I took my dog to couples counseling but the therapist said he just wanted to see me for awhile.
It's your fault!
Does your dog freak out when you leave? If he chews up your furniture, or howls at the wall, or leaves pee puddles in your wake, it is possible that you could have prevented all of that if you just loved your dog enough.
According to a recent study, if you are the type of person who avoids developing close relationships with humans, your dog is picking up on it. And, much as it does the humans you are supposed to be close to, that fear of intimacy is freaking him out. In fact, the German and Hungarian researchers looking into this have given your dog's condition a very clinical name: separation-related disorder.
Yes, you've given your dog a disorder.
According to the study, "owners scoring higher on self-reported attachment avoidance are more likely to have dogs with separation-related disorder."
Owners with misbehaved dogs tended to disagree with statements like “I find it relatively easy to get close to others,” and strongly agree with statements like “I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on others.”
When dogs pick up on your cold and prickly nature, they don't develop that secure feeling they need to feel safe. When you leave, they rightfully think you could be abandoning them forever.
But when will Obamacare start covering dog anti-depressants?
Another possibility, the study ventures, could let you off the hook. You may still be a cold human who avoids close relationships, but maybe you didn't pass that on to your dog. Maybe you just picked a dog with similar traits.
Per the study, “owners select dogs that are similar to themselves, either at the individual or at the breed level."
At least that's something you can tell your neighbors when they complain about the constant barking and howling: you didn't turn your dog into a jerk, you're just a jerk who picked a dog that already was one.
Warning: this excuse will not work as well with your terrible children.