rude people

How Dog Parents Thwart Rude People

rude people

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.

dog writer

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?

Fat Patrol

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.

cocker spaniel

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.

cocker clothes

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?




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  1. Great article again, Carol. When Thurman got sick, I had several people ask me “How much did you spend?” when I told them all that he went through. It doesn’t matter how much I spent – I took care of my pet. I didn’t get a pet to just throw away if it got broke. I got a pet because I wanted one, and thank God that I did because I am a much better person for having done so. People always fear the unknown and will not hesitate to say things they don’t understand.

    1. I will never understand some people and their rudeness. I mean if you can buy cigarettes, take vacations, subscribe to cable, etc: This is someone’s choice. Loving a dog is mine. More paw-er to you!

  2. Yes, I have been on the receiving end of some comments/questions that were not quite polite. I haven’t called the individuals on their rudeness, because they are coworkers. I’ve just learned to avoid conversations with them.

    But on a happy note, two of these people ended up getting dogs, because of family members. And they are now just as crazy about their dogs as I am…and they frequently come to me for advice. 🙂

  3. I get the “your dog is fat” comment a lot when Quincy gets fluffy. It’s actually made me pretty mad! I pride myself on having healthy dogs, and the only people who ever make that comment don’t even own a dog. The last time this happened, I ended up telling the guy to shut the eff up because he was drunkenly following me around a party yelling about Quincy’s weight!

    I’ve also had people comment on his coats, but I was able to just walk away from that situation. I’m super non-confrontational, but I need to have a few replies locked and loaded for the next time!

    1. I am the same way but after years of rudeness I just have to sometimes put someone in their place. The fat comment blows my mind. I want to scream. Sometimes I say “now that isn’t nice, you wouldn’t say that to a person’s face” – and then I realize some people are rude enough to do just that.

      1. I really hope the next person to say that about my dog is fat themselves so I can look them up and down and say “oh honey, I don’t think that’s an area you should be taking about.” lol

  4. I’m one of those people that came to that realization many years ago. I realized that if people can be that rude then they deserve whatever comes out of my mouth. When I was growing up, my mother said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” People today forget that or were never taught that. My little one wears coats and boots because she NEEDS them, so it isn’t funny or stupid etc.. Once when I had our rescued Princess Lily, a very mean calico who you cannot pick up or pet, at the vets office, the vet tech said ” THAT cat needs to be put down, I would NEVER have a cat like that!!” I was livid to say the least!!! I told her, “AND YOU!! You need to find another job!!”. When the vet came in, I made her leave. I told him what happened and that she should be fired for being so rude, how many other patients had she said things like that to and they didn’t say anything. I told him that they shouldn’t have a vet tech that would say such terrible things to their patients. The woman was fired that day! I do not put up with rude people and I don’t care who they are.

  5. I ignore that ignorance.. love me love my dogs period. I don’t need more people to agree with how I feel about my dogs. Dogs are people to me so none of those comments seem to make any sense.

  6. I’ve had rude folks say to me they wouldn’t have spent so much money on a dog, while we were battling cancer with our last pup. I used the “nice vacation” comment on them, saying it’s not really any different than spending a ton of money on a nice family vacation – you spend time with your loved ones and all you have left after is the memories and the photos. And those things are treasures. Just like the memories and photos of the time we spent with our dog are treasures for us. People can be SO thoughtless sometimes!

    1. You are spot on – and thanks again for the comment. BTW I am finished with your book and so proud to write a review this month. TY for your patience with me!

  7. Great article Carol. Unfortunately, its not always strangers that say rude things. For us, part of our family does not like dogs and just can’t seem to understand why we would want them, let alone treat them as loved members of our family….ugh.

  8. I’m amazing you guys engage – and that you’re all so courteous when you do it! I have two stock answers for the “I wouldn’t spend that money” comment, as I get it fairly frequently (I rehome rescue bunnies, so am always at the vets with the latest ailing one). Option #1 is “fortunately for you, it isn’t your money I’m spending” if I want to be semi polite, and option #2 if I’m feeling a bit more thermonuclear is along the lines of “what exactly made you think I wanted your opinion?”
    Yeah, I don’t get embarrassed any more 🙂
    On the dog weight thing, I have the opposite problem in that my two young collies are as streamlined as they come. Tiny framed, active and not an ounce of extra on them. I frequently get “your dogs are too thin”. I try to be a bit polite, because (as with people) the perception of “weight” has shifted over time so an animal that is larger can be perceived as normal, but I usually go down the “actually they are a 5 on the WSAVA 9 point condition scale, so they are absolutely spot on” route. It closes the conversation down if people don’t know what the scale is, and if they do know and disagree it means the conversation can be productive: “I’d say she’s more of a 4 for *these* reasons” etc.

  9. Carol-
    You have hit on a popular topic! I get that my girls are spoiled a lot. I say to those people:”here are the two beings that I know that love me beyond measure. How should I reward that? By being mean to them? “” or Spoiled? thanks for the compliment, I work very hard for them to feel that way.
    As far as the “money” I have spent over $7000 keeping Lucie alive this year. However one thing that influences me, is that I have spent more on healthcare for my horses. I was at a party that this came up, and everyone at the table said they wouldn’t have spent the money. I replied that I felt blessed that I had it to care for her. I have found out that a large number of animals dumped at the pound are those with health issues their parents cannot afford treatment for. I do not ever want to be in that position.

    Hopefully, that will shed new light. After all, we need to educate the public at large on pet issues, so they vote for funding increases for shelter animals like Pima Co just did for the Pima Co. Animal Care facility. It was voted to give them $250,000 to help them build a new facility that they desperately need.

  10. “I’d never spend that much money to help a dog.”
    One of my biggest pet peeves (no pun intended). I would spend a ridiculous amount of money to protect or save my dogs. They are part of my family, plain and simple.

  11. Does anyone have a comeback for “Oh, you have a lot of hair on your clothes, do you have a dog or a cat?”

    I feel like I am being really passively aggressive put down because I have hair stuck to my clothes which otherwise clean. It seems like it doesn’t matter what I say, people get defensive immediately and play the victim for me calling them on their rude behavior.

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