Sunday, June 3, 2007


This is something I've been thinking about for years! And many of you know that I closely follow Oprah. So after I began writing this piece I saw that Oprah was also doing a show on the subject.  She prefaced it by saying: "This show goes out to all of you dogs!"

So, my piece today is literally about most American's obsession with owning dogs! Our dog culture has greatly contributed to lowering my quality of life. And some might argue, many people's quality of life.  There are more and more cases in the news of innocent bystanders who are mauled and even killed by dogs.

Someone bought me a dog when I was 6 years old that I did not request. Sadly, it became evident in no time that my mother resented my chihuahua. She'd kick him and yell at him. And for me, it most certainly couldn't replace a sibling. I'm sure I came to love Speedy, but let me emphasize that giving people pets as gifts that they did not ask for is a very bad idea. Please know how that animal is going to be treated before transferring it into a home.  I am extremely allergic to nearly every breed of dogs as are many others, another good reason to not give animals as gifts if you don't know the person's situation.

At this point in my life, I'd like to live out in a rural area with so much land that I'll never have to hear another dog bark again! Here are the reasons why I choose not to live with dogs or near dogs.

1. Most every address I've ever lived at was infested with fleas due to pets that used to live there.
2. The insects that are attracted to the animals increase the chances of humans incurring diseases.
3. Most everywhere I've lived in my adult life I've had to listen to non stop 24/7 dog barking. I find it maddening to say the very least.

4. Roommates dogs who I came to love, sometimes turned on me in anger. The one in Mt. Washington,  (Baltimore) appeared to have develop some sort of brain disease. It would charge me daily. I'd have to slam my bedroom door fast so as not to get bitten. The dog attacked my mover on my move out day and my mover was forced to kick the dog in the face. When I told my landlords that I had a right to a safe place to live they said: "We are not going to guarantee you that our dog won't bite you."

5. I should be able to move freely about in public places without the worry of "dogs sniffing my ass or worse".
6. I (and every other citizen for that matter) should be able to safely walk in any Baltimore city or county neighborhood without fear that a loose dog will attack them. (Happens all of the time, despite leash laws)

7. I should be able to dine outdoors without a patron tying their dog next to my table, where I either have to worry about the barking or worry about the dog coming into my space.

I agree with Oprah one hundred percent. With proper love, training and guidance, owners greatly increase their chances that their dog or dogs will be well received. For comparison sake, I just said to the man next to me about the wrestling children here in the library, "it's the parent's fault, not the kids!"


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your stories for their grittiness and bluntness. I think your first person style works well for you and you seem unafraid to tackle uncomfortable topics.

Yes I found the suicide posting somewhat disturbing but not for the reasons that you stated some others had given you. As a person with a libertarian philosophy, I feel that a person should certainly have control over the suicide option if they would ever choose to use it.

You do seem to have a tendency to view the cup as half empty rather than half full....not that this is not understandable given the obstacles you face. Have you ever thought or considered that many people have faced incredible challenges...physical, mental...other.... and come out on top. Doesn't always happen...probably most of the time it doesn't....but sometimes it does.

How about an attempt to view the cup as half full....or even 5% full as opposed to 95% empty in one of your postings.....
It might give an interesting twist....

Resourceful people have often attempted to find glimmers of hope and even inspiration in seemingly impossible situations...imprisonment, terminal illness, starvation, etc... this has sustained them and given them the fotitude to continue....

I would like to see you pick something in your life, find the positive in a real non cynical way, and tell us about it.

Whether you do that or not, please keep writing...


becky624 said...

thank you

elana snyder said...


as an addendum, i'd like to say this to anon. I have a strong feeling that if you continue following my blog you will eventually realize that when good stuff happens I am the first to run to the computer to tell you about it. and yes, your right, my cup is at least 5 percent full!