Finding dogs around Philadelphia that resemble boys i've dated, loved, hurt, and crushed on. Blogging about the trials and tribulations of young, meaningless love.



The "Gayborhood" of Philadelphia is a dog park. A four block radius of men-eating animals that’ll rip out your throat with car crash eyes and gym swollen bellies. If you’re looking for true love, just stop. 

Gays and dogs are extremely territorial. Every dog has been pissed on by every other dog, saying, “I had that, I urinated on it, I’ve marked my territory. Whats next?”. Here are a list of places dogs go to get piss drunk and pissed on. 

The Golden Retrievers and Greyhounds tend to lap up cute boy pups outside of Knock, pondering the “good old days” and crossing fingers for tighter butt holes to lick. Failing to acknowledge the fact that dogs of younger generations haven’t necessarily seen “The Birdcage”. Accidentally, but consistently using age as a crutch to comfort themselves through midlife crisis. They are handsome dogs, misunderstanding the facts that every family dog grows with age, and every young boy needs a companion until they get to college. 

Around the corner, at The Bike Stop, you can pick up you’re average Bulldogs and Pitbulls, where the more animalistic instincts come into play. Disregarding the average dislike of excessive chest hair. Sipping Miller Light from cans as well as urine from open palms. Studded collars. Leather leashes. These are rough and tough pups, throwing heads out of moving vehicles just to feel a nice, hard slap of wind against their face and throughout open mouths.

Q Lounge was the dog pound that closed down. 

At Tabu you’ll find the Chihauhaus that think their Rottweilers. Beer towers. Backwards ball caps. The boys that can enjoy the game, but yip and yap with excitement when the new Britney song pops up on the electric jukebox. What you think you get is a nice, thick animal that likes to play rough. What you actually get is a tiny mutt that just wants to cuddle. 

The younger pups that still have their balls and use them too often only get walked once a week. Mostly found at Woodys and iCandy. They appear to be the hot gay bars of the hot gay scene, but are really just puppy mills. There are these wonderful barns in New Jersey that have every puppy imaginable in big bins. You walk through. Pet and touch. Pick out your favorites from afar. Can’t make it to Jersey? Try “college” night.

12th Coffee, the new Brew HaHa, is an impressive coffee shop. Being that it not only has canines that have evolved enough to enjoy the taste of coffee, but these dogs have also develop opposable thumbs. Enabling them to access the Internet, posting most of the ”Men Seeking Men” ads on Craigslist. Example: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/m4m/2475445665.html True Love. Nothing says ” I love you” more than a forty-four year old man looking to “get my mouth fucked and swallow your load.”

Tavern on Camac has the white dogs. Muts. Most likely to shed all over your house and drunkenly howl to the sweet tunes of Sinatra and Elton John. 

Around the corner is Valanni. A mixed crowd. Dalmatians if you want to get literal. But more like well-kept Poodles, sipping on shots of Stoli and dirty martinis. Spending the same amount of money grooming themselves as they do on the their nightly bill. A fourteen dollar burger vs. a fourteen dollar manicure. Be prepared to bark at the top of your lungs from midnight till two in the morning. The dance floor may be a joke, but the DJs certainly aren’t. And yeah, the music is loud, but by you’re fifth shot of Stoli, you won’t be able to tell a dog whistle from Mariah Carey’s high notes. Guaranteed.

The strays and rescues turn the town over by two in the morning. The perfect opportunity for quick dogsits and drug deals, with a side of animal cruelty. More than half the time you won’t be able to tell if you’re among cats or dogs. (Hint: the paws usually give it away) Dogs in dresses. Dogs on catnip. Trick dogs that’ll keep you entertained while your wife is out of town. By this point in the night, the gay boys turn to sheep dogs, rallying up forces and fag hags to trickle out of bars and hit the big leagues. 

Voyeur is a dog park inside of a dog park. The moment you let your dog off the leash, there’s a distinct intoxicated excitement that arouses. Automatic butt sniffing, playful nips on ears, mandatory bathroom breaks, humps for days. The dog you thought you knew is making out with the dog you knew a month before and the dog you noticed two months prior comes up and licks your hand while an out-of-town dog growls with disgust and asks if you live close by. (Note: When you’re doorman starts giving you a specific looks and muttering your name under his breath, you should probably start paying attention to the fact that your apartment complex doesn’t allow animals and you shouldn’t try to sneak stray dogs into your building every other night.) 

