“Wait, Is This a Date?” Podcast Episode 204: Partner’s Pets

Whether you’re a dog gay, a cat gay, a snake gay, a ferret gay, or a will I ever find a lesbian who doesn’t have a pet gay, animals likely play a role in your dating life. Personally, there’s no better question someone can ask me before a first date than: Can I bring my dog?

But we know everyone doesn’t share this desire and so we had actor, writer, friend of mine, and friend of Autostraddle’s Brittani Nichols on to talk about her girlfriend’s dog and her girlfriend’s snake. We get into our histories with pets, our boundaries with partner’s pets, and B’s assertion that animals, like people, have their own personalities and should be taken on a case-by-case basis. Christina also bravely says that people should not kill their pets and I bravely say that snakes are maybe a bit sexy thanks to a certain pop star.

And before that we play another game connected to my Letterboxd! Christina challenges me to “Fix That Movie” — pronounced Fix! That! Movie! — where I have to explain how I’d fix movies I gave two or two and a half star ratings on Letterboxd. Do you like pets? Do you like movies? Well, what are you waiting for! Give us a listen!

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+ Once again, here is my Letterboxd.

+ The movies I “fixed” were Nine (2009), Catwoman (2004), The Lake House (2006), Being the Ricardos (2021), The Last Five Years (2014), The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

+ B’s dog — excuse me — B’s girlfriend’s dog Shiloh:

+ The Kate Hudson movie I keep referencing is Raising Helen (2004).

+ A moment.

+ B’s crush of the week was the show Resident Alien.

+ Speaking of Cluny Brown, if I ever got two dogs at once I’d name them Cluny Brown and Miss Betty Cream but if I get one I’m sticking with Princess Cyd. Imagine a pit bull mix named Princess Cyd!

+ Florence Welch’s new album:

+ Watch Suicide Kale (2016) written and starring B and directed by Carly Usdin.

+ If you want more B, read this interview she did with Shelli about Abbott Elementary.


Brittani: And then now my current girlfriend has a dog and a snake.

Drew: Yes.

Brittani: Yeah. A snake.

Christina: Got to hear more about this. Got to talk about the snake.

[theme song plays]

Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Christina: I’m Christina.

Drew: And welcome to Wait, Is This a Date?

Christina: Wait, Is This a Date? is an Autostraddle podcast dedicated to the most important question of our times: Wait, is this a date?

Drew: It’s a question people are asking, I hear.

Christina: Yeah. The people are simply clamoring for an answer and we try to get closer and closer to having an answer every time we podcast together, I think.

Drew: I think so too.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: I’m Drew Gregory. I’m a filmmaker and a writer for Autostraddle. I’m a queer woman, I’m a trans woman, and I’m excited to be here today.

Christina: That’s so thrilling. I’m Christina Tucker. I am also a writer at Autostraddle. I’m a podcaster, a writer of things other places. And I am also a queer woman. I’m black. I have new braids and I’m really loving, throwing them around a very dramatic woman that’s what I’m doing now. I’m identifying as a dramatic woman these days.

Drew: I think you should.

Christina: Which is really working for me.

Drew: Yes.

Christina: As usual, we have a little game to play.

Drew: I’m so excited.

Christina: This game that I have made for Drew is called Fix That Movie. These are movies that Drew has rated two to two and a half stars on Letterboxd. I am going to give Drew 30 seconds because Drew—

Drew: Oh God.

Christina: —as we know and love her, tends to get a little long-winded. So Drew’s going to have 30 seconds to pitch a fix for these films that she has rated exactly two and a half to two stars.

Drew: Great.

Christina: So that’s the game. I’m going to start a timer. And then I’m going to give you your first movie. Are you ready to play Fix That Movie?

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: And I have to say it like that every time.

Drew: Of course.

Christina: Okay. Your first film is the film, Nine. Start.

Drew: All the elements are there. So it’s actually, this is a tricky one, because it just should be better. I think maybe the musical Nine isn’t very good. So maybe write new songs?

Christina: Okay.

Drew: And cast a few people who are Broadway performers, not just movie stars, as much as I love all the movie stars in that cast.

Christina: And with 10 seconds to spare, you have fixed the movie Nine. Gorgeous.

Drew: Amazing.

Christina: Our next film, Catwoman from 2004. Go.

Drew: I mean, a new script? But also I obviously love Halle Berry as Catwoman. I think that’s a two and a half star on Letterboxd. I did think about making it higher. I enjoyed myself. I actually rewatched it recently, like five years ago. But yeah, anyways I would say probably a page one rewrite.

Christina: A page one rewrite. Gorgeous. Four seconds to spare. All right. Your next film is, The Lake House.

Drew: Oh, did I give it two and a half stars? That’s pretty brutal.

