Why I can’t stand dogs but appreciate their appeal

I’ve been curious and surprised by how many people have responded to the previous post “I don’t like dogs”.  When I read Prolix’s post, I agreed with him.  Dogs drive me crazy when they are in the house.  What surprised me was that there were no angry responses talking about how wonderful dogs are.  Prolix, you’re not alone it seems.


My current aggravation with dogs doesn’t even involve the presence of a dog.  It stems more from dog owners.  Grant it, my co-worker annoys me to no end on a good day, but today I have had to listen to her tell the story about her dog getting out on Christmas to other dog owners no less than four times today.  It simply is not that extraordinary of a story.  Yet, she stops the other dog owners in the building as they go by and strikes up a conversation about her dog.  I have heard them exchange tales of what they purchased their dogs for Christmas.  I know that the pet store has doggy treats in a Christmas tin on sale – and really the dogs don’t care about the package.  After these little exchanges, I got in my car to grab lunch and, as fate would have it, heard a piece of an interview with a vet about how wonderful dogs are.  The first question I heard the interviewer ask was about the trends in treatment for dogs, to go to extreme measures.  She mentioned how chemo was now being used for dogs.  Really?  I can’t help but just want to scream “It is a dog!” and think about how many humans need treatments that they can’t afford and people are doing this for dogs! The vet explained how people now consider dogs like their children.  He didn’t pause at all when he said that people feel the same way about their dogs as he does about his daughter.  Even the interview was taken aback by that and questioned him.  He didn’t call pet owners “pet owners”, rather, he called them “pet parents”.  I’m not a pet person.  Period.  They are messy and I have enough responsibility without something shedding and slobbering and wanting to be taken out to poop on my lawn – which I will have to then pick up!  Don’t even get me started on the little boxes of plastic bags that dog walkers are suppose to take to pick up the poop with, which then gets thrown into a trash container, which goes to landfill.  Plastic wrapped poop that won’t biodegrade for ages!  Brilliant.


Yet, last night, as we spent Christmas with my step-dad, I couldn’t help but want to play with the young Labrador that the home has for the residents.  He is quiet and will mind.  He wants you to play with him and will bring you his toys and lay them at your feet.  He pleads to you with his soft-brown eyes and he is just so cute.  Not cute enough for me to touch his slobbery toys, but I did hook one with the toe of my shoe and toss it to him.  My little kick didn’t give him much of a challenge, so I went to the nurses’ station and asked for a glove.  Even through the glove I could feel that cool slobber on the mushy rag toy, still I threw the toy down the hall and rewarded him with a pat every time he brought it back.  I’m glad the dog is there.  He brings comfort to the residents and makes the place seem like more of a home.  I’m glad he is there for my boy to play with when we visit.  And, as surprised as I am, I’m glad I get to play with him too – now that I thought of using the glove.  Still, I’m glad he stays when I leave.  I understand the appeal of a pet, the love and comfort.  I simply think the cost outweighs the benefit.


Taking all that into consideration, I still don’t really want to hear stories about co-workers’ dogs and I still think it is crazy to spend fortunes on medical treatments for pets. 


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