Nearly every dog in this big gay park has had flees, ticks, herpes, tape worms, ring worms, chlamydia, foaming from the mouth and other places, gonorrhea, rabies, and other unfortunate conditions. If concerned see: http://mazzonicenter.org/ or http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/profile/8985373/philadelphia_pa/philadelphia_animal_hospital.html It’s a shame they don’t have Frontline for the Hiv. Best believe that if you’re messin’ around in a dog park, you’re going to get dirty, and you’re going to need to shower if not take a trip to the vet. (Note: Invest in a handful of flee collars. You won’t be able to bite yourself in the ass when hump every dog in the park.)

With that, it may be a little more understandable as to why I picked up my next dog in New York City. A larger park. A little more freedom to run around. Stay tuned for next week. “Woof”




Name: Riot

Breed: Shih Tzu 

Race: Twink

Eye Color: good question

Fallback Dance Move: Contemporary Dance

Height: Short, but cute

Weight: 120 if not less

Favorite Magazine: Dance Spirit

Favorite Song: “Hummingbird Heartbeat” Katy Perry

Favorite Movie/TV Show: Intervention

Favorite Food: Take out Chinese

Pet Peeves: Thunderstorms, the words “I love you”, sex without alcohol, being wet

Hobbies: Dancing, teasing, licking faces, smoking weed, smoking cigarettes, being nice


Riot’s owner passed away in October. It was: 

a.) tragic 

b.) extremely unfortunate 

c.) really hard to comprehend

d.) scary 

e.) young 

f.) 17 stories away from an amazing amount of broken hearts

g.) all of the above. 

Correct answer, g.

He was a good friend of mine so I decided to petsit for about a month or so to make sure no one else was hurt in the whole process of mourning and recovery, including his dog. Riot and I were the perfect rebounds for our own lost loves, and the month we shared together was nothing more than a beautiful disaster. Emphasis on beautiful. I started taking him on walks, hosing down his emotional discomfort with a side of vodka and orange juice. No leash. Just cute drunken stumbles and talks of life after death. By this point a leash was out of the question, Riot was on his own, a free ranging dog with the lovesick blues. The average breakup is easy compared to what Riot went through. He was a simple  dog in a complex situation. The kind of dog that scared easy, but took the time to lick your hands afterward. My hands were licked. Hard. Like a sandpaper cat tongue. 

It’s difficult to see dogs cry and it’s even harder to see people cry when they are really crying. Throughout this month I cried the most I’d ever cried and had seen more people “seriously cry” than I’d even seen before. A “serious cry” is when you’re not looking in the mirror to see how ugly your face gets. When you can’t stop, and your body is doing all the work. When you have to make stupid jokes just to laugh before you cry again. It isn’t the whimper of a dog that doesn’t like the idea of it’s owner going to the grocery store. It’s the whimper of a dog that knows it’s owner isn’t coming back. Completely Abandoned. And for a dog, there is no sense of “understanding”. It’s just a separation anxiety that sicks with you like the first and last kiss you had with a boy isn’t in your life anymore. All the time I had with Riot was hard to digest, and looking back on it, it all still sticks in my throat. Difficult to swallow.

The first time I saw Riot cry was the first time I saw him as a person. I fell in love by default. When you see anything so cute (beautiful), in so much emotional pain, you automatically fall in love with the idea that this dog must be taken care of. It must be fed. It must be watered. It must be loved to some extent. So I stopped my life for a month to make sure Riot was cared for. I did my best, not anticipating the attachment I would endure towards Riot, or even the attachment I currently endure towards him today. 

He has been one of the sweetest men in my life, and still is. An advocate for sinking hearts and weakening knees. He’s so cute I could hurt him. The kind of cute that makes you say “awwwww” when a baby pups paws are still too big for its little body. When I watch him dance, waging his tail and running in circles, there’s a sense of explicit sadness that comes over me, because the beauty that comes out of his body should be mimicking the beauty that comes out of his life. Yet, over the last few months, I have only seen him and his life become more and more beautiful. I have no doubt that within the next two years, Riot will be on top of the world. And I also have no doubt that he will be able to do this perfectly fine with or without me. 

We were inseparable for most of November, and had gone our own ways by Christmas time. What I miss most about Riot is just holding him, when I knew he needed to be held. I mean sure, we had our dog humps, drunk fucks, and meaningless back alleyway kisses. Unprotected sex with unprotected hearts. But, Riot, what it all came down to was the way I felt making sure you were okay. Holding you at night was a thousand times better than being inside you after five shots of vodka and a case of miller light.

