Some people should not share life with a dog. This same mantra applies to people: Some people should not be allowed to have human children. Because pets are viewed as property in the eyes of the law, there are no restrictions on who can purchase or produce a dog: Unless a court order bans them from doing so. A new mission for Fidose is to help dog parents thwart rude people.
At the age of 45, I’ve learned that getting mad and allowing negative comments to tie me up in knots serves no purpose in my life. Speaking against naysayers and trying to educate the ignorant has become more the norm in my life. Of course, there are some folks who just aren’t worth educating.
With that, it’s time for another round of “What to say to ignorant people” or “when someone insults your love of dogs or insults your dog.”
People do ask ignorant, belittling, or even mean questions about our dogs from time to time. So be prepared! If you missed our first post in this series, check out the bigot at the dog park post here.
The Money Bags Know It All
What They Say: “I’d never spend that much money to help a dog.”
What You Say: One of the greatest retorts to this I recently read in a blog post by Dr. Marty Becker. After a customer picked up her prescription for her dog, the amount revealed was well over $100. This caused customer B to say aloud, “I’d never spend that much money to help a dog.” Dr. Becker explained to the rude woman that the dog might be a therapy dog, a companion, or just a pet who adds joy to this lady’s life. Perhaps the dog is the reason this lady gets up in the morning and gives her life purpose. He asked if the woman ever took expensive vacations and she replied that she did. Why then, Dr. Becker, replied is it acceptable to spend large amounts of money on travel but not to save a life? The woman walked away, in a hurry, but perhaps will think twice in the future.
You Do Way Too Much For That Dog
What They Say: (this happened to me two weeks ago): “You do way too much for your dog. Taking him on vacation and you don’t even go out to eat?”
What You Say: I am no longer stunned when I hear words of ignorance uttered by people who find joy in attempting to antagonize loving dog parents. My reply to this woman was simple: “What gives you the right to judge someone you barely know and to be so vocal about it?” I no longer put up with spiteful or judgmental people and I simply turn it back on them. The woman left in a huff and I felt good about standing my ground. Basically who the hell are you to judge my happiness?
What They Say: “He eats well, doesn’t he?”
What You Say: “I’m glad my dog cannot understand that you just insulted his weight, but I heard you loud and clear. Please refrain from being judgmental.”
Note: I have a Cocker Spaniel and when his coat is fuller, he looks heavier even though his weight is ideal. Unless the person telling you your dog is overweight is the dog’s veterinarian, please refrain from verbal rudeness.
Hitting a Dog
What They Say: Stop that dog from barking, just give him a smack.
What You Say: Putting your hand(s) on a dog as a form of punishment is not only wrong but as harmful to the relationship you want with your dog. Counterproductive in fact. Check out this blog post on why you should never spank your dog.
Clothes Are a Form of Abuse
What They Say: Putting clothes on a dog is a form of abuse. Your dog is not happy in that sweater.
What You Say: I was at a fashion event with my dog and the above words were uttered to me in public, with onlookers wondering what I would say. This one floored me, I must say. Clothes do serve a purpose for dogs.
Fiction: All dogs need outerwear to protect them from the cold.
Fact: Not all dogs need a coat or sweater to keep them warm when venturing outside, but shorter-haired breeds, senior dogs, puppies, and dogs with medical conditions do benefit from the additional warmth. Seek pet apparel that adequately covers the neck and belly, and also allows for neck-to-tail protection.
Canine couturier, Anthony Rubio, deals with this question all the time. Here’s what he tells me about the topic when folks tell him that clothes are abusive for dogs: Scroll up to position 3:37
In a day and age where dogs give us so much: From comfort to companionship—from working dogs to search and rescue dogs—and so much more: Please think twice before imparting rude words to a dedicated pet parent like the above. Rule of thumb: Say something nice or nothing at all. If you the victim of a rudeness attack, at least now you are well armed with some quick comebacks.
QUESTION: Has this ever happened to you? How do you respond to negative people?