Hi. Dogs actually hate us. They hate our touch, and they hate our smell. They hate when we hold them close and coo and caress them.
The jury, exhibit A:
These animals are praying for the hell to end. What dogs are thinking when you get all up in their face and ask them who is a "good boy": Please leave me alone, you braying trouser monster. Dogs are our furry hostages, and their large eyes disguise the truth. You like to think a dog's eyes are full of innocence and yearning to be patted, don't you? You're a fool. You like to think dogs can smile, don't you, when really they are only capable of a furry grimace. You are the jailor, and they are the prisoner. You put collars round their necks and only let them walk outside on a leash. You feed them sub-meat and tell them when they are allowed to shit. Dogs are prisoners. Admit this.
Science has admitted it this week, finally, with the truth that dogs largely hate us. Dr. Stanley Coren, canine expert and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, examined 250 dogs being hugged and assessed them for signs of stress: 81 percent were totally not into it.
You know when people are trying to crack on to you at a party and really intensely talks to you forever—they've got you cornered, these people, you are between the large fridge and the sink, and they're poking you in a way they feels is flirty but is actually actively painful; they're dropping heavy hints about you going back to theirs: "So where you staying tonight?" that sort of thing. "Oh, you live in Clapton? That's on my way, actually, maybe we could share a cab"—and then your mate turns up making panicked gestures toward an Uber out of there, so you say goodbye, and then—and you can see this moment coming, they put down their drink to free their arms up, they come at you in slow motion, they clatter miscellanea to the ground as they approach you—then they awkwardly, clumsily try to hug? Sometimes they actually ask for a hug first or say the word "huuuuuug!" as they are trying to hug? That's you and dogs, that is. That is you hugging a dog.
"The results indicated that the internet contains many pictures of happy people hugging what appear to be unhappy dogs," Dr. Coren wrote on Psychology Today. "Dogs are technically cursorial animals, which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running. That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability to run away. Behaviorists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level and, if the dog's anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite."
Immobilizing. With a hug. Essentially, when you hug a dog, you are doing something one level below tasering it until it shits itself. You are locking it behind the bars of your misguided love.
I have known for some time that dogs don't like us, because a dog barked at me once, and I immediately started crying like a little baby, and I have been wary of the animals ever since. But tell people you don't like dogs, and suddenly you're some kind of monster: "Oh," they say, "are you some kind of monster?" Maybe I'm the only person left who still cares about dogs. They want to run free and uninterrupted. They want to fuck each other in parks and sleep together in big piles. They do not want to be clipped to a lead and made to shit into your awaiting, plastic bag–clad hand. They do not want biscuits to be balanced carefully on their noses and told to sit and wait.
A dog, remember, is a killing animal. All dogs are filled with an odd nervous energy that puts me on edge. They are made of muscles, dogs—tiny knots of rippling muscles hidden between soft downy fur. They are filled with violent potential. Every single dog alive is extremely capable of jumping vertically in the air and biting me on the penis and/or nuts. They are constantly primed to do this. Does that not freak anyone else out? Dogs are exceptional dick-biting machines. A dog could jump and bite my dick off without its little dog heart rate raising even one beat. And yet we dress them in little outfits on Halloween! We hug them and pretend not to mind their smell!
It's time we admitted the truth about dogs. We exist, with them, in an uneasy parlay. They have the teeth, and they have the numbers to turn on us all, thrash out of our tight hugs, bite all of our genitals off. We trap them in prisons of love and expect them not to clink their tuck cups against the bars. Be wary of dogs, and touch them carefully. You never know when the uprising will start.
Follow Joel Golby on Twitter.