That month I was a dog whisperer. Whispering sweet nothings into intoxicated dog ears that no one needed to hear except for myself. Every night I placed my hands on your heart and would reiki you. Fun Word of the Day:  Reiki, n. Alternative Med. Brit. /ˈreɪki/, U.S. /ˈreɪki/.Tibetan Buddhist technique, developed in Japan in the late 19th or early 20th cent. by Dr Mikao Usui (1865–1926), in which the therapist channels this energy through him- or herself into the patient by the gentle laying on of hands, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.[5].  In all reality, I was using Riot to regain a sense of meaning in my own life. Similar to community service. Except, you don’t fall in love with community service.   

Remember when I sent you flowers? “Bet you five buck this will make you smile”. It’s hard to tell when a dog is smiling and it’s even harder to tell if he actually likes you, or he just wants the food in your hand. (Fun Song for the Day: “I’m Not Your Toy” by La Roux) Riot ate out of my hand for a while before I had to give him up. Sometimes you just can’t support a dog the way it needs to be supported. Sometimes you need to think about your priorities in life, and put yourself first.  “Hey, I’d rather get a manicure than buy another bag of Kibbles N’ Bits”. Some people simply aren’t ready to own dogs, and I was by no means ready to own Riot. He was by no means ready to be owned. He’s a free dog, and will be for some time. Estimated time to heal: a long fucking time.

Remember when I tricked you to come on stage and sang to you? Honestly, it was one of the best five minutes I’ve ever experienced. Experiences usually don’t come in five minute increments, but this one did and we were both smiling bigger and brighter than we had in a long while. I didn’t do it because I “loved you”. I did it because I felt like you deserved someone telling you that you’re gorgeous just the way you are. I did it because you needed to be given’ flowers. And I did it because I needed you to know you were going to be taken care of even if you’d just lost the love of your life. I did it because it was my last attempt to make you smile, knowing that I needed to give up on you. So yeah, I guess I did it because I loved you. 

The following issues I’ve found to be the problems I have with myself, having nothing to do with Riot. Yet, issues that made me realize I wasn’t needed in Riots life as much as I had hoped. When someone says they are incapable of pursuing a relationship with you because they are not at a place in life where they physically can, you have to listen and stop trying to change their mind. You can’t make something out of nothing, and this is what I had yet to learn. I ended up kicking Riot out of myself life because I roughed him up enough to  bite my leg. What’s “a dog biting your leg”? When you take a dog to a bar and an hour later you find him coming out of the bathroom with another man, that’s a dog biting your leg. When you start to see a good friend of yours walking your dog down the same streets and your dog regrets to inform you the you’ve been replaced, your dog has bitten you in the leg. it wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time i’ve been bitten in the leg. Nevertheless, it always hurts, and it always takes a little time to heal. Little did I know that I had bitten myself in the leg and simply blamed it on the dog. When you juggle an animal in your arms, shaking it, kissing it accidentally dropping it, chances are you’re going to be bit sooner or later. And guess what? It was you’re own damn fault. 

Fun Advice: The three best ways to “fall out of love” are as follows: 

1.) Fall back in love with yourself. 

2.) Fall in love with someone else. 

3.) Pursue the concept of cognitive dissonance. (cog·ni·tie dis·so·nance/ˈkägnətiv/

A concept put forward by Festinger, in which the main proposal is that each individual strives to maintain consistency between their differing cognitions. Should a noticeable inconsistency arise, this will produce a state of cognitive dissonance, which the individual experiences as uncomfortable and attempts to correct. Dissonance is reduced by adjusting one of the beliefs or attitudes involved in the inconsistency, so that the conflict disappears. See balance theory.
Stratton and Hayes (1999), A Student’s Dictionary of Psychology)

So that’s how it ended. Still stings. Definite scar. But a good memory that has been worth my trouble. It’s really difficult to see your dog being taken care of by another boy, when you know you’re more than capable of taking care of him yourself. When you care so much for a dog and then it bites you, and you can’t find it in yourself to bite back. But dogs go up for adoption all the time. Finding new owners. Better homes. Better kisses. Better sex. Not many people know how to care for an animal in the right way, and maybe I didn’t know what I was getting myself into with Riot, or maybe I suffocated him to the point where animal services took him away and gave him a better home. All things considered, Riot has my heart. I’ve been asking him politely to give it back for some time now, but he hasn’t. Honestly, I don’t expect him to. Sometimes you’ve just got to cash them in at your nearest Chinese Restaurant, letting someone else chow down on your sweet and sour “chicken”. 




Name: Pongo

Breed: Pit bull Mix

Race: Mut

Eye color: Baby blue

Fallback Dance Move: The head bob

Height: 5’ 9” 

Weight: 185

Favorite Magazine: Men’s Health

Favorite Song: “My Happy Ending” Avril Lavigne

Favorite Movie: Personal Porn

Favorite Food: Lobster

Pet Peeves: Waking up to dirty dishes, waking up to dirty boys, waking up alone. 