Christina: You gave it two and a half stars.

Drew: I don’t know. I mean, that feels like a movie where you want it to be two and a half stars. If you went to go see The Lake House with the premise that it has with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. You know what? This is going to be a— recast Sandra Bullock.

Christina: Oh, hot takes. I love it.

Drew: I don’t know who, because she does have good chemistry with Keanu, but I think there’s someone better for that part.

Christina: A recast. All right. All right. That’s brave and gorgeous. Okay. We’re going to get into some fun ones now. These are some newer films that I think provide a bit more of a challenge.

Drew: Great.

Christina: Your next film, Being the Ricardos.

Drew: Oh, God. I don’t know. Aaron Sorkin wrote it and directed it. This is tricky. Because I would say, you know what, I’m actually not going to say a new screenwriter because I think Aaron Sorkin is a fine screenwriter when he has a director who will bully him. That’s why The Social Network works. So unfortunately a male director who Aaron Sorkin would listen to and be bullied by. And I’m sorry, but no, Nicole Kidman love of my life. You cannot, that’s not your role. And Javier Bardem, not love of my life. Also not your role. So recast the two leads. Supporting cast is excellent. And get a new director.

Christina: And you only went six seconds over on that. And I think that’s gorgeous.

Drew: I know I can live with that.

Christina: I also think, just as a rule, someone to bully Aaron Sorkin is a great idea. Just for anything that he’s ever involved in. Beautiful. We have two more. Your next one, the film, The Last Five Years.

Drew: Oh God.

Christina: Fix! That! Movie!

Drew: Okay. You have to have a book, you have to write a book for it. It doesn’t work as a musical without a script. And then also Anna Kendrick does not work in that role because Cathy needs to have less onscreen power than the other guy, fucking Jamie. And so having a celebrity be Cathy and a not as famous person be Jamie does not work. But mainly it needs a book.

Christina: It needs a book. I think you’re right. And I think that is going to be brilliant. Your last film, this was a really chaos choice for me, but, The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

Drew: Okay. I mean, first of all, no fat suit. That’s a very easy way to make me bump it up a half star and be a little bit more generous towards it. I don’t know if I want to fix that movie like it’s just— honestly if you take out the fat suit, it can still be that cast. Jessica Chastain could still do that part looking like Jessica Chastain. And then I give it a three. I give it three stars. I don’t think that movie needs to be anything more. But I would say if you want to make a Tammy Faye movie that would be better than that, you would have to focus like most biopic type things on a very specific time in life. And that, I think, always makes for a better biopic.

Christina: I think that’s beautiful. And I think Drew, today you have fixed six movies.

Drew: That’s really beautiful.

Christina: Of a real wide breadth and depth of films and genres. And I think that’s really thrilling.

Drew: Yeah. There’s also such a big difference— Rating movies out of five stars, it’s tricky. And again, The Lake House being a… I think I was high for it. I had a great time watching The Lake House high.

Christina: Well, that was the other thing is I had to, as I was going through them, I was like okay, which ones do I know that Drew watched high? And like so I can’t pick Serenity.

Drew: Oh, Serenity is so bad. Being the Ricardos was such a much less pleasant experience than The Lake House. So don’t watch Being the Ricardos. Maybe watch The Lake House if you have enough drugs. That’s my final words.

Christina: And this is Drew’s reviews movie corner now.

Drew: Our main topic today is Partners’ Pets. And we have a very special guest. Very special guest, do you want to introduce yourself?

Brittani: Yes. Hello. My name is Brittani Nichols.

Christina: Hey.

Brittani: Do I say what I am?

Christina: You can say whatever you want.

Drew: Whatever that means to you.

Brittani: I am a television writer and actor. And Gemini.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Great.

Christina: Good to get the sign in. I do think we should request our guests to tell us their sign. I think that is something we should do.

Drew: They should. And as we record this, Gemini season has just ended and…

Christina: Just wrapped up.

Drew: It’s a bummer.

Christina: Unfortunately.

Drew: Yeah.

Brittani: Bummer, unfortunately. Yeah.

Christina: Yep. Here we are in Cancer season. Yay.

Drew: Brittani, first of all, I want to ask, what is your relationship to animals and to pets? Growing up as a kid, did you have pets? Do you like animals?

Brittani: As a child, did we have pets? We had fish for a period, but my little brothers would — one little brother Donnie — would put video tapes into the fish tank, which would kill the fish.

Christina: Now I have a couple of questions. Was this so they could watch the video? Was this so they could interact with the tape? Are we talking a full VHS? Because that’s big.

Brittani: Oh, yeah. It was a pretty— It wasn’t a super large tank. I would say it was three goldfish tanks, I would say of the stereotypical cartoon sized goldfish tank. No idea. I mean he was three.

Christina: Sure. So maybe he wasn’t also thinking super logically.

Brittani: Whenever he was not in eyesight, that tape was going in that tank.

Drew: I mean, it makes a good splash, I would imagine. So I get it.

Christina: See, I was imagining him lowering it down very dramatically and then creeping away.

Brittani: Yeah. It’s one of those images that is definitely burned into my memory from when I was a kid. We never had a dog. At times my mother would be dating someone who had a dog and that was fun. One of them I believe was eaten by a coyote we believe, because there was wilderness behind where we were staying.

Christina: Yeah. The wilderness will get you.

Brittani: Yeah, he would just let the dog go hang out. And then one day it just didn’t come back.

Christina: Yikes.

Drew: A bummer. Was it a small dog?

Brittani: Yeah. It wasn’t tiny. It was, I would say, a small, mid-sized dog named Timberland. Very cute.

Christina: That’s a great dog name. Wow.

Brittani: I think that’s about it.

Drew: What about you Christina?

Christina: There were animals around a lot. We had a dog when I was growing up that my father named Chakotay because he is a big Star Trek head.

Drew: I think there’s a word for Star Trek head.

Christina: Yeah. It’s Star Trek head, I said it. Like hello. He was not well-trained and he was pretty aggressive. So he was a bummer of a dog. And then we later had a dog named Maggie who was a very sweet German Shorthaired Pointer who was very dumb, and fell off our deck a lot, just accidentally. And I was like, babe, you got to work it out. But we were lackadaisical dog owners. They always showed up or someone needed a dog. And my mother couldn’t say no to re-homing said dog, but we were not passionate dog owners, I would not say. And my mother is addicted to finding outdoor cats who she feeds and then is surprised that they come back. Yeah. And they currently have two weird cats that my mother also could not say no to, because they were the last of the litter and their names are Shadowfax and Yoshi. And they’re very weird and scared of people.

Drew: That’s nice.

Christina: Just chill. Just chilling around the house. Not really passionate about our pets I’d say, at the Tucker household. What about you? I know your parents have dogs, Drew.

Drew: Yeah. Opposite. Very passionate about the dogs. I was always supposed to refer to our dogs as my siblings.

Christina: Okay.

Brittani: Oh, no.

Drew: Yeah. My mom is that kind of person. But I grew up loving dogs and we always had two. One would die — they were always a little off an age — one would die. We’d get a new one and then it would sort of… Like that. Yeah. Well we had to give away one of our dogs because she was biting people, but she loved me. So it was very hard because I was a kid and it was hard to… I remember a vet saying well, do you want your dog to bite one of your friends? It was pretty harsh. Because I think I was nine, but then we got—

Christina: Damn.

Drew: We got another dog and that dog was my love. And then my parents got two dogs that I don’t know as well, but my parents still are like, your brother. And I’m like, I don’t know about that. Maybe half brother or something at least, but—

Christina: My cousin really.

Drew: Yeah. Yeah.

Christina: Interesting.

Drew: But yeah, I love dogs and I’ve never had one of my own because they’re expensive and I move around a lot and I live in cities. But then Brittani, I feel like I know vaguely your history with dating people who have dogs and other animals, but I’ll let you tell that for yourself.

Well, I evaluate dogs and pretty much all animals on a case by case basis. So when people are like, are you a dog person or a cat person? I’m like, they have personalities. I got to see if we get along.

Christina: We got to do a vibe check.

Brittani: Exactly. So yeah. So I dated someone for a couple of years who did not have a dog while we were dating, but got a dog soon after. No, maybe a year after we dated or so. And I became very close to that dog. He’s named Bandit. Very cute. A real just anxious dog, but super chill. Then I dated someone who had two cats that I was deathly allergic to. I almost developed asthma. There’s an allergy induced asthma you can develop.

Christina: Yeah, you can. You can do that.

Brittani: And I was wheezing. I would wake up and I would be wheezing because it was so bad. And so that was one of a many tensions for the relationship was you need to vacuum your apartment so I don’t die.

Drew: Yeah.

Brittani: And then now, my current girlfriend has a dog and a snake.

Drew: Yes.

Christina: Yeah. A snake. Got to hear more about this. Got to talk about the snake. What’s its vibe? What’s its name? Does it pass the vibe check?

Brittani: Yes.

Christina: Awesome.

Brittani: So I think most people have not interacted with snakes much. When I was in sixth grade, I went to a camp where one of the big events was that they would put a snake around your neck and you would get to take a picture. So it was not my first encounter with a snake. His name is Yari, he was a rescue. He got washed away during some hurricane in Florida. And he was mailed to her as a baby.

Christina: Oh.

Drew: Sure.

