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Thread: 8 Things to Never Say to a Dog Owner

  1. #1
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    Aug 2004
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    8 Things to Never Say to a Dog Owner

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-t...dog-owner.html

    If you are a dog parent, you’ve probably had a couple comments directed at you that raised your hackles. There are some “sentiments” that are akin to the tone-deaf singers on shows like American Idol or The Voice — they should not be heard. No matter how well-intentioned some things might sound internally, there are some comments I’d rather not have tossed my way. If you don’t have dogs — or even if you do — take my advice and don’t say these things to any dog parent you know. Take a peek at this list and see how many touch a nerve. Better yet: How many of these have you been told?
    1. “I bet you don’t have any kids.”

    Many of my friends have human kids and they also have dogs, and both varieties are considered a part of the family. I made a conscious choice not to have human children, but I’ve always had a strong affection for dogs. It doesn’t make me any less of a human being to not want human children, but it really sucks when people assume that millions of us love dogs so much because we lack babies.
    More from Dogster Magazine: Dogs are the New Kids
    2. “When he dies, will you get another one” or, “Your dog died? Well, then get another one.”

    We don’t replace a family member by simply accessing someone who happens to look like Grandma or Mom or Aunt Susie. The same holds true for dog parents: We don’t replace Ginger with Misty. For some of us, life without the pitter-patter of dog feet is simply not an option. I never thought I would want to commit to another dog after my first Cocker, Brandy Noel, died, but here I sit, with a snoring dog at my feet. He is my “never again,” yet this decision was mine and mine alone. It hurts deeply to hear things like “get another one,” as if I just lost an eyeglass case. Some things are irreplaceable, and dogs are high atop that list for me and millions of other dog lovers worldwide.

    3. “I’ve heard that breed is mean.”

    Michael Vick is mean. Puppy mill owners are mean. Dogs who are trained to fight because they are beaten or taught to attack are mean because of people. Punish the deed, not the breed, as the adage goes. About 95 percent of the folks I meet when I’m out with my Cocker Spaniel smile, wave, ask to pet him, or simply want to know more. There is a small but annoying five percent who remind me they were bitten by a Cocker Spaniel or a Cocker Spaniel once snapped at them. It always seemed to have happened when they were a kid. How many Pit Bull parents or Rottweiler moms and dads are completely fed up with hearing their breed is mean? Even if you think it, don’t say it at random when I am perusing the toy aisle at the pet supply store.

    4. “Yuck, you let your dog kiss you on the face or mouth?”

    With my eyes closed and my lips puckered, you bet your wigglebutt my dog smooches me on the mouth. It gets better: Sometimes he licks my ice cream cone and eats off my fork, too! I know all about germs and bacteria and cross contamination and zoonotic diseases, oh my! For those of us out in public who let our dogs lick our faces, we simply have no need for snide comments. If you don’t allow your dog to lick your face, more power to you: Just don’t begrudge me poochie smooches.


    More from Dogster Magazine: What to Say When People Insult Your Dog
    5. “I’d never spend that much on a dog, I’d sooner put him down.”

    This is one of the cruelest comments I ever had the misfortune of hearing. To date, this has not been said to me, hopefully because my “don’t go there” aura shines brightly. A dog is a living, breathing being, and where someone spends their money is none of someone else’s business. I’d sooner live in a cardboard box than not spend money on my dog’s health and well-being. From grooming costs to cancer treatment and everything in between: When a good dog parent says “I do” to a pooch, it should be for keeps. Telling me to put a dog down in the name of cost savings is grounds for dismissal from my life, and I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

    6. “Do you think you’re single because you dote so much on your dog?”

    I am not single, but my single friends tell me they’ve heard this on more than one occasion. Seriously, who says this and thinks it’s a good thing? Not only is it hurtful, but it’s disrespectful and just plain not nice. I’d rather be single and happy with my dog than stuck with someone who thinks doting on a dog is in some way not the norm.
    7. “Spank that dog; he’ll never learn to not _____ [fill in the blank] otherwise.”

    Putting your hands on a dog as a form of punishment is not only wrong but harmful to the relationship you want with your dog — it’s counterproductive, in fact. No matter how upset you are or what the dog did to frustrate you, hitting/spanking/slapping a dog is never appropriate. Hitting a dog to teach him not to growl at a child, not to chew a shoe, not to bark, or because you are frustrated is harmful and just plain mean. If you tell me this to my face, I will respond in kind and tell you to your face how wrong you are. Don’t say this and most importantly, do not do this. Seek the assistance of a behaviorist if you need help with pet parenting. If you feel hitting is appropriate, don’t get a dog, get a punching bag and some counseling.


    More from Dogster Magazine: Five Things Your Vet Should Never Say to You
    8. “You can come but don’t bring the dog.”

    This one might rub a few folks the wrong way, but many of us just don’t travel without our dogs unless absolutely necessary. In fact, I can count the times on a little over one hand that I’ve taken a trip without a dog in the past 20 years. I am happier, healthier, and better for having a dog sharing life with me, and that includes road trips, vacations, holidays, and visits with like-minded people. Granted, I know my dog can’t come to your wedding or to someone’s funeral, though I’ve seen pooches at both. If you simply do not want my dog at your house because you just aren’t all that into dogs, then sorry: I’m just not all that into you.


    Photo: Teenage boy sitting with Golden Retriever by Shutterstock
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Oklahoma
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    The first one made me laugh a little. I'm 21 and when people at work make small talk with me one of the first questions is "Do you have any kids?"
    I always reply "Yes, if you consider dogs and cats kids."

    5. “I’d never spend that much on a dog, I’d sooner put him down.”
    This is the only one from the list that I have actually heard.
    A coworker of mine said this to me when Ethan was sick and it made me livid. I had to just walk away. I was stressed enough, I didn't want to say something I wanted to and end up losing my job.
    The Minions:
    {The Dog: Towser & Raiden} {The Cats: Khaith, Martha, Adelaide, Snowball, & Floki} {The Bird: Gir}

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    I’d never spend that much on a dog, I’d sooner put him down.”
    I used to think this. Then friends of my mom and dad took their dog down to the U. of I. veterinary care clinic in Urbana for a second opinion. (this was before they had a clinic here in Chicago) Their dog truly was a member of their family and was very much loved. You'd consider a second opinion for a human family member. Plus, they got soooo much good information, education and help with treatment. It was costly, but I think it was totally worth the expense. Based on what they learned at the U. of I., they decided to go ahead with the treatment and it did improve and lengthen the dog's life. Now I think it depends on the pet, the human, and the problem. I know there are Pet Talk pets who were successfully treated, because I have read the stories.
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