Friday, October 19, 2007
Dogs are not human (please do not find my darlin' lab mix Sunshine and tell her!), no matter what we dress them up in, talk to them or train them to behave like.
The reason I'm bringing this up is a letter that was addressed to an advise columnist. A dog owner stated that she was proud about taking her toy poodle everywhere she went (in a baby stroller no less) long before Paris Hilton made it fashionable. The woman said since her pup was well-behaved it was also well-received anyplace-including restaurants. No one seemed to mind her cute furry child in attendance.
The columnist responded that she loved dogs, was a huge dog person, but there were places an animal (unless it was a service pet)simply shouldn't be.
A few years ago I worked in a design showroom where there was carpeting, lots of clients walking around and many (many)expensive breakables. Honestly, children didn't belong in the store, let alone animals.
One customer constantly came with her highly nervous toy poodle. It piddled all over the place. The woman would giggle and in a baby voice would say "oh dear sweetie pie, too much excitement for you".
Never did we hear her offer to clean up. The staff would have to split up. Two would "guard" sweetie pie's leftovers of life, while others would get the mop, disinfectant and paper towels.
One day a child was wandering around unattended (this too is another pet peeve of mine, but I digress)and saw the nervous pooch. She wanted to play. I know you all know what's coming next-the dog nipped the child.
Because it happened in the store, guess who bore the responsibility for the incident. Which was fair-if the manager had had a bit more of a spine, the dog would have been escorted out at the "first" visit and then stuck to the policy of "no pets".
After this-the management team went on the warpath and watched for any type of 4-legged shopper.
Animals, no matter how well-trained, are still animals. When in unfamiliar surroundings they feel the need to mark their territory. They may not mean too, but they hit into things and break them. Most do not know the difference between a piece of driftwood that is art and a stick they have a fun game of fetch with.
If someone is eating on an outdoor patio of a restaurant, I don't mind-been there, done that. But I would mind if (again, other than a service dog)someone hid a dog in their purse and let it enjoy dinner inside the same venue. My husband, who is also a dog person, stops eating when he finds a "love hair" in his food at home. Can't blame him. And that's when it's in OUR home and it's OUR pet.
Do I want to see a pet in my various doctors offices? Would I enjoy shopping for my groceries along side someone's spaniel? Having to wonder as I walk in the local mall if the pit bull coming my way is one of the good ones? NO
Sorry. Then again, I'm not.
I love my furry babies. But there is a time and place for everybody and everything.