Brittani: And he eats live rats. So seeing that for the first time, I have to say — well, not rats, let’s say mice, they’re small — was a lot. It was a lot to watch. I do not enjoy it. I understand the circle of life. However, I would rather not witness that particular aspect of it. And he’s pretty chill. He’s never nipped or anything at me. He will slide into my shirt and just hang out where it’s warm and dark. I would like him to be out I think more than her. I’ll pressure her like he’s been in his tank for too long like give him a night on the town.

Christina: You got to see the sights.

Brittani: He has gotten lost in our previous apartment a few times because she would not keep an eye on him and he would just slither to a little place. And then she would proceed to freak out. And I would say he’s in the apartment. There’s nothing to freak out about. We will find him eventually. And then I would always eventually find him in one or two days.

Drew: When you first started dating Cerise, at what point did you find out that she had a snake?

Brittani: Very soon into it.

Drew: Like the first date?

Brittani: When did I find out? Before we were official, for sure. Because she brought him to Dyke Day.

Christina: Fascinating.

Brittani: And that was one of the first times I think we saw each other in person. It wasn’t a date. We were just like, oh we’re both at Dyke Day. And she had the snake around her neck.

Christina: Here you are with a snake. Yeah.

Brittani: Yeah. And it was doing very well with the ladies, I will say.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Was it like, she’s a 10, but she has a snake? Or was it like, she’s a 10 and she has a snake, so she’s a 12? Was it a positive? Was it a green flag or red flag or a yellow flag?

Brittani: It was a neutral. Yeah. I really didn’t feel anything about it because I just didn’t know enough about snakes to have any sort of feelings about it. And honestly, it’s more positive than a dog because you really don’t have to do much.

Drew: That’s true.

Christina: I think that’s true. I also do think that’s interesting, because I feel people do have very strong opinions about snakes. I feel many people are hard pass on a snake. I find them to be very charming and cute. I don’t love the idea of one just freeform vibing for one or two days in my home while I don’t know where it is. That would cause me a bit of stress, I think personally. But if I know where you’re located, if I can go look at you, you can hang out my arm. You can snake around, but I just need you to stay where you be living. I don’t need you to be just hanging out unpredictably. That scares me a little bit.

Drew: As someone who has helped take care of this specific snake when you were out of town, I think the only challenge was the feeding. That was the only thing that like— I think I’m one of those terrible omnivores who doesn’t want to see the animal before it’s killed and eaten. But I do eat meat and I know it’s not an admirable quality, but it is a quality that I possess. And just, it was the ride home from the pet store. Once it’s in the tank with the snake, then it becomes a thing where I’m like, oh, I’m witnessing the circle of life. Now there’s another animal that I can personify and be like, oh, well you’re just eating your meal and how fascinating. But when we were just in the car and it was in the little box from PetSmart, that was definitely the biggest challenge. But I definitely am on snake is a positive. And also I’m sure you were relieved that Cerise isn’t a cat person.

Christina: Well, yeah.

Brittani: Oh, yes. Yeah. I don’t foresee myself dating someone with a cat ever again, should this not work out.

Drew: How long ago was it that you dated the person with the cat?

Brittani: Four years, five years? Something like that.

Christina: I mean, I do think we have to discuss queers and pets generally, because I do think there is a certain type of queer person that has an energy about pets writ large that I find what’s the word, exhausting. And God bless. I’m not a monster. I’m not going to be out here saying kill your animals. I think that’s insane. But there is a person who I’m like, do you perhaps care more about this animal than hmm I’d say, any marginalized person? Because that is a little stressful to me. And I think it’s fair to say that a lot of these queers tend to be white. And I just, I have a little bit, there’s always a little bit of hesitation. It’s not necessarily a red flag, but it would be a, okay, what’s going on with you and this animal? What’s happening here? What’s this investment emotionally? Talk to me about it. That’s my piece. I’ve said it.

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: Backing away.

Drew: That’s fair. I associate that also with a kiss on the mouth, tongue kiss, animal person. And that’s also, I would count that as a red flag. I don’t mind if someone really loves their pet.

Christina: Yeah. I think it’s probably better to really love your pets than be like, eh, whatever.

Drew: I do identify as, I guess, a dog person and a cat person. I really like animals, even though I eat them, not dogs and cats generally, but I really do love animals and I’ve never dated anyone who has one. And that’s a bummer. Yeah. I mean, famously, famously in the life of me, not to anyone else, after Gaby Dunn and I went on our first date, one of the things that made them be a little bit like, I don’t know, was that I didn’t react strong enough to Beans. And they’ve told me that. Afterwards, Mal was like, how was the date? And they were like, it was good. She didn’t seem that enthusiastic about Beans. Which is wild because I was so… I remember being totally, but it was a first date. I wasn’t going to spend more time talking to Beans than Gaby, but I should have, I guess. And I don’t know. I do love an animal, but it does go people, animals to me.