Hobbies: Weight Lifting, lifting weights, body building, building body. 

Pongo was a mistake. Drop-dead gorgeous, muscles for miles, hunk to the max. Yet, a mistake none the less. He aided me to the conclusion that relationships are like puppies. They tend to be really cute when you first buy them, and then after a few years, they get old and ugly, and you put them to sleep. Dead. I was introduced to Pongo by the bar manager of Valanni, an endearing restaurant near 13th and Spruce Streets that plays a large role in my youthful alcoholism. I remember standing with a long island in one hand and the other extended forward, awaiting a nice firm grip. “Paw”, and he shook my hand.  He was a cross between X-Men’s Wolverine and The Nutcracker’s Mouse King, or just your average pit bull mix. Pit bulls are the ideal gay men. Thick with muscle, backwards ball caps, and enough sexual energy to rip you apart from the inside out. We hit if off, and hit it hard.  It was fun. The kind of fun you have in your childhood, when you play a little too rough with the family dog, and then it turns on you, devouring your leg, blood everywhere, screaming young child.  A few days later you’re asking your dad where the dog is and he says, “it must have run away,” when you know very well there was a shot for every stitch. Hard love.

On our first date we watched a documentary on meth addicts and “how to get the best high” by way of a bathtub, mostly cleaning ingredients, and select rat poisons found at CVS. It was nice to just relax a little and have a down to earth conversation about the dumbfuck realities in life and who’s done stupider things on harder drugs. We hit it off fast, and by the two week marker I was wearing most of his clothes on a daily basis. Hell, I still have some of them (collateral for the heart he has yet to give back to me). Fun Advice: If you take something like an article of clothing from those you casually date, your wardrobe not only expands, but the sentimental value of it all makes it so much more fun to pick out an outfit! 

He was a winter love. I love winter loves. Summer time is always break-up season, meaning dogs and men are on a one-night stand/fling basis. Which is pointless being that daytime sex and alleyway blow jobs are so much more unflattering with the sweat of hot heat and the stink of wet meat. It’s the winter dogs that cuddle up in your arms at night, seeking a sense of hibernation in your heart. Pongo and I chilled our paws, watching cool cities on frozen rooftops and sipping at soy cocoa, knowing perfectly well that chocolate is bad for dogs. He took care of me, he was a wound licker, rarely licking his own wounds, but definitely a dog with a healing personality. We were snowed in together. Literal and figurative. I barely knew the dog and already I was spending more time with him than myself, theres your first sign of “true love” or self sabotage.

The break up. Valentine’s Day. Pongo and I had decided to stay in. I think by this point we both considered each other “campaigns” with a side of “bachelor”. Nevertheless, attachment towards each other was growing more and more prominent and the both of us seemed to like where things were going. Yeah, I probably would have adopted him and constructed some cute collar that tagged him as my boyfriend. Making sure that if he ever got “lost” he’d at least be returned. Oh right, the breakup. We cooked dinner. Lobsters. They died before we boiled them, most likely Mother Nature’s way of foreshadowing the night we were about to have. The next part I blame on the alcohol.  We ended up back at Valanni, throwing back enough long islands to kill a small horse. The more you drink, the more honest you get and apparently we hadn’t been that honest with each other. Surprise surprise. Pit bulls are known for staying perfectly calm, cool, and collected until one day they snap and gouge out your aorta from your chest cavity. Blood everywhere. screaming young man. Hard. Love. Pongo ripped off every limp on my body that night. Apparently I was “a cupid, the devil with wings”. According to Pongo I had been sleeping with a couple of my past dogs, talking to a few new dogs, and dappling in hard drugs we’d learned about earlier. “DRUGS! IF IT’S NOT OTHER BOYS THAN IT’S DRUGS!!” Pongo barked these very loud, unfortunate noises at the top of his dog lungs. I smirked and tried to relax. You know, if a bee lands on you and you just stay still and calm, the likelihood of you being stung is slim to none. I’d like to apologize to those cute Valentine’s Day couples on dates that night amongst the surrounding tables, a few of which have already contacted me via Facebook to express their concern. Once again, I’m sorry if my dog shit on your lawn and I had no bags to clean it up. Short story shorter, I escorted myself out the back entrance, ignored the following calls and voicemails, and decided against seeing Pongo in the near future. 

