Every once in a while I read, hear, or see something about the way people treat their dogs and it makes me sick. Recently, there was a dog out by a casino out here in San Diego that was SHOT for no apparent reason. It was a puppy, it was not attacking, and my suspicion is that some ignorant asshole thought it was a nuisance and decided to get rid of it. Sick, sick, sick…
But then there’s the lesser things that upset me: dogs left outside or in kennels all day, the massive amount of stray dogs that wander San Diego (especially on the street a friend of mine lives on, though I can’t tell if they’re all stray, or if the residents there just let their dogs wander the streets, which also pisses me off).
Why have a dog? Seriously, I want to know from people who leave their dogs outside all the time (excluding working dogs, I understand that those are not owned for the company they bring, but I still think its stupid to work with dogs if you don’t actually LIKE them…) but why would you get a dog and then leave it outside constantly? What’s the point? I dated a guy for a while that I used to visit all the time at his parents’ house, and I didn’t know for the LONGEST time that they had a dog. He lived outside, was chained to a dog-house, and I think he was visited once or twice a day for feedings – that’s it. He was a golden retriever, he was estimated to be about 9, and his fur was so matted he had dreadlocks to the ground. Luckily, they were amiable to my asking to adopt him, and the day I took him home to my parents’ house, he got more attention than he ever had. He was like the toy a kid doesn’t care about until another kid touches it. I was so disgusted. When I got him home, he pee’d EVERYWHERE, and we realized he was INFESTED with fleas and ticks, so we isolated him for one night until I could get him to the vet the next day for shots, grooming, and a flea-dip. When I brought him home from being groomed, he looked like a Lab. Remember I said he had fur TO THE GROUND, they had to cut it all off, and practically shave him, even his tail. But you have never seen a happier dog. Despite his advanced Lyme disease (a disease commonly carried by deer ticks, especially in the East) which caused him SEVERE joint stiffness and pain, he was SOOOO happy. Hank (my mom said he needed a macho name, so she renamed him) was always smiling, always happy to see you, and once we got him potty trained (two days, I kid you not) he fit right in, even down to staking his claim under the kitchen table at mealtimes.
You want to know WHY they kept him outside? Be cause he didn’t LIKE IT inside. That’s what they told me. That dog was over the moon to be in my parents’ house! Maybe he didn’t like being in YOUR house, or maybe you mistook his need for training as unhappiness to be inside, but EVERY dog wants to be inside with his master where he is loved and safe. Dogs are pack animals, social creatures, they just want to be with you. I guarantee this because as soon as I sit on my couch, my two Chihuahuas hop into my lap and snuggle. They love me, and I love them, like I would children.
A few people have said my dogs are spoiled, and I can totally accept that, they have a million toys, the run of the house (when someone’s home, I crate them for their own safety, and my peace of mind, when we leave) and sleep in our bed – under the covers, mind you – every night. I’ve even been known to put a little bacon grease in their food, and turn on the hearing pad that’s usually for my back so that they can be nice and warm and snuggly.
So yeah, they’re spoiled.
But the love I get from my two little babies is UNMATCHED by any relationship I’ve ever had. They love me unconditionally, I’m their pack leader, they look to me for everything, food, shelter, and love, and I’m happy to give it all for the love I get in return. My mom once said she likes her dogs more than she likes most people, and I totally agree. People are selfish, stupid, inconsiderate, rude, and sometimes just plain mean. A dog doesn’t get into power struggles with you. A dog doesn’t cut you off on the road. A dog doesn’t care what you look like or how you dress. A dog won’t judge you, but will love you for you. Even if you’re a shitty owner, they STILL love you! And those are the situations that make me so sad. The love is unconditional regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) of care.
And so, I leave you with an amazing tale of valiant, loyal, and most unexpected behavior from a Pit Bull a woman did not even know: Stray Pit Bull Saves Woman & Child From Attacker.