Neurosis is "a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment."
The neurotic dog is definitely maladjusted. He's a yellow lab, a retriever, a water dog, yet he's afraid of water. He whines in the rain, will do anything to avoid going out in it, and forget about baths. There will be no retrieving if it involves water (or obedience, but that's another story).
He's also extremely anxious about being a dog. That's not to say he's timid. It takes all my weight to hold him back when he wants to go after another dog in the neighborhood (and God help any unwanted guests in our home), but, he really doesn't like being a dog. He just wants his humans. If he has a choice between running around outside with his girlfriend or being inside with the humans, he'd rather be with the humans. He looks through the screen at us as if to say, 'hey, you're inside, why aren't I?' It's beautiful, really, that he wants to spend so much time with us, but I really shouldn't have to grab him by the scruff of the neck to get him outside to take care of business. If he'd learn to use the powder room, maybe I'd relax the judgment, but until then, yeah, he's a little neurotic.
But like your quirky best friend from high school, the neurotic dog is hard to ignore. He nearly vibrates with joy at seeing me walk through the door. His entire body crawls with the need to jump all the heck over me, but he's learned that I don't want to be jumped on, so he jumps in front of me, like a kangaroo on caffeine, begging with all his doggy enthusiasm for love. He does the same thing to come back inside after his mandatory outside time. He jumps on the deck, straight up in the air. I can only imagine what the neighbors think. He's jumping from deck-level to the top of the sliding glass doors with all the enthusiasm of prepubescent Bieber fan. If he were a ten pound lap dog, it would be cute, but that much weight springing off the deck is downright scary. When I go outside with him, his enthusiasm is unleashed. I cannot begin to describe how hard it is to have that much dog running at you full-bore and not turn in terror. But he's so danged happy as he does it. He can knock you over without really trying, because he isn't trying. He's like a 100-pound toddler with ADHD.
I'm sitting here trying to think of a cute story, a redeeming quality to share, and I just can't find it. I can find a chewed TV remote that won't work, at least 5 pair of demolished sandals, and a plethora of chewed plastic bags and bottles, but not a single redemptive story. Yet somehow, this beautiful yet stupid dog has wormed his way under my skin. I can't imagine waking up without seeing his goofy face. I can't ponder a day when I come home and he's not jumping like a lunatic because he's so happy to see me.
Yes, he's neurotic. Yes, he's a destructive force of nature. Yes, he's exhausting. But he's mine, and that probably makes me as anxious and maladjusted as the neurotic dog. I'm okay with that.