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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Know This Is Going To Make You Mad

by Josh (bio)

I know I have already said some divisive things on this blog. I am really not a divisive kind of guy. But I have something I need to get off of my chest.

I hate dogs. Let me be clear from the get go, that if you love dogs, I don't hate you. And I don't hate YOUR dogs. They are lovely. But I hate the dogification of America. When did dogs become so awesome? I missed the memo.

Amy and I have a strict no dog policy at our house. We don't see the point. We have enough poop and vomit to clean up, thank you very much. And enough behavioral and disciplinary issues to choke a doberman. So we don't, nor will we ever, have a dog.

Let me just say again, if you have a dog, that is great for you. I don't think less of you. I don't hate you and I don't think you shouldn't have a dog. You are welcome to all forms of canine companionship. But why is there pressure for us to have one?

POINT ONE: Everyone I work with has one million dogs each. At every work function, everyone sits around swapping dog stories and showing pictures of how cute their dogs are. ("Look at this one! Captain Carbunkle is so fat and tired that he is sleeping on my desk! HA!") When they ask me about my dogs, and I tell them I don't have one, they look at me like I am some weird anathema. When I realized how annoyed I was at looking at everyone's pictures of their dogs, I decided to stop voluntarily showing pictures of my children to them. Maybe they are just as bored at seeing pictures of my kids as I am seeing pictures of Sargent Picklesworth. (In my dog hating world, all dogs have funny military names.) If someone asks to see pictures of my kids, I am happy to oblige. But if they don't ask, I keep them to myself.

POINT TWO: My eldest (hereafter called "Eldest.") really wants a dog and has been wanting one since he was about two years old. At his second birthday, my parents bought him a little battery operated yippy dog to try and fill the void in his heart. But Amy and I have been very clear that he will never get a dog. (see: above.) He knows that he can have a dog when he has his own home. But when I tell people that, they look at me like I have told them that he really wants FOOD and we refuse to give it to him. They also say things like "Oh, I am sure you will get him one someday." Like the idea of living in a world where parents won't buy their children puppies is a world they want no part of. But read my lips - WE WILL NEVER GET A DOG! I am sure some of you are reading this now and thinking, "Won't it be funny when they DO get a dog and we can remind them of this post?!" No, it won't be funny. Because it won't happen. My Eldest will survive. And if he really wants a dog when he is older, he is welcome to it. But he can't bring it to our house. And Amy and I won't visit. I'm kidding. But he really can't bring it to our house.

POINT THREE: I don't want to make accommodations for your dog. I don't want to listen to your dog bark on the plane because you have him in a carry on. Leave General Tsu-Tsu home! Here is a real life example. I was out working in the yard the other day while Eldest and Lulu (my daughter) were playing in the garage. I looked up and saw the neighbor's dog running down the street - a youngish whatever-those-generic-yellow-dogs are called. It was obviously a puppy, but he/she was still pretty big. The owner was chasing him to catch him. He sort of ran around me for a second and then ran towards the kids. Lulu was super excited (for the record, Eldest was terrified.) and jumped up to see him. Then he jumped on her, pushed her to the ground and started licking her face. Clearly he wasn't trying to be mean - he was a puppy and was playing. But she was terrified and screaming. I ran up and pushed him out of the way and picked her up. She was sobbing. The owner ran up and sort of laughed. "Oh, sorry!" she said half-heartedly, "He's just so playful! Does she want to pet him?" She seemed sort of apologetic, but not really. Like, wasn't that cute how my giant dog just terrorized your toddler? If my dog (note: I won't EVER own one) pinned someone's toddler to the ground, I would be mortified. I would be groveling with apologies, not pushing the dog towards the terrified girl to see if she wanted to pet him. So I found myself trying to make the owner feel better. "Oh don't worry about it. I know he didn't mean to hurt her. She's just scared," I kept hearing myself saying, even though I wanted to say "Keep your damn dog under control!"

FYI: Lul was totally fine, both physically and psychologically. All night long she was talking about the "foof foof." I'm not mad at the dog...just mad at the laissez-faire attitude of the owner.

POINT FOUR: Your dog is not your child, so please don't tell me he is. I know you love Brigadier Twinklepoop. I know you love her a lot. But I refuse to accept that you love her as much as I love my children. And raising children is not the same as raising dogs, so don't compare them. I think it is insulting. I think it has become cute in our society to say that we have our little four-legged children, but they are dogs. And as cute and as lovely as they are, they are not children. So please stop. We were discussing parenting in church the other day, and the high-council guy said "When people say their dogs are their children, the Adversary laughs." Harsh? Perhaps.

So, I am off my soapbox. I hope you don't hate me. Again, I still love you, and I am happy your dog makes you happy. Just don't ask me to pet Lieutenant Kibble. I just don't want to, and I never will.

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