In the past, I’ve complained about pet owners doing stupid things. I stand by those observations, but there is another category of people who really get on my nerves. They are the ones who come over to my house and then proceed to dictate to me how my pets should behave.
Yeah, I’ve got news for you: My dog lives here. So do my cats. Too bad if you don’t like it. It is my house. I will do what I can to make you comfortable — my dog will be disciplined if she jumps on you, the cats will be removed if they try to cuddle an unwilling recipient. Other than that, I don’t have much patience for complaints. This includes people who sneer at pets in public too. You aren’t exactly a picture of hygiene yourself.
Top 10 Annoying Things that Non-Pet Owners Do:
- Complain that my pets are allowed on my furniture. I like cuddling with my pets. I have furniture that pets are allowed to sit on, and I have some that is for people only. If you don’t like sitting with my pets, don’t sit on their furniture.
- Insist that I put the dog or cat “away” because your child is scared of pets. You came to my house. My pets live here. They are not toys. Do not expect me to compensate for your inadequacy as a parent. Most parents manage to teach their children the lifelong skill of being able to distinguish between a friendly animal and an unfriendly animal. Most children are also taught that you are to obey the rules of someone else’s home. Exceptions are made for children who have already experienced some sort of pet-related traumatic event, like a dog attack, or children who have developmental delays that make interactions with pets challenging. (Note: Being a spoiled brat is not a developmental delay.)
- Feed my pets from your hand. I try to teach my pets manners. Pets are taught how to behave with behavior reinforcement methods. If you feed my dog or cat, my dog or cat learns that begging from company is acceptable. Pets are not children. I can’t simply have a talk with them later.
- Tell me how to groom my pet. My animals are flea-free, clean and have their nails trimmed. They do not need to have their tails docked, ears cut, etc.
- Speak to me through my pet. While I appreciate you embracing my pet, don’t ask my pet if “mommie wants a single or a double latte.”
- Imply that I should be more concerned with people than with animals. They aren’t mutually exclusive. I believe in working toward a world where all life is valued and respected. I don’t need to ignore animals in order to help feed hungry kids or volunteer at a nursing home. Lighten up.
- Tell me how cute it is that your child is improperly “playing” with my pet. Holding my cats by their tail is not cute; it is cruel. Your job as a parent is to teach them how to behave around animals. If you are incapable of doing this, I will do it for you.
- Complain to me about how another pet you know is so bad but mine is “good.” We all know this is your thinly veiled way of letting me know that you generally disapprove of pets.
- Moan about people walking their dogs. Dogs need exercise. As long as my dog is on a leash and I pick up after it, get over yourself. Sometimes my dog will take up too much room on the sidewalk or bark when she shouldn’t. Sometimes your kid will take up too much room on the sidewalk or throw a tantrum (on a crowded plane is my favorite place) and I have to live with it.
- Have an aneurysm about my pet being inside a public space. Yes, I brought my leashed dog inside for a minute. The world will not end if I have my dog inside while I pick up a “to go” cup of coffee. My dog is most likely cleaner than what is on the bottom of your shoes — the ones you are wearing in this sacred “public space.” I’m not here for a sit-down meal; I’m here for a minute to pick up a cup of coffee. If there was a “to go” window, I’d use it. And for the record, that geyser of green snot spouting from your non-vaccinated kid’s nose that s/he just sneezed all over the muffins? Probably going to spread more disease than my fully vaccinated dog will ever transmit to humans.
There are other things, but this pretty much covers the big-ticket items. Being alive requires being a bit uncomfortable sometimes so we can all have the things we enjoy. Remember that pets bring lots of joy for what, in the grand scheme of things, amounts to a very minimal level annoyance.
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