So Don’t Like Me. Who Cares?

You may find it hard to believe, but not everyone likes Honey.

There’s Abbey, the pretty mixed breed whose person always asks after Honey from across the street. There’s Layla, the foster dog, who made it clear she’d only play with Honey on her own terms. And now there’s Marigold, a neighbor’s dog who came to see us last night.

Honey the Golden Retriever and Layla the foster dog relax at home.

But WHY don’t you like me, Layla?

Honey did her best to entice Marigold to play. But after a brief sniff, Marigold said to Honey in doggy body language, “I don’t really like you.”

Honey felt disappointed not have a new playmate. But that didn’t last long.

Honey’s attitude when a dog doesn’t like her? “So don’t like me. I don’t care.”

Puppy and Golden Retriever on the couch

Ok, so you don’t want to be my BFF. But I’m happy to share the couch with you.

Dogs Don’t Take Things Personally

One of the great things about the canine brain is that it doesn’t hang on to bad feelings.

Dogs definitely feel bad. They get jealous, disappointed, and worried.

But they don’t sit on their pillows two hours after another dog refused to sniff their butt wondering: “Why didn’t he sniff my butt? What’s wrong with my butt? He sniffed every other dog’s butt.”

You know, the way humans do (minus the butt sniffing part).

Maybe it’s not the canine brain structure that keeps them from wallowing in hurt feelings. Maybe it’s just because they don’t spend time online.

Honey the golden retriever is an easy dog.

People tell me I’ll feel bad if I go online. I don’t see any biscuits so I think they’re right.

The Internet Is An Excuse To Feel Bad

I love and hate the internet.

I love sharing interests with people on the opposite side of the world. I love getting book recommendations from readers with better taste than my “in real life ” friends. I love learning new perspectives about national and international news stories from people directly affected by them.

Most of all, I love seeing cute puppy pictures from all around the world.

But if you’re a sensitive person the internet is one big excuse to feel bad.

And if you’re on social media or a blogger, it’s even worse.

It’s hard for a mere human not to take every unsubscribe, unfriending, or lower “popularity” than a fellow blogger personally.

Anti facebook sticker - You lose.

And some of us, who are particularly un-doglike, see the worst in everything.

Facebook friends don’t go away because of a computer glitch or because they’re trying to get a handle on their time. They go away because I’m a horrible person who offended them.

I don’t have fewer blog subscribers than my friend because I don’t work as hard at it. Or because their blog of pictures of cats in cute sweaters has broader appeal than my weird, niche-y ramblings. No it must be because I’m a horrible person who never writes anything interesting or funny.

Yep, I probably need to ignore stats.

And I definitely need to channel the dog.

Wanting To Be Liked Is Unlikeable

Some dogs don’t like Honey when she comes on too strong.

If I suspect a dog (or cat) might be apprehensive about meeting Honey, I ask her to stay still and let the other animal approach first. On their own terms.

But if I’m told the other dog is playful, I let Honey make her own introduction.

It involves play bows, whirling around, and a big, floofy tail in the air. In other words, it looks like she’s trying too hard.

And we all know (except Honey) that there’s nothing less attractive than someone saying “Like me, like me.” Which is exactly what Honey is doing with her wild gyrations and bowing.

When I look back at times in my life when someone really disliked me, I wonder if I tried too hard to be likeable. And made myself the exact opposite.

Honey the Golden Retriever plays with Sally the foster dog.

Okay, I convinced you to play. Now flip me over. You can do it.

So Don’t Like Me

Some people who don’t care if people like them are obnoxious jerks. Or maybe they really do care if people like them but they don’t know how to be likeable so they pretend they don’t care and just act like a-holes.

But some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met couldn’t care less who likes them.

They do what they want to do. They’re driven to follow their own path. If you want to join them on it, fine. If not, that’s fine too.

They’re going to do what they want to do regardless of whether people like them for it or not.

I’m sure they suffer disappointments, like we all do.

But they’re more dog-like in how they handle them.

If their human play bow is rejected they reply, “So don’t like me.” And they go on with their lives.

Woman and Girl on the Beach

Friends don’t laugh at you for sitting on the beach in a coat. At least not if they’re British.

Freedom Of Taste

I like most people.

In fact, it’s so rare that I dislike someone that those few people really stand out in my mind.

I even like people who don’t like me.

But if I really like people, I need to cut them some slack and let them like what (or whom) they want to like. Even if they don’t like me.

