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!"