Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dogma

It has come to my attention, yet again, just how touchy people are when it comes to dogs. I know, I know, many M&Y&E readers and bloggers and guest bloggers, and the public in general, are dog people. I know this. And this post is not meant to offend any of you die-hard dog lovers. And in the interest of full disclosure I need to point out that while I sit here writing these words I have a gorgeous, 1-year-old, golden retriever lying next to me on the bed, his head on my knee. And that I grew up having a dog as a family pet, and that when I started my own family there was also a faithful family dog.
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But my point, my point remains the same -- people get incredibly edgy if you happen to let on that you yourself are not a "dog person." You can sometimes actually hear the intake of breath around you. "You don't like dogs?" people ask, barely disguising their disdain. It's as though their entire image of you is changed, that you are not the person they once thought you were. Can you even really be trusted? they seem to ponder.
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It's not that I dislike dogs, I don't. I like dogs, but not enough to actually go out and get one. They are something that other people around me have brought into my life. (Much like TVs, I just realized; I've never gone out and secured one of these either, but I always seem to have one in my home.)
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I'm not sure how it came up last weekend, but it did. I was at a small, neighborhood happy hour and it somehow slipped out: I'm not really a dog person. I spent the next 10 minutes or so defending my position, as if anyone should need to defend whether or not they like something. It's an opinion people. My opinion. I'm not trying to convert you.
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But I do have my reasons.
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Where to start....dogs are needy. I don't need needy. I have two children. Dogs need attention: dogs need to be walked, dogs need a ball thrown to them, dogs need to be pet, dogs cannot be left alone for the weekend. They are too dependent for my liking.
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They also tend to be loud and somewhat hyper. Two more things my life is not lacking in. Oh how I love peace and quite, it's something I don't get nearly enough of, a dog just makes attaining this hard-to-reach state harder.
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Dogs are messy. I'm not going to fault them for shedding; they have no opposable thumbs, so they can't be expected to brush themselves, but what's with the dripping water after they take a drink? C'mon, is there a hole in your lip? Or what about dogs who out-and-out slobber? Can't they do anything about that? Or how smelly they get. The last thing I want to do with my weekend is wash a dog, because we all know the only thing that smells worse than your dog, is your wet dog.
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And although they are considered a social animal, they have such poor manners. I mean you can hardly tear a dog away from any other dog's ass, or any other dog's poop on the sidewalk, and you sure as shit cannot tear a dog away from cat poop. That turd is in the dog's mouth, plain or covered with kitty litter, before you can even react. (Face it, T, it's true!). And in the same vein, they're so immodest, they'll take a dump just about anywhere.
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I will admit that dogs do have their good points: they are typically very affectionate, very faithful, they provide laughs on occasion, and they love you unconditionally. But still, do I really need one?

Who knows, maybe in my next life I'll be a dog person. Maybe I'll even carry a tiny, sweater-clad one around with my in my purse.

Nah, not likely.

14 comments:

Pickles and Dimes said...

I was just like you. JUST LIKE YOU.

And now, apparently, I'm a hypocrite. :)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I am undeniably not a dog person. And even though I don't dislike dogs, everyone thinks I do, so I never have to apologize, or defend myself -- maybe you should try that for a tactic? ;)

Ellie

Nancy said...

Bwahahahaah ... you're brave to post this.

::: waving hand :::

Dog lover ... give me a dozen dogs to raise vs 1 teenage girl!

In jest =)

I love dogs but cats? ... now there is where I scratch my head and say WTF?

Having raised a son and a daughter, I've had 'em all, feathers, fur, scales, hard shells, rodents, reptiles ... and probably a few fleas!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Beth, you are dead to me. What's worse, you're a cat person!

I'm with Nancy, it's cat lovers who are mysterious. Why would you want to care for an animal who, instead of unconditional love, offers you intermittent suspicious regard?

Scratch the bathroom update, I feel it my duty (he he) to write a big fluffy puppy post for tomorrow.

Jacquie

NucMEd is Hot said...

Dogs (and frankly most animals) are like children in my mind. I love my children and I love my dog. Other peoples children and dogs, not always all that much. Cats frankly I can't handle at all, but I feel ya on this one.

Anonymous said...

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Let me translate for those of you that don't speak golden retriever:

First off, sure, we occasionally drool, or slobber, but so do you.
Especially after you have those beer things that you NEVER share with me.
As far as the eating the cat poop, I know you were referring to me. Give me a break, I was a 3 month old puppy. Geez! AND their delicious. Don't knock it till you try it.
And how about the fact that we can fetch, walk on a leash, protect the house from bad guys,swim, and smile. Try and get one of those cat things to do that.
You must be one of those "cat ladies" I read about.

Awaiting an apology, treat, and a rub of my bellie.....

Sonny Dog

Rita.the.bookworm said...

Ah, Beth, I am a cat person, too.

I have two standard replies about dogs.

1) "I love dogs. Other people's dogs." And, it's true. I do enormously enjoy a great big doggie love fest with someone else's pooch. But, then I like to be able to say, "Bye-bye!" and go leave the dog behind.

The other thing I tell people is:

2) "Yeah... my kids and my husband would love another dog, so I tell them look, maybe after Liz is in school all day and I'm home alone by myself, maybe then I'll have a NEED to be needed that much by another being. And, if I do, then we can think about... having another baby, because they GROW UP!"

Seriously, dogs are like perpetual toddlers. Lifestyle and routine has to be worked around their needs all the time. Cats are different. Cats are like pre-teens. They have some needs, and when you seek out time with them, they're great company. Otherwise, they're fine just doing their thing in another part of the house.

XUP said...

Everybody wants to be a converter. Some people don't want kids.Some people don't eat meat. Some people don't own a car.Some people don't want to get married. Some people don't believe in God. Everyone is always trying to persuade everyone else that they're missing out on something if they're not exactly like everyone else. Live and let live ya'll.

Tami said...

Don't know you Beth but am dying to meet you. I couldn't have written "Dogma" better myself...as the Corey girls know.

I also grew up with dogs (our first dog, Daisy, was the sister or niece of the Corey's first dog, Yobo.) I am also allergic to some kinds of dogs - especially Airedales which, naturally, we had. I have been accused of faking the allergies since I'm not a "dog person" but have invited each accuser to accompany me to my 4-shot regiment every week (i'm allergic to other things as well.)

I don't dislike dogs; I just don't love them. For the true dog fanatics, if you're not a dog lover, you're a dog hater.

However, I did love The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and The Curious Incident of the Dog at NightTime. Does that count for anything?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry all of you dogs out there. I am enough of a dog person to totally overshadow Beth. You wouldn't want to live her house anyway, the cats are grouchy!

KK, Tommy, Gunny & Tank

Kathi D said...

I feel that same way about kids. They are so needy and self-centered, it's all "me me me" with them.

Plus, the authorities get all huffy if you lock them up alone at home when you go out to dinner or something.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Tami! Me too! Loved both those books, I mean. And also The Dogs of Babel. Loved that dog book too.

Ellie

KathyR said...

I'm with you.

I'm not a "pet" person. At least not right now.

I always say: "I love animals. I just don't want them moving in with me."

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

I HATE CATS! There.... I said it. We have two dogs and yes... they are a lot of work. A ton of work. I could live without any pets, but Hubby? oh, he must have a canine or 2 around. I adore the dogs even though I complain about them, but if it were completely up to me there would be no pets in this household... way too much extra work and cleaning up after them for my liking... but now cats?? Did I mention that I hate them?

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal