I hate your dog (or maybe it’s just you)

GA Voice - - Art Reviews | Entertainment -

A co­worker and I were re­turn­ing from lunch one af­ter­noon when he con­fessed to me his dis­like of a par­tic­u­lar ilk of peo­ple, then asked me if I thought this made him a hor­ri­ble per­son.

“Oh, we all have our bi­ases and prej­u­dices,” I said, try­ing not to sound too hor­ri­fied by what I had just heard. “Who are you prej­u­diced against?” he asked. “Well, I can’t stand peo­ple who like dogs.” “Wait, that’s not niche enough to be a prej­u­dice,” my co-worker scoffed. “That’s like 98 per­cent of hu­man be­ings.”

I paused for a sec­ond, and then con­cluded, “That’s a fair es­ti­mate.”

I don’t like dogs, which I know makes me the most aw­ful, heart­less and un­trust­wor­thy per­son on planet Earth. More specif­i­cally, I don’t like how I’m ex­pected to like ev­ery­one’s dog, and raise no ob­jec­tions to their in­creas­ingly in­tru­sive pres­ence in Amer­i­can life.

I hate dogs in the work­place, in stores and es­pe­cially in restau­rants. I loathe the whole pets-are-peo­ple-too move­ment that has el­e­vated ca­nines to the same level of hu­mans, de­serv­ing of equal­ity, jus­tice and even trig­ger warn­ings.

The most re­cent ex­am­ple of this is the un-Amer­i­can meme scold­ing peo­ple for shoot­ing fire­works on the 4th of July with­out con­sid­er­ing how trau­matic the sounds can be for our pre­cious lit­tle pooches. If your dog doesn’t like fire­works, you might have a com­mie pinko in your home.

I laugh at the near-uni­ver­sal mis­con­cep­tion that dogs of­fer un­con­di­tional love; stop feed­ing your dog or oth­er­wise tak­ing care of its every need for a few days, and I bet you’ll learn how con­di­tional its love is. It’s worth not­ing that I’m writ­ing this col­umn dur­ing the same week­end that I am dog-sit­ting for a friend, which un­der­scores my be­lief about how ir­ra­tional dog own­ers can be.

My most an­noy­ing in­ter­ac­tions with dogs come on city streets, where many pet own­ers mis­tak­enly be­lieve that their dog – and specif­i­cally, its leash – is en­ti­tled to take up five-

“I hate dogs in the work­place, in stores and es­pe­cially in restau­rants. I loathe the whole pets-are-peo­ple-too move­ment that has el­e­vated ca­nines to the same level of hu­mans, de­serv­ing of equal­ity, jus­tice and even trig­ger warn­ings.”

sixths of the side­walk, and they as­sume that ev­ery­one loves their dog. I shouldn’t have to step into traffic, or show dis­com­fort to­ward your dog’s sniff­ing, be­fore you ex­er­cise the most ba­sic re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of pet own­er­ship.

A cou­ple of weeks ago, I was walk­ing to lunch and ap­proach­ing a guy walk­ing a teacup dog of some sort. The dog walker saw that I was com­ing, and had plenty of time to ro­tate his wrist and make sure his dog was un­der con­trol, but the dog lunged at me and made me take an ir­reg­u­lar step.

In my al­tered path, my foot hap­pened to kick a small peb­ble, which pro­jected into the pup’s butt re­gion and caused him to yelp. I truly felt bad, be­cause as much as I dis­like dogs I have no de­sire to go around be­ing vi­o­lent to­ward them, and be­cause I only wish the in­con­sid­er­ate dog owner could have felt some of his pet’s pain.

For my frus­tra­tion is more with pet own­ers than the an­i­mals them­selves, and their pre­sump­tion that ev­ery­one wants to be their dog’s best friend. Ryan Lee is an At­lanta writer.

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