Brittani: Sure.

Christina: Yes.

Brittani: I also, I don’t get that, because I feel if I’m coming into an animal’s space, I want to be respectful. I’m a guest in your home. I’m going to wait for you to come up to me.

Christina: Exactly.

Drew: Yes.

Brittani: I don’t want to seem thirsty.

Drew: Right, exactly. Yes. I’ve also found that animals tend to like you more when you give them a little space and create sort of a calm environment. And then if they want to be all over you, then they can. But yeah. I remember Gaby told me that during the pandemic, when I was living with them and Mal and I was extremely single at the time and was having like… So I very much was I’m sleeping in the shed. The couple who I live with is in the main house. And I was like is my entire life been shaped by not being enthusiastic enough about people I’ve dated’s pets? Is that why I’m single? But no, I stand by my muted, yet enthused reaction to people’s pets.

Christina: I just love the idea of you being like, if I had loved that dog more, would I perhaps be allowed into the main home? Would I not live in a shed?

Drew: They were both joking about that. And I was like, I don’t this joke. I like a world where the two of you are just in a relationship and I’m your friend. I don’t like this world where destiny could have gone in a different direction if I was just a little bit more cheerful. But also Bean sleeps in their bed. And I don’t know, does Shiloh sleep in bed with you guys?

Brittani: Oh, she sure does.

Drew: Do you like that? Does it bother you?

Christina: See, I am pretty negative on animals in the bed with me. I don’t care for that.

Brittani: I don’t really. It’s not worth it to me.

Christina: I think dogs are a little easier to handle sleeping with than cats. We have two cats. They are not allowed in the bedrooms at night. And I have left my bedroom door cracked. And one of them will find their way into my bed at night. And what happens is that I wake up terrified because I think that I am being attacked by some sort of possum or something. I don’t immediately think, oh, there’s a cat in my room. I think some animal, wild animal has gotten in here to kill me. That’s where I immediately go upon waking. So I just think close that door, close that door. Also, you think you would get more of the bed than me? I’m a person, come on. You’re an animal. Get away from me. Shoo. Shoo.

Drew: Growing up, I always did have my dog sleep in bed with me. So I’m not against it on principle. I think I would prefer if the dog would sleep at the end of the bed rather than between me and my partner.

Christina: Sure.

Drew: But I don’t know. I’m also as a pet parent — and also if I was ever a parent, parent — I am a little bit of yeah, I don’t know, I’m a little bit of a pushover maybe. I’m just like what am I going to do? You have so much love and you want to just be here with me. What am I going to do? Not take that? That’s seems so harsh.

Christina: Unfortunately I would simply say, you need me too much. That’s horrible. We can’t have that.

Drew: Yeah. That just checks out for us.

Christina: Yeah. It really does.

Brittani: Well, I know I would be the one that would have to train it out of Shiloh and I just have no interest in taking that on. And she likes to sleep in between my legs or right behind my knees, which is also just your mom is right there. Why must you sleep on my person?

Drew: At what point in your relationship did Shiloh start doing that? That’s a really sweet, embracing of you as second parent.

Brittani: Yeah. I mean, I think she just sees me as the alpha of the home.

Drew: I see.

Brittani: And is being subservient.

Drew: I see.

Christina: Hey, they’re a pack creature. They know which side their bread’s buttered on.

Brittani: I’m trying to work on her confidence so she could be a bit more stable and just trusting of the relationship.

Drew: For sure.

Christina: I will say of all of my friends who have adopted dogs, found dogs, I’m always like, how do you guys find the most neurotic, anxious—? Perhaps it is a game recognize game situation. And everyone is just meeting a dog on their level. And I think that’s really gorgeous, but I’m just like, what if one person I knew had a dog who was just chill? Here to hang, here to vibe, but no, everybody is like, she’s a little anxious. She needs this, this, this. What is this? What are we doing to dogs? Why are they so stressed out? You’re a dog.

Brittani: Shiloh does not come across as anxious. Shiloh comes across as very friendly and wants to be around everyone. But she does still have those sort of anxious tendencies of if you’re gone for too long or you come back, and she gets too excited, but she’s also like, you’re the boss, then she will pee a little bit. She does that sort of stuff.

Christina: Sure.

Drew: I was going to say that I can relate, but then you said the pee a little bit and that part I’m going to have to stop at. But I’m a Leo rising, Taurus moon, Capricorn sun, earth sign at my core, anxiety disorder at my core. But I like to give an extrovert—

Christina: Performance?

Drew: Aura out in the world. Yeah. It’s a performance. I appreciate that about Shiloh. I do love Shiloh. I was like, oh, if was around Shiloh, I’d let Shiloh sleep in bed. What are you going to do? Say no to Shiloh? Shiloh’s so cute.

