I get asked all the time by strangers, something to the effect of “Can I pet
your dog?". People see her, think she’s cute, and feel a sudden strong urge
to touch her. Some people will just reach out without asking, but the
majority of people ask first.
I don’t object, but I’m not sure my dog always enjoys it when people put
their hands on her, or in her face.
Shiba Inus are notorious for being—among other things—quite aloof at times.
Sometimes when people go to pet or greet her, they expect her to behave
similar to other dogs and reciprocate their excitement. However, in most
cases, she doesn’t care. Oftentimes she hardly acknowledges the person
Some people have taken this as a personal slight against them. I try to warn
people before petting her that there’s a possibility she won’t care.
We live in an age of instant gratification. You can buy just about anything
from Amazon and it will arrive in 1-2 days. You can order food from nearly
any restaurant and it’ll show up at your door within an hour. You can get a
chauffer to pick you up wherever you are whenvever you want and drive you
anywhere. Post a photo on Instagram and random strangers will give you praise
without knowing who you are.
People seem to be conditioned now to expect that instant gratification
everywhere, and when they don’t get it there’s a sort of cognitive dissonance
between the expected gratification and what actually happens.
But what does it mean?
I don’t know what it all means, I just find the phenomenon interesting. Life
is easier now than it’s ever been for most people, and yet if you read the
news you’d think the world is near collapse (by the way, I suggest not
reading the news unless you want your brain to rot).
We’re not at war, there’s plenty of food to go around, there’s more wealth
than ever before (albeit it’s not well distributed), and yet many people are
lonely and unhappy. A hot subject today is the “loneliness epidemic”,
although whether it’s actually an epidemic (a rapidly spreading infectious
disease) or just the journalist topic du jour remains to be seen.
One suggestion I have for those people: get a dog, take walks, create things,
have conversations with people offline, and spend more time outside with
your face not glued to your phone.