numerous toys, worm treatments, vaccinations, vaccination boosters, and desexing. Speaking of which, who'd have thought it would cost so much to cut a dog's bollocks off?
Who's the boss
At least Facebook billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg owns a pure-breed. Beast is a Hungarian sheepdog with more than 2 million followers on his fanpage. Beast looks like a giant mop with legs.
According to CEO Magazine, the five most popular breeds with CEOs are golden retrievers, huskies, German shepherds, labradors, and cross-breeds (mongrels) such as Dexter.
Many companies are providing their canine-loving employees with such benefits as pooch-daycare, pet insurance, bereavement leave in the case of a dead dog, and on-site amenities such as feeding bowls. Puhleeese.
The scariest thing is Dexter is gradually getting to me. He knows it and I know it. The way he looks at me through those big Marty Feldman eyes. The way he greets me in the morning before he takes a dump on the kitchen floor. I might be actually falling for him. And I hate him for that.
Have you been suckered into a relationship with a dog? Tell us about it in the Comments section.