Brittani: She also got Shiloh by accident.

Drew: Oh, how so?

Brittani: She went with a friend to a shelter because the friend was thinking about getting a cat. And she was like, I don’t like cats, I’m going to go hang out with the dogs. Shiloh had a cherry eye which required surgery. And it was 50 bucks or something, not that much, but no one was adopting her because they would see her and be like, oh, what the fuck is happening over there? And so my girlfriend was like oh, I’ll just pay for the surgery so that this dog can get adopted. And so she paid for the surgery and then a few days later they called her like, your dog’s ready. And she was like, I’m sorry, what are you talking about?

Christina: That was a charitable donation.

Brittani: And they were like, the dog whose surgery you paid for. And she was like, oh, okay. And she had just had a breakup I’m pretty sure. I think she had like… Something was happening where she was like, I’m going to just embrace this gift from above.

Christina: Something I have learned is, it’s never a good idea to go to a shelter because you will end up with an animal almost.

Drew: Or a great idea.

Christina: Sure. I mean, for me, the way my life is set up, I simply cannot—

Drew: Yeah. I know.

Christina: —fathom having to also be responsible. I’m responsible for me and my two adult children. I cannot be responsible for an animal at this time in my life, certainly not a dog. The cats are fine.

Drew: Yeah. I mean, sort of the way that I would love to have human children, what’s that Kate Hudson movie? I would love to just have them dropped on me like, oh, I have to do this responsibility. I can’t logically get a dog right now. It doesn’t make financial sense. It doesn’t make life sense, but I want one so bad. And the other day, Elise and I were at lunch and there was this pitbull mix tied up outside the restaurant and was whining like a human. It was so eerie and weird. And I was like if by the time we finish lunch, no one has come back for this dog, this is my dog. This weird dog that yells like a person is going to be my dog and I’m going to love them dearly. Three minutes later, their owner came out with takeout. So that dog is not my dog, but I would love to have responsibility dropped in my lap.

Christina: Yeah. And there is our difference. I would see that dog at a restaurant, I’d say, I hope your day gets better dog. And then I would simply move on with my day, and hope that it did the same. And be glad that its owner returned.

Drew: Christina, have you dated anyone who has a pet?

Christina: My gut is like, no, but I feel like that’s wrong, but no, I think it is true. I don’t think I have dated someone who has a pet.

Drew: Yeah. I don’t think I have either which is…

Christina: How is that possible?

Drew: Again, I’ve gone on dates with people who have their pets with them even, and I’ve not reacted properly, but I’ve never been in a long term relationship with someone who has a pet and that’s the real—

Brittani: Wow.

Drew: That’s a bummer.

Christina: B’s like, how have you done that?

Brittani: That’s the way to go.

Drew: I think I have the energy of someone who would be the one to bring the pet into the relationship.

Brittani: Right.

Drew: That’s how I’ll know I’ve made it. My girlfriend’s like, when I can buy a house, and I’m like, when I can buy a dog. And obviously it’s nicer to have a backyard for your dog. And if you have a house, maybe you have a backyard and those different things go great together. Basically I’m saying is I’d love to have a lot more money. But I want a dog so badly.

Christina: Well, that was going to be my other question was in your future relationship, does an animal figure in at some point?

Drew: Oh, yeah.

Christina: Because I feel like I can go either way. Like, sure, but not necessary.

Drew: No. That’s a real life landmark that I’m very committed to hitting. The problem is that I tend to like bigger dogs.

Christina: I love big dogs.

Drew: And that’s harder for life. And especially, I don’t know where I’m working ever. I don’t know where I’m living ever. It’s one thing to bring a Chihuahua with you to different cities or to set. It’s a different thing to bring, I love a pitbull mix. But not even mixed like a corgi, so they look like a little mini pitbull. I like a pitbull mixed with an Australian shepherd or something. I just love a weird little mutt dog that just is out there living life. Sometimes it’s a personality thing. Some smaller dogs have, like I feel this way about Shiloh. Shiloh has a personality. But I think sometimes smaller dogs feel more when you get a hamster. And a bigger dog often feels more like, oh, this is my pal. And I want a pal.

Christina: I like that you’re just looking for your YA fantasy, moment. You just want to be the hot girl who has her dog and they’re pals and they’re running around.

Drew: I also grew up with bigger dogs. So I always grew up with some sort of very suburban, a lab or a spaniel so. And spaniels are medium-sized. But yeah.

Christina: I like giant dogs because I like that they have the same energy as I do, which is, they simply would like to be lying down at all times and are like, eh, I don’t really need to go outside because that is also how I feel.

