"Pet" Peeve


Salsa Dog, 2005

That fine specimen of a pooch in the picture is my dog "Salsa" and she is just about the best dog I've ever owned. I want to clarify a few things though:  she is a dog and because she is a dog...she lives outside.  She also eats dog food, because she is in fact...a dog.  When we go somewhere in the truck, Salsa rides in the truck bed (outside...like a dog).  In this picture, Salsa is resting on the back porch and it may not look it, but she is wild(genus: canus). She's never bitten anyone, but she could...because she is a dog (species: lupus).  I love my dog, the kids love my dog, and now that she is done eating Kendra's laundry, even Kendra loves Salsa.

So, if you can't tell from my wordy introduction, Salsa is treated like a dog.  This leads me to share another of the things in life that bug me (it's on par with my disdain for roadside memorials). What is the deal with the increased humanization of animals?

For years, I've noticed people elevating their pets to level of children.  Although I find that odd, it doesn't really push any of my buttons.  These type of pet owners refer to their pets as "the kids" or "our babies" and some even send us Christmas cards with pictures of their pets and include them in the family Christmas letter (...and Fido is busy too...learning to walk off the leash...blah blah blah). I get it. I really do. I'm just not into it.

In the past few years, I've noticed that people expect you to accomodate their animals in a number of ridiculous ways. For example, my folks have an inside dog, that's cool...no biggie. (Salsa would be an inside dog if I had trained her better).  But recently they my parents had a few guests who brought their own dog along for the visit (my folks were cool with the plan, but then enjoyed cleaning up a variety of wet spots on carpeting and bedding...). 

Then there was the hospital visit to see Lisa (Eric's wife) a few months ago.  As I left the patient area, I noticed a woman walking in with a tiny dog tucked in her jacket (not sure, but I'm still fairly certain that hospitals are still shooting for the whole idea of being "really clean").

I had a patient show up a few weeks ago with a dog and she expected us to allow it to stay inside during her cleaning. Guard dogs...always welcome. Yappy lap dogs, not so much.

Then there are the dogs I see in the grocery carts, restaurants, etc... I'm totally cool if you want your dog to sit with you on the patio, the local coffee shop, an ice cream shop, or any outdoor location, I just get a little weird when they get to sit in the chair at the table.

So...allow this to be a heads up for guests and visitors...you are welcome to visit me at my house or my office. If you are inclined to bring a dog, a rabbit, a rooster, or an emu with you...please bring them along. Your animals are totally welcome, but also plan on leaving them outside with the rest of the animals.

Also, please do not compare the care of your animals to the care of human children.  I'm sorry, I don't share the same connection to "humanimals" that you have. Besides...that is the exact type of behavior that makes front page news at theMangoTimes.

Quietly making noise,