Pet Peeve #2

Mylo with his stuffy. He is an expert at making sad faces that break your heart.

Judgement is a nasty thing. It causes people to forget what it’s like to struggle, to have to fight, and to have to make sacrifices. It causes people to draw conclusions and to make assumptions. In the pet ownership world, I find that judgement is frequent and invasive. Somehow, your pets are everyone’s business.

  • Not every dog that you see wandering the streets is unloved, abandoned, and homeless. Granted, it does happen, but leave room for other possibilities before condemning the owner for abuse or neglect. Dogs jump fences, slip out of collars, and escape yards. It happens.
  • Sometimes, people do have a reason for giving up a pet. Sometimes they have to. Sometimes there is an illness or death that makes it impossible for the owner to continue caring for their pet. Once in awhile, it breaks someone’s heart to give up their pet and they do it not because they are selfish but because they are selfless.
  • Dogs are dogs. They are not people. Their instincts and behaviors are different than ours. Human psychology cannot be applied to another species, because it’s impossible for us to understand how their minds work. We can guess, and we obviously know when they are feeling certain emotions, but not every dog that barks has an aggression problem. Not every dog that digs suffers from OCD. Not every dog that cries when you leave suffers from anxiety. Sometimes, dogs are just dogs.
  • Money doesn’t buy happiness. Dogs don’t even have a concept of money. Monetary value means nothing to them. They don’t care if you can buy them toys every month, the absolute most expensive food, or the newest treats. They are happy to have food. Period. It could be slops and they would still enjoy it. Not every pet owner can afford a raw food diet or the latest kibble brand. Most do the best that they can, and their dogs are happy and full.
  • Dogs are versatile. They have this wonderful ability to adjust to the lifestyle of the people they live with. Some owners have to be away for longer than others. Some owners can take their dogs everywhere, some can’t. Dogs are just happy to be loved. They can adjust to the adventurous, the shy, the athletic, families, single owners, other pets, new homes, new countries—almost anything. Take a look at the dog before judging the owners.

I know, there are endless accounts of animal neglect and abuse. But, for those of us out there that love our pets enough to write about them, to play with them, to take countless pictures of them, to share their stories and antics with others—does it really matter how we are raising them? We all obviously love and care for our pets to the best of our ability, and I don’t doubt that many of us would say that there would never be a circumstance in which we would let our pet go. But, what if there was? For those of us who adopted, we wouldn’t have these pets if they hadn’t been given up. Not every one of them has a sob story.

When it’s black and white, feel free to let go and direct rage towards the people out there who cause pain to animals. When you don’t know the whole story, or it’s just “not the way you would do things”, take a look at the dog. Is it smiling? Is it fed? Is it loved? Is it healthy and happy? Then let well enough alone. Save your judgement and anger for the real abusers and exercise understanding when looking at the other pet owners around you. I, for one, would much rather see pets in loving homes than compare what they are doing to what I do. We’re all different, so are our pets. Such is life. Give the good guys a break.

Note: This isn’t meant to be controversial. I’m not pointing fingers at all. It’s not directed at anyone specific. It is not because of anything specific. It’s just another pet peeve of mine.

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21 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #2

  1. It’s nice to hear you say this….when I’m at the dog park, some people are so up in your face about what you feed them, where you board them, what agility classes they’ve taken, or whether you want (or can afford) an electric fence. Also, I love rescue organizations..we got Bailey from one, but some make it almost harder to adopt a dog than a baby!

    • Dog parks are bad for that. I also find pet stores to be terrible. You get at least 3 employees asking you about what food you are buying. I think I know my dogs better than them, thanks.

  2. I agree with Squirrel, dog parks are like a dog show itself, people always bragging about their dogs and then you look at the dogs and are cover on mud as any other dog around them, they are just dogs.
    People are quick to jump to conclusions, we all do at times, we all assume, but passing judgement it’s a total different thing. What pissed me off is people that think they are dog experts and try to give you life lessons as to how to even walk your dog.
    I wrote about these seniors neighbors that own dogs and are unable to walk them, one of them have issues for sure, 24/7 barking, he needs to go out, easy to judge when you don’t know that who feeds that noisy dogs can barely walk and do the best they can to take care of their dog, granted is the ideal situation but it could be far worse.

    • I read that post of yours and I agree. We can never really know, and even though the situation could be better, it could be so much worse. I also hate when people are “experts” about your dogs. I think we are all experts about our own, I mean, who knows them better than we do? But strangers? I don’t think so.

  3. Thanks! 😉 I think the most annoying thing I’ve heard lately was….Bailey was running around the park with thi retired greyhound, and I said, to the owner, “It’s great to see him so happy, running with her,” and the woman was all like, “Oh, she’s not even opening it up.” Then a few minutes later, “Oh, yeah. That’s totally a STROLL for her.” OMG. I. Don’t. Care. How. Fast. Your. Dog. Is.

    • Forgot to say, one of mine is adopted too. Although I am sad in a way that he was at the shelter, I wouldn’t have been able to have him in my life if he wasn’t. As far as we know he wasn’t abused or neglected before, someone just brought him in one day.

  4. so true about the food and toys. some of the healthiest and happiest dogs I’ve seen in town are the ones sitting next to their homeless owners. These people struggle to survive day to day, but the dogs look well-fed with shiny, healthy coats and adoring eyes and every single one has a collar and name-tag.

    • Exactly. Dogs want love above all else. They want a companion. They want to care and be cared for. If the owner is giving them that, isn’t that what should matter the most?

  5. Very well said. I see so many negative comments from finger pointers when a dog gets injured or worse, shot. (i.e. dog ran over by mail carrier) Everyone blames the pet owner. Know your facts first. Everyone’s a critic…

    • Thanks! I find that it’s worse with pets than anything else. People always have something to say about your pets, but if it was your kid they would probably keep their mouths shut.

  6. I love it! I’m pretty much over the holier-than-thou animal bloggers anyway…. I accept that no matter what I do, I’ll never live up to their standards.

  7. Again, an awesome post! It reminds me of certain encounters with neighbors and other dog owners Taylor and I have experienced in my area where Taylor was clearly super-excited and eager to get the dog owner’s attention. Each time, I was asked “Has she taken any obedience classes?” Taylor has not because I luckily have a husband that has been around dogs since he was a child and is a very good dog trainer as a result…but I could not help but take offense to such comments! I would then feel the need to explain that her training is being done at home. I then politely sat through recommendations for dog training classes that “…I should check out…”. So, needless to say, I can understand your view point! 😉

    • Dogs are dogs, and sometimes I think that the personality can be trained out of them if over done. They aren’t people, they won’t behave like them. It’s something that I think people lose sight of when they start believing that dogs are basically furry people. Not that training is bad or anything, but what I mean is that we still have to allow for them to behave as they are meant to sometimes.

  8. Human Beings are unfortunately judgmental and therein lies the problem! If we could be more like our dogs who have “unconditional love “and accept us” warts and all ” we humans could learn a great deal and be better off!

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