Friday, April 07, 2006

Barking Mad

So now I've started to blog have I?

Actually, not that you've got me started or anything, but, if you pushed me - I would probably say that dogs are kind of okay - provided they are kept behind sealed and sound proof glass that is - yeah, they're okay.

But it's the dog owners that give them the bad rep isn't it!?

So why own a dog?

Well it's a companion isn't it.

I don't own a dog. Guess what, I have got companions too. In fact I tend to choose human companions mostly and I would argue that they have some advantages over animals. I often find that humans are able to engage in conversations that extend beyond "fetch.... good boy" and “woof” etc. There are other bonuses too. Like humans don't need you to open the door for them, and also that they can buy a round of drinks etc.

You don't really get that with a dog do you. So yeah, your dog's a companion - but arguably less so than a human can be. It must surely be easy to argue that a dog has limits to the depth of the available companionship.

Oh well you see dogs..... well dogs are faithful aren’t they. You get let down by your friends. People can be plain nasty, they lie to you, they complicate relationships, they are unreliable, they are selfish. Dogs on the other hand. Well what you see is what you get isn't it. Yer dog's yer pal. Always by your side. Keeps life simple. You know where you are with your dog.

Funny this one I have always thought. So, do we conclude that anyone with a dog has people problems? Is the dog owner someone who says, "look I stay away from humans, it's animals I trust". Obviously, most dog owners have human friends too - so that argument is quite paradoxical. If you say you have a dog coz you don’t trust people (and I have heard this one a few times actually) then how come you have human friends too? If you have just a couple of trustworthy human buddies that don’t crap on the lawn, then why not see them more often to make up for the humans you don’t see or trust and avoid the dog thing altogether?

Yeah but I like dogs. It’s great to go for walks. We play chase, and catch the frisby and he’s so pleased to see me when I get home.

I, on the other hand also go for walks. I don’t have the honour of wiping the slobber off my chewed frisby - but I can fly my kite without some disgusting beast ruining the countryside, chasing the sheep and making foul smells! And when I get home I take off my shoes and the mud stays outside.

What am I saying? I forgot to mention that my two crazy children come running in behind me scattering mud, noise and bedlam all over the house! They are 9 & 7, so it’s not as bad as it used to be. But what with the noises and the smells of the baby years still not that long in the distance, I can empathise with the animal thing. Really I can.

There are tons of “anti-kid” people out there too. They feel the same as I do when it comes down to space invasion, smells, responsibilities all stemming from the unusually - and occasionally illogical innate desire to procreate.

Loads of people don't have kids for very similar reasons to why I wouldn't have a dog. I have to say it would be interesting to meet someone who hates kids so they got a dog instead though. I guess the argument would be that a kid is a person. Your children exists for their own selves. A dog however exists for you - and they do exactly what it says they'll do on the tin.

Did you buy a dog instead of a have a baby? Perhaps you wanted a baby simply because you felt a void in your life without one, or perhaps your relationship with your partner needed some additional excitement.

Hmmmm perhaps that’s another issue in the making for my newfound blog hobby, but the point is that you might want to have a child for your own reasons, but once they exist, everything is no longer on your terms. Your selfish and original desires become secondary from the moment of delivery onwards. A dog on the other hand, can help you more or less maintain your selfishness. 

Sure the dog has personal needs which it is your duty to perform, but basically, the rest of the time you are only concerned about what good that dog can do for you. You are not really interested in it’s education, it’s opinions etc. Perhaps you want it trained - but only so that you can benefit. The dog inevitably doesn’t care if it’s trained or not. If you are going to the shops, the dog comes too. Whether it is in the mood or not - this is for you to decide.

The dog is a dumb beast. He exists for you - and he doesn’t mind. You love dogs because they have no agenda of their own. Their faithfulness to you is almost guaranteed - you can tell when they are happy and sad etc and the rest you can project into and create what you think the dog feels about you very easily to make up for any lack of communication. He's a member of the family - but you can shut him out the back when you've had enough.

Anyway, looks like you did get me started after all. I’m not really knocking the concept of domestic dog ownership.... well, okay I AM knocking it a bit - but you can tell I’m not a dog person so you shouldn’t be too surprised. Here's a wee additional statement in passing.... I actually love dogs! - Well, I'll clarify, I love animals a lot. I am very drawn to all kinds of beasts and of course dogs in particular (to quote Pulp Fiction) have a lot of personality. 

But the thing that turns me off are the hairs everywhere, the smell, the relentless yapping noises, cost, responsibilities, vet bills, excrement - (how can anyone ever cope with that?), bad breath, chewed furniture, revolting car interiors. To me, the whole idea as a whole is the ultimate in misery. Any pleasure from the beast cannot possibly match up.

I see you out there with your dogs. And I always wonder why. Why? At least my children will grow up and leave home.. they might even look after me in my later years. Okay, perhaps I am just deluding myself on that one!

My bold and righteous neighbour went up to a dog owner the other day after he and his dog walked away leaving a lovely pile of total disgust in the middle of our street. She asked him why he wasn’t going to clear up after his dog. He replied:

“If all of us did the right things every day, then we’d all have halos on our heads wouldn’t we”.

She was a bit dumbfounded with that one as I would have been too. I guess that’s what you get with dog owners like that. Perhaps she should have thrown him a stick instead - preferably at his face. The dog was obviously house trained, but the owner did not appear to be street trained.

Do you not beat dogs into understanding what is and isn’t acceptable in the house? On this basis then, I have some great ideas as to how to educate likeminded owners. I guess I could calm down now. Lots of my best friends have dogs... did I really just say that?!

Welcome to this woofing world everyone. Be excellent!


banana said...

Aw what an honour to be the first to visit ur blog. i'll visit it all the time but ud better not waste all ur time writin stuff on it but it is fun! i'll figure out how to add links to mine and then people wil visit urs too! luv bomb xxx

banana said...

Well some points u got there quite funny too. keep bloggin its a great way to waste your time! luv bomb

12 Squared said...

I'll comment now, though i read this ages ago. :) not barking mad, but mad none the less. yes, not really a dog person, they do what they're told too well when it seems unnecessary and dont to it at all when they should.

i prefer my cat, she's nice and keeps to herself mostly and is otherwise the perfect keeper of any secret I'd prefer not actually post all over the world wide web.

I am, btw, going to comment on each of them now as I've broken my code of silence, as it were.

and it IS the owners, you know. if you treat your dog like you'd treat your children and teach it what's expected, you'd be amazed how well behaved they can be, for dogs, anyway.