Dog Guilted

every dogI just saw a post which read: Every dog should have a home and every home should have a dog.

Yes, I agree every dog should have a home – a loving home, a welcoming home, a caring home. But not every home is able to have a dog, even as delightful as a dog’s companionship is.

Circumstances like severe allergies is a major reason; landlord contracts (“no pets allowed”) physical restrictions (having an animal weaving in and out or dashing out in front of already unsteady legs) and financial problems are others. But I say a major consideration is that dogs need attention, interaction and actual face time with their owners. Sometimes people simply can’t work one more responsibility into their lives. No one should feel guilted into taking in a dog; people have a better idea of what they can handle than their well-intentioned friends do. Friends only know what you let them know, and not everyone wants to tell even their closest friends every little thing.

Dogs are more than simply something to feed and water and give a place to sleep (although there are too many dogs out there that don’t even have that.) I appreciate dogs but I just don’t think I personally could give one the kind of time and attention they deserve. Every dog should have a home, if that home is where they are petting and spoken to and played with, walked and kept safe and vaccinated.

I mean think about it: you want a job to support you but you also need it to provide health insurance for yourself and your dependents (if any.) However, jobs don’t normally provide vet insurance, but what are you going to do if Barklett or Meowser get sick or injured? I’m not about to let an animal I care for bleed out or suffer, but my pocketbank can’t handle the hundreds if not thousands of dollars a vet will charge to prevent that.

2014-10-25 17.58.10

My granddogs are rescued dogs. I am very fond of them. Still, I don’t want to own a dog myself. Simple as that. I like to play with them and fuss over them and cuddle them when I am in their company, but dogs are needy by nature. When I am doing something I like to concentrate, and I cannot break concentration to turn around and pet or pat a dog standing by. It’s not fair to those hopeful little faces that are begging for acknowledgement or praise or interaction. Pets are similar to children – hell, they ARE children to some – and they need to be encouraged and treated as members of the family. Just as you wouldn’t brush aside a child who wants to show you a picture they drew, you also shouldn’t brush aside a dog and its playtoy with a constant “go lay down, I’m busy.”

I mean geez. That’s just being an ass. Why have a pet if you aren’t going to, you know, actually take the initiative to pet it?

I also can’t afford the vet bills. Right now I’m doing good just keeping myself covered, and I can’t afford the premiums of available pet insurance policies. I can’t even take dogs for walks anymore without pain. My fingers can still fly over a keyboard but I can’t grasp leashes or unhook leash latches as easily as I once did. “Oh, if you loved dogs you wouldn’t mind the pain!” my so-called friend ‘Wanda’ insisted, she who is Dog Ownership Guilter #1. To that I say: Yeah, shut it, ‘Wanda.’ Maybe I don’t want to associate pain with dealing with dogs, and I don’t want the dogs to associate going for a walk with the pain I’ll feel that they will sense. Dogs know, even if rabid dog proponents don’t.

The only sensible thing to do in my case is NOT adopt a pet, opting to support shelters or foster centers instead, if I can. If you can’t afford the time or expense of a pet, don’t get one. But if you do genuinely want to get one, (1) go to an animal shelter and adopt. (2) Don’t buy from a pet store unless they only get animals from the local shelter, otherwise you’re just helping puppy mills proliferate. (3) Spay and neuter your pets. There’s going to be plenty of animals out there being born in the future, trust me, because of the number of people who still WON’T spay or neuter. (4) Give your pets the opportunity to run and play and sniff around, where they can stretch their legs or notice things around them and explore safely. Don’t just move them from one crate to another. (5) Pets are not throwaways. You can’t adopt a pet and then dump it when it grows out of its cute stage or grows larger than you anticipated, or gets old and sick and arthritic. Old age happens to everyone, and it happens faster to our pets. Would you want your family to take you to the side of the road and leave you, if they decide you’re too old or weak or too much trouble to take care of? No? Well then, put yourself in your pet’s place for a minute and think before you act.

Honestly, my heart belongs to goats and if I take in any animal it will be goats. Even then I will need to be able to fully care for them and make time for them. But as much as I love goats I want to do right by them and can’t, WON’T get any until I am sure I can deal with the responsibility properly. I won’t be guilted into something I can’t handle.

perfect world every home

Four words make a big difference.

About jmichaeljones57

I am a writer and an avid fan of goats. The two facts are not mutually exclusive.
This entry was posted in Squirrelly notions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dog Guilted

  1. nissetje says:

    Thanks for this. So true! Dogs are not accessories but living creatures with minds of their own and lots of emotional needs. You have to be able to handle the commitment, and you have to be lucky enough to be in the right situation. Thanks for saying it so well.

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