WSPA Psychologists weigh in: Living in Seattle when you’re not a dog-person


Dr. Nancy Goldov was contacted for input into the following article, originally appearing in the Seattle Times. She referred three WSPA psychologists, Ana María SierraSamara Serotkin, and Joseph S. Weiss, all quoted in the article.

Not wild about dogs? How to cope in mutt-mad Seattle

Seattle Times staff reporter

In a city with more dogs than children — and where admitting you’re not a dog person can get you dirty looks — can dog-wary individuals find peace?

Jim Barker is reluctant to admit that he doesn’t actually like dogs.

You see, the pressure to love them in Seattle, a city where canines are more prevalent than children, is so intense that he can barely concede it even to himself.

“I’m afraid I’ll be judged as soulless because I don’t want to get down on the ground and snuggle with them,” said Barker, a corporate trainer for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

He’s tried over the years to befriend them; he’s petted them, smiled at them and even baby-sat a neighbor’s pooch, but to no avail.

“If people ask, I deflect and tell them I’m more of a cat person,” he said.

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