Pet Peeve #2
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.