I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again : I have a hard time trusting people who don’t like dogs. I’m not talking about people who are afraid of dogs because of some trauma, I’m talking about people who for some arbitrary reason decide they don’t like dogs. For those of you who don’t understand my sentiment, let me explain . . .
Dogs are true. They are honest. They never seek to deceive. They don’t hold grudges. They are not manipulative or duplicitous. They are not cruel. They are full of love and joy. They are loyal. They are comforting. They are trustworthy. What’s not to like?
They smell? You’re not exactly a rose.
They’re dirty? How much trash do you generate in a day?
They carry diseases? There are about 10 of them transmissible to humans. There are more than 225 you can catch from your neighbor.
There is nothing wrong with me because I like dogs. There is something wrong with you because you don’t. Hey, you don’t have to share your life or your home with a dog – I get that. But that doesn’t mean you get to condemn me because I do.
This has all been roiling around in my brain lately, because I just came away from a weekend when someone I’ve known all my life tried to make me feel bad about my love for dogs. I didn’t take the bait and argue back, and as always, I went out of my way to accommodate the human. I knew she’d be riding in my car, and since she said she is sensitive to dog smells, I paid to have my vehicle professionally cleaned. I bathed the dogs, even though I’ve never let any of my dogs even get within four feet of her. I showered. I put on clean clothes. I laundered a sheet to put over the car seat in case there was an errant dog hair. I put an air freshener in my van.
She began berating me the moment she saw me, because my partner had come along, and she has a companion dog. A dog that sat on my partner’s lap, or my lap, the entire time. A dog who was blocked from getting near my passenger in the back of the van by my partner’s wheelchair. Our guest reminded me that she would be having surgery in 3 days and couldn’t take Benadryl nor aspirin. She has never, to my knowledge, been allergic to dogs.
She said I was being hostile to her by bringing a dog along. I held my tongue. It’s no secret I have dogs, I wanted to say. Don’t I send you a Christmas card every year with drawings of them on it? You know that I have devoted my life to dogs. I’ve written five books about dogs, FFS. If I had children, and you didn’t like kids, would you expect me to leave my kids at home? It’s no different to me. Then she said my van “smelled like shit, by the way.” And that the sheet covering the seat was ” filthy”.
Now, I admit that I am somewhat nose blind to dog smells — but I had washed and bleached that sheet myself, and put it in the van just as I’d set out for the airport. And there was nothing in the van to make it smell like shit ; except maybe the excrement coming out of her mouth.
Her comments didn’t hurt my feelings so much as they unnerved me. This wasn’t just “not liking” dogs, this was actively anti dog. Rattled, I made 2 wrong turns on the way home. When I finally dropped my partner off at our cabin, I asked my passenger if she would like a bottle of water. She declined on account that “it probably smelled like dog”. I wanted to say, I don’t keep any dogs in the refrigerator, but I kept quiet in the interest of peace. I opened all the car doors.went inside and changed my shirt, since I’d had a dog on my lap. I suggested she come up front, but she said that would be worse because that’s where the dog had been. So I chauffeured her to lunch. At lunch, she suggested that I give some thought as to my disregard for her, and figure out what was underlying it. I noticed that after lunch, she climbed right into the front seat and did not exhibit any ill effects.
I was relieved to drop her off where she’d be spending the night.
When I got home, my partner was having a colitis attack because one of our dogs can’t stand me being out of her sight, and her continual whining had caused my partner anxiety. I spent the remaining hours of my day cleaning up human feces. I only mention this, because it informed my decision to take that dog with me to the picnic I was attending the following day. A picnic that the out-of-towner would also be attending.
We did not ride together, but the instant she saw the dog, she began to snipe me. We barely spoke all day. There were 2 other dogs in attendance who weren’t mine. None of them caused an iota of trouble. When we sat down to eat, although there were a dozen tables to choose from, She came to the table where I was seated, then expressed her disgust at the dog being there. I got up and changed tables to be accommodating.
I haven’t heard from her since, although I messaged her my best wishes for her surgery.
Will the experience drive a wedge between us? Assuredly.
Will I pick her up at the airport next year? Yeah, I don’t think so, Tim.
Should I blame myself- cuz sorry, not sorry.
What do you think?
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