And learn not to care.

I want to be the best “me” I can be. Like Honey, I’ll put myself out there. And if someone doesn’t respond to my floofy tail or play bows, I’ll say to myself, “So don’t like me. Who cares?”

And if I still feel bad, I’ll go chew on a Nylabone until I get over myself.

Honey the golden retriever has mixed emotions about playing tug with a chocolate lab.

C’mon Handsome. Let’s go to my place.

Your Turn: Is your dog good at making friends? Are they better or worse at it than you are?
photo credit: (You Lose) JeepersMedia via photopin cc. Click on the image to learn more about the photographer.


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  1. Great post and one I needed today. Our Sally was great at making friends – and she loved everyone. She was even able to turn one of those aloof Borzoi’s into her boyfriend…she had a magic touch. I need to take a lesson from Jack who could care less if dog’s like him…

  2. Rumpy loves to make friends, but not all want to make friends with Rumpy. He would whine when the neighbor’s dog wouldn’t come to the fence to say hello. The dog has been AWOL for a week now, but Rumpy still goes faithfully to see if he’s there.

    As for me, I know I’m not an easy person to like. I am not a delicate flower of a woman. I am larger than life, gregarious, and sometimes aggressive. So I learned long ago to not let it bother me when I’m not liked. But I also learned to use what I have to my advantage- namely a gorgeous and friendly dog.

  3. The only people I don’t like are ones who play nice with people they think are important and are mean to ones they think are not important. Dogs don’t ever seem to be like this.

  4. Blueberry is probably better at making friends than I am. Honestly, she doesn’t really have to try – most people love her on sight just because of her markings and typically, the male dogs love her. I think because she plays it cool and for some reason, her semi-aloofness makes her irresistible. There have been exceptions where people (I’ll call them dog-haters) frown at Blueberry and some dogs that have been aggressive towards her. I try not to let it bother me. Blueberry has so many other fans, that those that don’t like her are in the minority. I take Blueberry with me to the laundry mat on occasion (usually only in the cooler months) and the owners there still ask me, “How’s Berry doing?”. They don’t really care how I am doing – just B. Makes me laugh every time.

  5. I learned to love the simplicity of how a dog thinks, chooses, and functions. Aahhh, must be nice. No luggage!

  6. I need to take this post to heart. I tend to be overly sensitive, so starting a blog where people could post their opinions was nerve wracking for me. Thankfully, everyone has been so accepting and I’m learning to be myself regardless of what others think. I definitely need to be more like my dogs!

  7. Well, I’m awkward with people and my dogs are awkward with other dogs. So social media used to mess with my mind something fierce. As my blogging years continue, I’ve back away from the hype and rules and have really done what I’ve wanted with the post of the 24 Paws of Love. It can be a bit disappointing when what I feel is a good piece only gets a comment or two and I can’t understand why, but it doesn’t send me off the face of the earth like it did in the beginning. I feel pretty comfortable just being me right now and that just what my dogs do. They just be themselves. And really that is all you can ask for, being true to you. Don’t you think?

  8. Firstly, of course you wear a coat on the beach and probably end up with the picnic blanket wrapped round your knees as well!! I care far too much about what people think. I worry about what people mean and if I can take on face value what they are telling me – it is part of the problem keeping me in counselling. But I don’t know how not to care, sometimes I know I can care too much, but is that a bad thing??

    • I have a friend from Conwall who tells me I wasn’t fully dressed because I didn’t have a tea kettle. :)

      I also wonder about the difference between caring too much and caring too little. Personally, I’d rather care too much. But I wish I could get rid of the self-concerned aspect and just care more about other people.

  9. I honestly can’t fathom anyone not like you! But this: “And some of us, who are particularly un-doglike, see the worst in everything.” YEP. There are so many people who thrive and feed off of negativity… and they love to do it online. As for my herd, I’m much better at making friends than Lucas and Cooper are, but Emmett can befriend anyone who so much as glances in his direction. And even HE gets negative comments online!

  10. Maya gets along with every dog. She tries to join them in their group games at the dog park, but they are not really interested. She tries so hard, but to no avail. Does Maya care? Nope. She still has fun.

  11. It is really hard to be super sensitive and be a blogger! You seem so practical and down to earth that I would have never guessed that you doubt yourself at times. Nelly and Theo are both a little picky with friends, but Sophie seems to love everyone.