Drew: I think of bigger dogs as they need to run all the time. That’s also a reason why it would be harder to have a big dog. I mean, I guess it depends on the dog, but I I used to run half marathons with my spaniel.

Brittani: Oh, wow.

Christina: Yeah. Well those little medium dogs definitely need to take a run, but you get a Bernice, they’re trying to lie down. That dog is trying to lie the hell down.

Drew: Yeah. That’s fair. Brittani, when you’ve been in relationships with people who have dogs, how soon does the responsibility of taking care of the dog fall on you? Or do you embrace that responsibility?

Christina: As the pack leader, do you embrace that responsibility?

Brittani: Oh, I am still very clear about my boundaries as far as it comes to taking care of the dog. I am like, this is not my dog. This is your dog. You walk this dog, you feed this dog. When I do those things, I am being kind. And it is a favor.

Drew: Even with Shiloh still??

Brittani: Yeah.

Christina: Iconic.

Drew: Wow. I love it.

Brittani: When Cerise is gone, obviously I very much am very bothered if I ever think Shiloh is in any distress, so I wouldn’t be like, oh, she’s not going to be home until 9:00. I’m just going to let you wait until 9:00 to have your walk and your food. I will do it, but I am like, when you get home, please say, thank you because this is not how I want to live my life. And also, I paid for Shiloh to have a professional trainer because it truly was impacting the relationship. And I was losing my mind whenever she would… I mean, she just was annoying as hell. Shiloh used to be so fucking annoying. After our first day when we went home together — because that’s how I get down — Shiloh was jumping up and down behind this gate that went into the bedroom for two hours, just nonstop. This jumping, jumping, jumping, jumping. So whenever I would look over, I just see this fucking dog, like a little pogo stick.

Christina: I would find that quite distracting.

Brittani: And I honestly was like, I don’t know if I want to go on another date because if this is this dog’s energy, I simply cannot deal with it in my life. And so yeah. Getting Shiloh to behave better has been a real boon to how we get along.

Christina: Yeah. I would imagine.

Drew: That is a thing that I’ve… Thinking about dating experiences, not in serious relationships, but just like out in the big wide world of dating, there are dogs that are major cock blocks where you’re like, get out of this bed. I do feel like there is a dog that did maybe prevent a threesome of mine. In retrospect, it was the right… The dog was doing the right thing. But in the moment I was like, why, get out of here. Why are you here? You’re killing the vibe. And I do feel like there’s been other times where I’ve been like, is this dog going to be… Part of the boundaries of, I don’t know, dogs are dirty. I love dogs so much, but I don’t want someone petting a dog and then putting that finger inside me. I don’t want that. So I do need a dog to, even if the dog’s sleeping in bed, they have to understand that there are times where their owners are in bed and it’s not for sleeping, and they need to be away.

Christina: Yeah. I think drawing a line at the dog being in bed while we’re having sex is a very fair line to draw. I feel as though you felt uncertain that you could say that, but I think say it loud and proud, Drew.

Drew: Thank you.

Christina: No dog in bed during sex. Honestly, no cat either. No animal. No snakes.

Drew: No pets in general.

Christina: I don’t want the snake showing up. I’m telling you that. I’m telling you that right now.

Drew: I do think because of Britney Spears, there is a part of me that thinks snakes are sexier than dogs, but I still don’t… I do agree with you. No snake involved, but there is something about a snake. The snake feels less, they also don’t have fur. So I don’t know why that feels cleaner. Maybe as someone who lives with a snake, you would know that snakes aren’t cleaner. But for some reason, I have this cultural association of snakes being sleek and sexy. I still don’t want them involved.

Christina: I was going to say, Drew, you are walking the line.

Brittani: And a snake does not want to be involved.

Drew: Look, it’s not my fault. It’s Britney Spears’ fault.

Christina: Well, and that’s that, I guess. It’s a wrap on that.

Drew: Let’s move to our final segment, which is Crush Corner. Christina, do you want to start us off this week?

Christina: I need a second to decide. So what if you started us off this week.

Drew: I’m going to let our guest start off this week.

Christina: Oh, fun. Switching it up.

Brittani: All right. Well, my crush is this show called Resident Alien, which I just found out about last week, and I’m watching it with my girlfriend and I’m just having a real blast.

Drew: Where can one watch this show?

Brittani: We’ve been watching it on Peacock. But I think it comes on Syfy? That’s a channel, right?

Christina: I think it’s Syfy, yeah.

Drew: Yeah. Tell me more about this show.

Brittani: It’s just a show about an alien that crash lands in Patience, Colorado, I believe, with the mission to kill all humans. And he ends up taking over this doctor’s body and someone in town dies and then he’s helping solve the mystery of who killed this doctor. And it’s Alan Tudyk, I think is his name, notably the pirate from Dodgeball. I think it’s his claim to fame and it’s just delightful. It’s just a fun little show. Funny, cute. I like it.

