I’m actually allergic to dog dander, and bird dander. (the bird dander horror story will come later.) Whenever I visit someone who has a dog, the dog is as attracted to me as a paperclip is to a magnet. It’s as though the pheromones of terror are giving out “you can do anything you want to this one; she’s paralyzed with fear” and the dog is on me like that same dog on leftover pot roast. I do not find it cute when a dog humps my leg or drools on me. I would rather not have your dog in my lap, thank you. I have never met a dog that didn’t smell bad. Anklebiters that yip, yip, yip around my feet make me nervous. I do not find it amusing when your dog jumps into my car. I am simply not interested in having a large hairy animal in my house, nor am I interested in giving anything that doesn’t call me “Mommy” a bath. (Exceptions may be made for George Clooney, who is, I understand, a large hairy animal who likes to take baths.)
I would do all of those things for a child, but not for an animal. Now you know, and all of the PETA volunteers and dog-lovers can band together and throw eggs at my car.
I do love my cats. They’re loving and affectionate; when they jump on me I don’t fall down; they smell like. . . nothing; they’re independent and cocky; they come around when they feel like it and take off for the woods when they feel like it and I can’t hear them eating from every room in the house. They give themselves baths, and they poop only in designated areas. I can leave for a week and know the cats are fine in the house, with several bowls of dry food and a LOT of water at their disposal.
I know several people who dress their dogs in seasonal clothing and take them to a sitter every morning. To which I say, what a sissy dog! there are an awful lot of little children who have no proper seasonal clothing and who spend a lot of days alone because the family can’t afford a sitter. I have trouble rationalizing buying luxuries for an animal when there are children who are desperately in need.
The holiday season still has a week or so to go before it attacks us on all sides, but soon those big pet stores will be putting up their “mitten trees,” and while I adore my cats, I can not even imagine someone who would ask for a gift for a dog when there are children in need.
Yes, dogs are wonderful companions for the lonely and the elderly. Dogs are fantastic service animals. Dogs are loyal and loving and can pull your child out of the raging rapids. Dogs teach children about responsibility and caring for a living thing.
But as someone with very little money who loves to pull a mitten off the holiday Mitten Tree and make Christmas for a child in need, I will tell you up front that choosing between a dog and a child would not take more than, oh, a millionth of a second. A child needs mittens and warm socks and a dolly to love, far more than a dog needs a bag of expensive designer chow and those socks that keep the ice from forming between its toes and a chew toy.
And frankly, when I see those big pet stores put up those big Charity Trees for dogs, something in me kind of snaps. It’s nice to take good care of a dog, but, but. . . there are so many children who could use a helping hand out there, too. . . . And oh, if you paint your dog’s toenails, you’re nuts, plain and simple. “Best in Show” crazy.
I don’t think people who haven’t worked in schools can really grasp the extent of the need teachers see every day. As long as there are little children with no winter coat and shoes held together with tape and paper clips, charities should focus on them, not on a ‘nice china bowl for a small dog.’
But that’s just me. If somebody prefers to spend their money on knitted sweaters for sheared poodles, that’s certainly their own business.
And, naturally, anything a school or agency gives a child then belongs to that child. Period.
I deleted the rest of this post, which was just another rant about bad parents and innocent children who would greatly benefit from being removed from such homes, but you’ve all heard me go on and on about this subject before.
To sum up: I love cats. Your dog stinks. Some dogs are heroes. If you have money to spare this Christmas, spend it on a child, not a dog. Some people don’t deserve to have children. There are children in dire need every single day. I like animals, but not as much as children. Call your local school and ask if there is a child in need that you could sponsor. Take good care of your pets, but spend your excess money on a child. Pet your cats a lot. It’s hot outside; be sure your pets have plenty of fresh water. Please don’t let your dog jump on me; not everybody thinks his humping is cute.
Now I need to call my cats in, because it’s dark outside and I don’t want the dog packs to dine on another of my babies.
P.S. I haven’t seen “Mamma Mia” yet but the soundtrack cd is great.