I’m not sure which I dislike more—dogs or their owners who think everyone loves their pet as much as they do—but no matter which it is, I’m just letting you know from the get-go I’m horribly biased on this topic. That being said, I really need to know what is up with the love affair people have with their dogs, and how that ever surpassed their concern for human beings—you know, the creations that were supposedly made to rule over the beasts of the land, air, and sea?
Don’t roll your eyes just yet, I’m not going Mike Vick deep with this. We all know the bias in that entire situation is worthy of more than a simple blog post, what I’m talking about are just general day-to-day niceties, and the occasional person who has really sacrificed his life for a pet.
I’m a firm believer that if it weren’t for dogs, New Yorkers wouldn’t even talk to each other –and even then, they still barely do. The interaction is usually totally one-sided, as the pet is the only one being spoken to. People drop everything they’re doing to crouch to their knees and throw their faces in that of some stranger’s dog and when they’re done googoo-ing and gaga-ing like they’re talking to a baby, most promptly stand up, give an obligatory smile to the owner and go on about their day as they mean-mug the other humans they pass on the way to wherever it is they’re going. All I know is it’s a pretty sad commentary of the times when a dog gets more courtesy on the sidewalk than a person.
To be fair, I can somewhat see the temptation to value a dog over other people. After all, from what I hear, dogs have an undying sense of loyalty, they don’t talk back, and who else is going to act a giddy mess every time you come home like you just ended a tour in Iraq, when really all you did was go to the corner bodega? No man, friend, or parent I can tell you that. But when I hear Sarah Mclaughlin talking about running into the arms of an angel and I can’t tell whether I’m listening to a feed the children commercial or an ASPCA spot, I get just ever so slightly perturbed because I’m pretty sure I know what cause is getting more money and it’s not the children of our future. Yes, seeing that a downtrodden dog named Tabitha has been in “jail” all her life, as the commercial states, (which is really a cage inside a humane society) is unfortunate but did anyone see those naked children starving next to Alyssa Milano? No?
Putting my anecdotal evidence of my annoyance aside, I came across this piece the other day that ran under the headline of pets being good for you mentally and physically. They’re so good in fact that 30% of smokers would be willing to give up cigarettes to prevent their dog from suffering from second-hand smoke. Good stuff, right? Unfortunately, if those same smokers were asked to stop lighting up for the sake of their children, less than 2 percent would oblige. Forget MOB, now we’re living in a state of POC—pets over children? I really can’t deal with that or the guilt trips that people try to put on me for not getting all googly eyed when someone has a random so-called cute story about their pet. I’m sorry, I’m too busy writing a story about the children dying from second-hand smoke in their home. In the words of Marvin Gaye, what’s (really) going on?
And then, as though it was destined by the universe, I saw this story of a Massachusetts couple who drowned trying to rescue their dog from the lake. The story goes that the couple’s dog fell out of their pontoon boat, the husband jumped in after the dog and became distressed, then his wife followed trying to save him and neither one survived. Correction, the dog was fine. He was found unharmed and taken to an animal shelter. I could respond like one commenter on MSN who quoted John 15:13 saying, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” but the cynic in me is really having a hard time wrapping my head around the nobility in this act. And since, like I stated earlier, dogs are far from my cup of tea, I shall leave the verdict up to you.
What do you consider going too hard for a pet?
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