Ask dog lady

Modern Dog - - BREED PROFILE -

I was a huge Pope Fran­cis fan un­til I read that he chided mar­ried cou­ples for hav­ing pets in­stead of chil­dren. Some peo­ple can’t have chil­dren for very com­pli­cated and per­sonal rea­sons. I imag­ined the Pope would be more for­giv­ing about this since he seems to have a com­pas­sion­ate na­ture. What’s your read­ing of the Pope’s re­marks?— Terry, Naples, FL Pope Fran­cis, God bless him, is not afraid of stir­ring the pot of public in­ter­est. In that same state­ment made last June be­fore a small group of mar­ried cou­ples at the Vat­i­can, the Pope also said peo­ple risk “the bit­ter­ness of lone­li­ness” by hav­ing pets in­stead of kids. He could have been try­ing to drum up busi­ness by ad­vo­cat­ing for big­ger fam­i­lies and more kids but re­gard­less this pet pro­nounce­ment seems like cu­ri­ous dogma. In­ter­est­ingly, the Pope’s name­sake, St. Fran­cis—the saint who in­spired Pope Fran­cis to take the name for his own—is known in the Catholic church as the pa­tron saint of an­i­mals. St. Fran­cis was an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist who preached about the sanc­tity of life in all its man­i­fest forms. One leg­end as­so­ci­ated with St. Fran­cis tells of how he urged an­gry towns­peo­ple to make friends with the ma­raud­ing wolf rather than kill the beast. Of­ten, in this col­umn, we ad­dress is­sues of dogs and kids; “Ask Dog Lady” makes clear again and again: a dog is not a “fur baby.” But what the Pope over­looked in his re­marks was an ap­pro­pri­ate ac­knowl­edge­ment about the strong con­nec­tion we can have with an­i­mals and the myr­iad benefits they be­stow. Pets teach us about love. I re­cently moved into the city from the sub­urbs. I’m still get­ting used to the dog cul­ture in my neigh­bour­hood. On the one hand, I like to see a lot of dogs on the streets be­cause it makes me feel safer. On the other hand, I don’t like to see so many dogs re­liev­ing them­selves on the gran­ite cor­ner­stone of my townhouse. The stone al­ways drips with dog pee. Makes me nuts. How do I deal with this, other than be­com­ing the lo­cal grouch and shoo­ing away dogs 24/7?— Lucy, Bos­ton, MA A: You could post a cute sign on the stone urg­ing dogs to move on. They can’t read English but their own­ers might get the mes­sage. Your cor­ner­stone has be­come a pee-mail post­ing site and there’s likely lit­tle you can do about this. You can, how­ever, try to take away the odours that com­pel ca­nines to leave their mark­ing. A so­lu­tion might be Sim­ple So­lu­tion, a prod­uct avail­able in many pet stores that not only cleans dog drip­pings from hard sur­faces but re­moves the smell. Write ques­tions or com­ments to askdoglady@gmail; read more at askdoglady.com or face­book.com/askdoglady.

Dear Dog Lady, Dear Dog Lady,

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