My dog ran up to me as soon as I arrived home and welcomed me with enthusiastic barks. I bent down to rub her temple before I took off my shoes and tiredly walked to the living room of my one-bedroom apartment. There, I found Brian scrolling his phone and he couldn’t be bothered to look at me.
“Hi,” I said, worried about the strange reception.
Normally, he would meet me at the door and shower me with kisses.
He finally looked up at me and I could see a scratch mark on his face.
“Hi,” he mumbled, then continued scrolling on his phone.
“What happened to your face?” I asked, more concerned.
“Your precious dog did this to me.”
I looked at Ruby, my dog, in disbelief. She had been a well-behaved dog from the day I got her and never once scratched me or anyone for that matter. In fact, she was the life of the party and everyone asked about her whenever we’d meet. However, I did notice a slight change in her behaviour when I brought Brian home for the first time.
She appeared cautious and barely interacted with him. It remained like this throughout our relationship and I assumed that she was simply jealous of the new guy. Brian, on the other hand, never mentioned that he didn’t like my dog. I did suspect that he didn’t like her since I told him that she was a gift from my ex but he reassured me that he loved my dog.
Despite telling me that he loved my dog, he asked me to keep her out of my bedroom at all times.
“How can I sleep in the same bedroom as a dog?” He asked rudely.
The comment caught me by surprise.
“I thought you said you liked her.”
“I do but I’m allergic to dogs.” His tone changed to a sweet one.
That was the first time I learned about his allergies after three months of dating him. Nonetheless, I respected his request and put Ruby’s bed in the living room.
I hoped that he’d finally feel comfortable at my place but every day, there was a different excuse about my dog. At one point, I had to take her to my mother’s place since he had complained too much. It was one of the hardest things I had to do.
“Are you crying over a dog?” He asked me when I returned home after taking Ruby to my mother.
“That dog has helped me through some of my toughest moments.” I pushed out.
It was hard for me to understand how someone could have little regard for such a sweet dog. It was then that I began to understand that he never really liked her and he was simply pretending since we were dating.
“An animal helped you through tough times?” He asked, laughing.
“Do you even like Ruby?” I asked him.
“Is she a human being that I should like?” He asked. “You know, you slay queens like to copy what white people are doing.”
“What do you mean?”
“In my village, dogs are meant to guard people outside, not sleeping in the house.”
“Are we in your village?”
He was quiet for a while. Then finally blurted out, “I don’t like that dog. Actually, I don’t like dogs in general. So it’s either you choose to get rid of it or I’ll leave.”
At first, I thought he was joking but he didn’t hesitate. Instead, he stared at me as if he was waiting for my response.
“Calm down. There’s no need to make such crazy statements.”
Ruby stayed at my mum’s house for a month and I’d go to visit her there. I hoped that separation would help me and Brian build a stronger relationship without him constantly worrying about the dog. It worked and he quickly forgot about Ruby. However, I mistook his silence as acceptance and brought Ruby back into my house.
The next day, I came home and Brian had a scratch on his face which he claimed to have been caused by my dog.
“I can’t believe Ruby did that.”
“I told you she wasn’t the angel you thought she was.”
“You must have done something to provoke her.”
“No. I was just trying to play with her when she jumped on me and scratched me.”
He continued to pressure me to get rid of my dog but I wouldn’t listen. Finally, we broke up since he had started being hostile to the dog.
I’m happy that I chose my dog over a man. Ruby has been one of the best additions to my life and I would never choose a man over her. Any man who doesn’t like my dog or any other pet isn’t the one for me. Though I regret letting it get to the point that he mistreated my dog, I’m glad that I cut things off before it got worse.
“He could even poison Ruby.” One of my friends said after learning that Brian hated my dog.
“He has issues. How can anyone hate Ruby?” Another one asked.
I watched as my friends happily played with Ruby and knew that I made the right decision. I may be single but I’ll never be lonely as long as Ruby is around. She has helped me become more social and learn to love myself. Breakups are a little easier since she came into my life and she even made me see that the world didn’t have to revolve around relationships.
Before I had her, I put all my focus on relationships that only left me brokenhearted. Nowadays, I couldn’t be bothered to be the “perfect” girlfriend. I have a good group of friends and a dog that I would kill for and that’s all that matters to me. I’ve also learned that anyone who asks me to get rid of my dog simply doesn’t belong in my life.
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