Pet Peeve #1

I know that usually my posts are witty and brilliant and charming and hilarious (this said with a dusting of sarcasm), but today I am going to write about one of my pet peeves. Mostly because it was reinforced yesterday and it’s still churning around in my mind.

Yesterday morning I was out with the boys. We were inspecting the garden, playing ball, and enjoying a sunny, dew covered day, while the scent of drying laundry made everything smell like clean fruit. I meandered over the the front to check on my pansies and I saw a black blur on my front lawn. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a small border collie. I coaxed the boys into the house, because they aren’t fond of other dogs encroaching on their territory, and went out to take a look at the pup. I had seen her before wandering around the neighborhood and she seemed friendly enough. I knelt down and held out my hand, cooing to her softly (like a moron). She came over and sat down. I let her sniff me and noticed a pungent smell coming from her body. That was when I realized that she was covered in dog crap. All over her head. Great. I checked the yard where she lives and no one was home. I called my neighbor, who has retrieved the dog before. She came over and led the dog into its own yard and shut the gate.

I stood there talking to my neighbor for a few minutes and learned that the owners work all day and leave the dog in the yard. She couldn’t find any water out there when she put the dog back, and that she had no way to contact them. Just as she went into her house to fill a bucket of water for the poor thing, it jumped the fence and walked over to us again. So, we put her back in, with water, and tried to figure out what to do. Eventually, my neighbor opted for calling bylaw, which is a good decision in my books.

But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not angry about it. I’m not one of those people who hates dogs. I am not one of those people that will call animal control if your dog barks a few times late at night. I’m not one of those people that will have a heart attack if you don’t have the money to pay your license fee right away. As long as you are taking care of your dog to the best of your ability, I’m ok with you. This dog owner down the street leaves her dog in the back yard all day unsupervised. With no water. Knowing full well that the dog can jump the fence without a second thought and roam the streets all day long. The dog owner (unless she thinks that we are in some fairy tale) knows that there is potential for the dog to be hit by a vehicle, to eat something nasty, to get into a fight with another dog (we have plenty where we live), or to get picked up by someone and taken in to the pound. Now, why on earth would they continue to leave it out? If it jumps the fence, fix the bloody fence. Give it water. If you are going to leave it in the yard, clean up the piles of crap so that the dog can play without getting covered in its own feces.

I don’t care if you can spoil your dog financially or not. I don’t care if you have ever been late on your vaccines. I do not care if you walk your dog for an hour or for five minutes. As long as you love your pup, and they are healthy, happy, and comfortable, I don’t care what you do. But don’t act like an irresponsible moron. In all of my relationships, whether animal or human, I stick to a rule: 50/50. This means that if I couldn’t hold my pee for five hours, you shouldn’t have to either. If I wouldn’t like a yard full of my own crap, you wouldn’t either. If I don’t like to eat the exact same thing every day, why should you? It’s simple.

I hope that that bloody neighbor either shapes up or is made to. Dogs look to you to take care of them. If you can’t do it properly, don’t get a dog. If you have a dog and can’t do it, learn how. They aren’t accessories.

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51 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #1

  1. Thank you! There’s someone out there who gets just as angry about this as me! Hallelujah, I was beginning to think I was the only one who cared. Makes me wish I could take in another dog!

    • It drives me nuts that some people are more concerned about the financial side of being a good pet owner than the actual caring side of it. I wish I could have more too. Especially when I see those dreadful Sarah McLachlan commercials.

  2. Great post. You are right, if a pet parent is not going to take her of his dog, please find a suitable place for him and don’t hurt this precious animal.

  3. I totally agree with you! It’s all common sense!! We, unfortunately, have similiar dog owners here in California as well: people without common sense when it comes to caring for a dog. The border collie probably jumped the fence to get back to you because she sensed the kindness and compassion that you have for her health and well-being. Dogs will risk everything for the feeling of being loved.

  4. Oh no, this is a major pet peeve of mine. It’s our job as owners/pet parents to teach our dogs how to live in our world. It’s also our job to take care of them and treat them with the loving kindness and respect that they deserve.

    • I agree. It’s also up to us to realize that they are dogs, not people, and that they need different things than we do. We need to adjust our lifestyles to accommodate them when possible because it’s easier for us to understand.

  5. I love your 50/50 rule! It’s always astonishing to me when people don’t understand or care that dogs and all animals have the same kinds of complex needs that we have. Lucky dog that she has you looking out for her!

    • Oh man, the 50/50 rule works in so many situations, it’s great and makes my life so much easier. My husband has even embraced it. And thank you, I try. I hope that she ends up getting what she needs before something bad happens.

  6. I am with you 100% on this.
    the poor thing, being left in the yard, covered in poop with no water… AGH! BAD OWNER BAD!

  7. And then is that people the one that later when the dog becomes aggressive or simple wouldn’t obey any command, give dogs away or put them down, I often wonder if they think dogs are supposed to train and fend for themselves.

  8. I agree also. Let us hope that this is a wake-up call for the owner, and they either do a better job with the dog or surrender it so the dog can be placed in a responsible home.

  9. Whee agree with you. One awful guinea pig version of your issue was a boiling hot day and a family put their two guinea pigs out without any shade or water from 10am till 3pm when they got back. Both of them died. When asked why they were left out one family member said it was “Too hot to go out and get them in” and another said they ‘forgot’ about them.

    Their is no excuse for such neglect. If you won’t care for the animal PROPERLY the for heavens sake give it to someone who will.

    • That’s awful. There are two sides to adoption: we all feel badly that the animals have to be given up in the first place (or neglected, or abused, etc), but at least they have a second chance for a good life. I think that there’s no shame in admitting that you can’t raise a pet before it’s too late—at least you tried and are attempting to find it someone who will know how.

    • I know. Sadly, that is often the case. The worst part is that it’s the dog that is suffering. I feel like every time the dog gets out, it’s my job to bring it back, but then I shouldn’t have to be responsible for their dog. I never know what to do.

  10. I have nominated you for The Versatile Blog Award! It’s OK if you do not accept this award, but I nominated you because I really like you blog. Visit my recent post if you do decide to accept this award, and nominate 15 or so fellow bloggers! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I am glad that you enjoy my blog, and hope that you continue to do so. For a time, I have decided to have an award free blog due to time constraints, but please don’t think that any appreciation is lost because of it.

      • I totally understand that’s why I say to everyone I nominated it OK if you do not or cannot accept the award I will not be offended!

  11. I totally understand! That is one of my pet peeves as well.

    Another one is people who bring their animals to the vets for the legally required rabies vaccine but refuse to address any of the health concerns identified in the visit. I had a patient last week in for a rabies vaccine that was missing 80% of its hair, had thick dark skin (sign of chronic scratching and/or yeast infection) and had a strong pinnal-pedal reflex (sign of scabies… which people can get!)… and she refused any testing or treatment beyond the rabies vaccine. :(:(:(

  12. well…ya know I’m gonna totally agree with you…being a rescued adult cat…if humans don’t have the wherewithall to care for pets, then don’t get them…if they don’t have the time, then don’t get them…and by the way…I take back the word ‘pets’…we ARE NOT PETS! We ARE ANIFAMILY! And you don’t believe that, then DON”T take us home! ‘Nuff said about that…great post!

  13. I really don’t understand people like that. I’m glad the pup had neighbors that were kind enough to take care of her – she needed you and that other lady. Maybe she will find a better home!

    • It’s been happening over and over again lately, unfortunately. Yesterday she was loose all day and we couldn’t get a hold of anyone. We tried to get her in our yard, but she kept getting aggressive towards my husband. We kept an eye on her though, and made sure her owners knew.

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