Funny thing about dogs and people in general is that we all have our demons. People are insecure.  If you need to get drunk and scream at someone in a bar to rid yourself of a demon, than by all means. There are far worse ways to do it. Yesterday I texted Pongo and asked him out for coffee. I’ve never understood the art of holding grudges against those you’ve loved. Not to say I was “in love” with Pongo, but theres a sense of love that comes with giving yourself to someone that can most definitely withstand a bar-screaming. Plus, he’s still one of the most sexy men I know. I will say, however, that I’m nervous for our undetermined coffee date. Most coffee shops around here won’t even let a pit bull through the door, much less let a dog drink coffee.       




Name: Vito

Breed: Pug vs. Chihuahua

Race: Laid back Caucasin

Eye color: brown (blue in light) 

Fallback Dance Move: Intrerpetive Voguing 

Height: 5’ 11” 

Weight: 175 

Favorite Magazine: GQ

Favorite Song: “Suddenly I See” KT Tunstall 

Favorite Movie: The Sandlot

Favorite Food: Chicken Pellets 

Pet Peeves: Hairdryers, wearing clothes, watching other people hug, and tv commercials. 

Hobbies: Circle Running, walks, naps, unemployment, dates with boys, butt licking, submissive behavior, football.

Vito and i met at a competition. A competition based on looks, likes, and “how gay you are”. Neither of us won. Thank. God. He caught my eye, almost painfully, being that he’s a lot to take in at the first look. I think it was the heels that really turned my curiosity up a notch. They kind of slapped me across the face in a super gay way. I’d never seen a dog in heels before and some things just make you wonder. Like, where in the hell do you get four miniature heels for a dog to parade around in? Nevertheless, I took Vito with a grain of salt, putting him on the back burner of my mind. If pups can walk around with studded collars, booties and leather vests, then they sure as hell can support a nice pair of slick, black heels. It wasn’t love or even lust at first sight, but Vito somehow managed to find a way into my bed by the end of that week. Ended up staying there for a month or so. Great cuddlier. 

Took me a second to realize his leash was retractable. Dogs these days can get pretty far before you have to “Click n’ Retrieve”. Note: most boys from 18-23 years of age have retraceable leashes.. if any leash at all. Unless you’re really skilled at the “Click n’ Retrieve”, I wouldn’t waste your time. Leave the young ones alone, they will shit all over your front yard, and that goes for dogs as well. Nevertheless, despite the choice on lease, Vito was nice, rowdy, and utterly harmless. Also known as a sturdy power bottom with a good sense of smell and enough sense not to eat his shit when he shit.

 We never actually slept together, which is probably for the best.  I mostly wet my lips with a thin coat of peanut butter and had him lap it up off my mouth, excitingly grunting as he wedged and weaseled his little tongue in between my lips. Wet, like when you spill milk in your mouth and the kisser is a happy cat. But sweet, maybe with a touch of honey, or a splash of sugared vanilla. That’s more so a metaphor for how a boy kissed me than an actual act of animal cruelty on some level. But, it’s not like I’ve never gotten some kind of pleasure or satisfaction out of a jar of jiffy and a mans best friend. Men are dogs anyway. Completely interchangeable.

He was like me, a little to much like me. In fact, a bottle of wine later, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. And that was the problem. You know when people start to resemble their dogs? Vito and I had the same hair, the same friends, the same puffed-up morning face, and the same urge to strut in heels and limp our wrists/paws. Too much gay for a man and his dog. It’s fun for your average walk through the park, but when you’re really looking to settle down with someone, or at least zone into one man, he probably shouldn’t be young, or retractable, or exactly like you. 

So I dropped him. Sometimes you just have to be honest with your pets and say “Listen, I’m just not that into you, I’m not just going to keep feeding you to have you begging at my doorstep every morning.” I hurt him, I knew that. He even told me I hurt him, but we’re young, we bounce back. It’s just a shame we can’t land on all fours like cats sometimes. Nevertheless, some dogs just aren’t meant for certain homes. Or maybe I just wouldn’t know what to do with a decent dog if it licked my face. Vito was a good dog, I’m just not a “good dog” kind of guy. 

Last night I found myself dancing next to Vito in a gay club. Dim lights. Real and fake fog. Shirtless boys. Drunk. Horny. Hot. Lady GaGa…again. Boys dancing. Boys dancing with boys. Boys dancing on boys. Boys forgetting how to dance in corners. I turned to Vito and smiled. He smiled back with a half lipped gesture of delicious intoxication. Or just a drunk smirk. He licked a little peanut butter off my cheek and I lifted up his doggy ear to say, “Hey stud, I didn’t know they let pups in here.” 


You can find Vito at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vito/190859080965223