WHETHER YOUR PET DOES OR NOT…
This week’s blog could be taken as a diatribe, but it’s really more a ‘public service announcement’. I just wanted to state a few things to defend and protect my fellow delivery-drivers, and anyone else who naturally crosses paths with dogs and their owners in the course of a day…especially if it’s unintentional.
Certain things are taboo and socially unacceptable to say, no matter how true and relevant they are. Apparently the norm is to tolerate and love dogs—regardless of how they behave—because that’s how society sees them. I don’t care what your personal opinion is, or whether you have one, but sometimes emotional attachment can give people skewed perceptions of very clear things. So here are a couple of facts I felt the need to set straight:
1) Not everyone likes being barked at, no matter how cute it is to you.
And when you tell it, “aw hush, stop it,” and kindly turn to the person (eg. delivering a package), this just makes it more irritating. You obviously care more about the dog’s desires than the person’s well-being, or you wouldn’t let it yap like that to begin with. And you obviously knew it was going to do it, and chose not to prevent it ahead of time.
You can say “he’s really friendly” all day long—that doesn’t make it so. Even if the thing doesn’t bite, barking is an aggressive signal, which evolved to fend off and intimidate other creatures. When the doorbell rings and the brute goes berserk, it’s not out of ‘curiosity’. It’s not out of ‘eagerness’ and it’s not out of ‘endearment’. It’s because the creature’s battle instincts are triggered, and it’s simply too stupid by nature to know what a doorbell even is (not unlike a human with an IQ of 17).
And here’s another reality check on the term ‘friendly’: as with a child with their teddy bear (or velveteen rabbit), if it brings you joy, bless your heart…but no matter how intense those feelings are, it does not mean they actually reciprocate them. Dogs have no concept of individuality to begin with…they do not know that you are a conscious being, or even that they are. They are only drawn to you because they have been unconsciously programmed to associate you with physiological rewards (just like their favorite plant).
Bottom line: don’t try to force other people to share your sentiments.
2) If you adopted the thing, then you and you alone are responsible for its behavior and others’ reactions to it.
Guess what? In Mexico (at least the parts where I’ve been), dogs never bark at people in public. Why? Because it’s socially understood that if someone’s harassed by a canine, they have the right to shoot it. Makes sense.
In the name of political correctness, many dog owners have become delusional. Think about it: if you had adopted a wild ADHD kid (relax, no offense…I’m an ADDer myself) with a hot temper, and they ran outside cussing and screaming at the neighbors, you would have to own up to it. You couldn’t tell the folks, “Oh, sorry, but we love him dearly and you should too…despite his faults.”
Likewise, if you choose to buy an animal that goes postal at people, it’s up to you to accommodate, not up to the rest of the world! Don’t insist that people smile and say “Oh, that’s okay. He’s just excited. ” Don’t urge people not to be scared or irritated, and don’t make stupid pointless comments like, “She’s harmless. She’s four pounds.” That doesn’t change the fact that its savage instincts (as it’s oblivious to civilized society) are disturbing the person.
And another newsflash: some of us (myself included) have heightened sensory sensitivity. If you get alarmed or offended because someone else declines to share your affection towards your barking dog, then you have some serious mental reprogramming to be done.
Bottom line: You must harness the behavior of you and your dog to fit the needs of a civilized society…NOT harness everybody else to suit the wishes of you and your dog.
P.S. If you’re out walking it and the pedestrian light is red (you know…the hand), don’t cross anyway. It f**ks up traffic. That’s why those lights are there to begin with.
P.P.S. That applies to people without dogs too.