Dear Ibby, hate my girlfriend's dog. It's coming between us. What should I do?

Dear Ibby, hate my girlfriend's dog. It's coming between us. What should I do?

SexJanuary 20, 2017 By Isabelle Kohn

You're fucked, man.

In any sort of ultimatum in which it's you or the dog, she's gonna choose the dog. She has to and she should — it's her tiny, mongoloid fur-child. She's responsible for its life.

I wish you'd described the nature of your problem with the dog, though. I'd like to know whether the dog is an asshole, or if the asshole is actually you. Plenty of dogs really do suck and it's valid to dislike them, but plenty of humans also have unrealistic expectations of pets and lack the empathy, understanding or energy to get to know how a particular animal works.

In any case, you're not alone in this literally hairy situation. One study found that on average, dogs can cause three couple arguments a week — or 2,000 arguments over their life together. After all, a pet is really just an trash-eating extension of a person; it's easy to project your problems with the human onto the pet.

The question is what you're going to do about it.

If your relationship isn't strong enough to survive a dog, chances are it's probably not strong enough to survive at all. For that reason, if you can't picture a future with your girlfriend and her dog in it, and every forward-looking thought you have of her is marred by a shit-smear of dog poop, it's probably best to let the dog win and dip out. Only the strong survive.

On the other hand, if you think your relationship is strong enough to weather the gargantuan threat that is a domesticated quadruped, do yourself a favor and utilize one of the following tactics to deal with this situation.

1. Become smart. I'm hoping you're not a complete and total monstrosity, and that there's a perfectly good reason you hate this dog. Maybe it's biting your face as we speak. Maybe it shits when it sees you because it presumes murdering it is your number one priority for the day. Maybe it's overly protective of your girlfriend and won't let you touch a boob without devolving into a whining mess. Whatever the reason, I'm fairly confident that it can be distilled down to some sort of underlying physical or behavioral problem. So before you go hating this animal and letting it tear your relationship to shreds like it did to your lame beanbag chair, try to figure out what's really going out with it that could be causing it to act this way. If you're able to zero in on the source of the issue, you should have a much easier time making it a non-issue.

2. Pay to get it trained or doctored. Dogs are malleable substances. With the right trainer and instruction, you can transform a werewolf into a teddy bear. You'll have to pay for this, though. Since you're the one with the problem, it's up to you to shell out the dough to fix it (it'd be nice if she helped out of course, though).

3. Pay for a dog sitter. A few times per week, you and your girlfriend should have some unadulterated dog-free time when you can just relax and focus on each other. For those times, hire a dog-sitter. Not her, you. Again, your problem = your cash.

4. Visualize and utilize the concept of "dissolve." Any time this dog fucks with you, picture the word "dissolve" and try to literally dissolve the problem you have by consciously causing any negative emotion you're having to dissipate. Laser-focus on what you're doing and what you're about to do next, and don't let that thing take up one molecule of your thoughts.

5. Straight-up ignore it. Pretend it doesn't exist. Sure, it may be shredding your Achilles' tendon as we speak or biting your laptop in half, but the more attention you give it, the more your negative feelings towards it will build. And the more it senses your negativity, the more of a dick it'll be. Even worse, if you let that cycle happen, you let it win. And that can never happen. You are the human overlord. You have opposable thumbs and an iPad.

6. Make it very clear to your girlfriend that you don't have a problem with her. Like I said, it's easy to project interpersonal issues on pets, so make sure you very clearly communicate to your lady what your issue with her dog is so she knows not to take it personally or think you're more of a douche than she already does. However,  it might come out in that conversation that your issue actually is with her (maybe you don't think she disciplines it enough, or doesn't take good enough care of it), but even if it does, that's the kind of shit you should be discussing openly and honestly with her. Nothing's going to change if you don't tackle the problem head on and work together to fix it.

Like it or not, a pet is part of the package of a person. Learning to love and live with a person also means learning to tolerate (not love) and live with their fleabag animal.

That said, you and your girlfriend need to compromise on this problem. It's her pet, so the way it's behaving is her responsibility, but it's your problem, so you need to take responsibility for solving it. Okay? okay.

Godspeed or godsdog or something.