Ask dog lady
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,