Drew: Cool. Great. My crush this week is Jennifer Jones, the actress from the forties. Specifically in Cluny Brown, which is one of my favorite screwball comedies. I just rewatched it with my girlfriend, because she hadn’t seen it before. She has not seen a lot of old movies, which is a lot of fun, because I get to show all my favorites. And Cluny Brown is just an incredible movie and I highly recommend it. And Jennifer Jones is just so beautiful and charming in it.

Christina: I love that my crush this week, I’m going to go classic. I’m going to bring it to my girl who’s held me down through many years. My good queen, Florence Welch. I have been banging that album, having feelings like I am in 2010 all over again. I love her spooky witch ways. And I think she’s a real talent and a real treat. And I’m glad that she’s sober and seems to be really working that out. And this new album is emotional in that way, but also just gorgeous. And she’s just happy to holler on a track with her little spooky witch voice. And I think it’s lovely and I love her. I love that. Yeah.

Drew: Great. Well, Brittani, do you want to tell people where they can find you and your work?

Brittani: Yeah. I am at @bishilarious on Twitter and Instagram. If you’ve never seen the film, Suicide Kale, I’d encourage you to check that out. And I’m currently running for Abbott Elementary and we will be premiering on September 21st, the second season. And the first season’s on Hulu.

Christina: Yeah. Abbott Elementary. Heard of it people? Get involved.

Drew: Thanks, Brittani.

Brittani: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Drew: Yeah, of course.

Christina: Thanks so much for chatting with us about animals. I’ve learned so much about snakes.

Drew: Yeah.

Brittani: You should get one.

Christina: There was a period in my most obnoxious “I’m not like other girls” phase where I was like I’m going to get a snake. And then I was like, grow up. Just stop acting like that. Come on. Nobody likes that energy on you.

Drew: You know what, and clearly that’s not necessarily true. So you could get a snake. I mean, I don’t think you should get a snake because of that energy, but I do think you could embrace a different sort of snake energy and it’d be a good one.

Christina: Yes. I think having a snake now that I am the proper lesbian that I clearly was always meant to be, as opposed to pretending to be straight and being like, I’m going to have a snake that would have be awful, but this is fine. I think now it would be much better.

Brittani: Yeah. You should make snake lesbian a thing. That could become its own personality type.

Drew: Thank you so much for listening to, Wait, Is This A Date. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at waitisthisadate. And you can email us at [email protected].

Christina: Our theme was written by Lauren Klein. Our logo is by Manya Dahr, and this podcast was produced, edited and mixed by Lauren Klein.

Drew: You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at draw_gregory.

Christina: You can find me on Twitter at c_gracet and on Instagram at christina_gracet. And you can find Autostraddle of course, at Autostraddle.

Drew: And you can find Autostraddle at autostraddle.com. The reason we’re all here today. Thank you so much and see you next week. Christina, what is the difference between a date and a podcast?

Christina: Oh, actually, that’s really interesting that you asked that because scientists are at this very moment hurriedly trying to figure this out. We have some of our best scholars on this. On the case here, we don’t have an answer, but I think every day we journey closer to understanding.

Drew: I wish them, and us, the greatest luck.

Drew (voice memo): Trumpet the bloodhound just won the dog show. And can you imagine dating someone who not only had a dog and loved their dog, but had a dog that won the dog show? That’d probably be a nightmare. But there’d be some prestige.

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 539 articles for us.


  1. This is such a relevant topic and I have such asshole opinions about it, several of which I am happy to say were reflected here. Nobody get a reptile and everyone calm down about your pets in general.

  2. I had to get off of Hinge because everyone’s damn profile was all about their DOG. Like seriously 5/6 pictures would have their dog in it and it would be all like, “my simple pleasure is going on walks with my dog” or “I like to spend every Sunday morning with my DOG she’s the LOVE OF MY LIFE”. I want to date you, not your pet!! Now I probably sound like an asshole if anyone has advice on finding pet-free people to date plz let me know. I could maybe adapt to a really well-behaved small dog but cats make me sneeze and pets of any kind sleeping in the bed is a hard no.

    • hahaha mary I love this review of hinge, which i have never been on, because it sounds like hinge is actually the app for me!

      that said, I hope you find the dog-free partner of your wildest dreams! <3

  3. I was pretty pet neutral and very anti dog for myself (so much work) until I met my fiancée. She didn’t even have a dog—just wanted to one day. At some point I flipped and now she regrets it since I apparently don’t have a middle ground. Now we foster dogs and I made a TikTok account for the foster dogs (despite not being on any social media myself ever). I am definitely one of those gays now.

    But not the dogs-over-marginalized-people or mouth-kissing kind!

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