© Gaye Wilson 2009

Image by hortongrou

I am amazed at how blind some people can be about their pets. Don’t get me wrong: I love my pets and they are just as much a part of the family as the humans are.

But I know that they are not human.

Many people are silly about their pets. They allow cats and dogs to sleep on, or in, the bed with them, they dress them up, they talk baby talk to them (and there’s nothing wrong with any of that, if that’s the way you like it). But the silliest thing is to think that their pets are just little humans, and can do no wrong.

Wake up, people!

The reason I’m talking about this today is because there have been many instances in recent weeks of dogs roaming around the countryside where I live. They are coming into my yard at night and eating my dogs’ food (my dogs currently sleep in crates in the garage, because of the weather – see this post); they are making messes all over the yard; and they are disturbing my dogs during the day. When I try to approach the dogs, they run away – straight onto the road.

I live in a rural area where the speed limit is 70 km per hour. Drivers don’t expect to have to look out for errant animals on the road, and therefore drive along over the speed limit without paying much attention. Several times over the past weeks I’ve had to flag down a speeding car because someone else’s dog was on the road and refusing to move. A few weeks ago, my niece’s cat was run over in the dark – exit one cat.

I’ve spoken to some of the owners of the dogs and have received incredulous looks. My dog doesn’t go out of my yard, they exclaim. One lady told me that her dog won’t even go down to the dam on her property without her. Well then, the dog must have a doppelganger with the same distinctive collar, because she’s been on my property at night many times. Her owner didn’t bother to close the gate, because she thought her dog never left her yard. Just today, another lady told me that she didn’t know the dogs were getting out. Well, duh, you don’t have fences – of course they are getting out!

Why are people so stupid?

Just this morning, I found out who owns the little dog that has been giving me nightmares over the past two weeks by coming onto my property, getting a fright when my dogs challenge it, and then running onto the road to stand and bark at me, while cars speed down on it. The owners didn’t know it was out of the house. Then a few minutes later, two small children rode down the road on their bicycles, accompanied by two dogs who were not on leads (which is illegal in this country), and the mother was trailing along on foot about 100 metres behind the kids and the dogs. The kids were about four and nine. What was this woman thinking? Not only could she not control the dogs, but she couldn’t control the kids either.

I’ve heard that dogs have about the intelligence of a two year old human – they understand some words, but they have no sense of personal responsibility, they have no road sense, and, and get this, people, THEY LIKE TO ROAM. EVERY dog will roam, given the chance. It’s what dogs do. So do cats, and goats, and horses and every other animal.

So please, PLEASE, make sure your animals are safe and cannot get out of your yard. Make sure you have secure fences and closed gates. Make sure you know where your animals are at all times. It’s part of responsible animal ownership. And above all, don’t think that your pets are angels. They’re not.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, we will resume normal programming.

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4 Responses to “Pets are not human!”

  1. Cindy Morus, The Money Mender on September 8th, 2009 11:51 am

    Hi Gaye, very well put.

    Another of my “pet” peeves is the people who let their dogs bark all the time and then get mad at you when you talk to them about it!

    A little yappy dog lives next door to me with a doggie door. Whenever I take my dog out, it comes out and starts barking and, of course, my dog has to chime in, too.

    We can’t even be out in the back yard enjoying ourselves because it won’t stop barking. AAAAARGH!

  2. Gaye Wilson on September 8th, 2009 12:27 pm

    Hi Cindy,

    Welcome to my blog!

    I must admit that I’m one of those people who has a barking dog. She drives me nuts, so I can only imagine how she affects the neighbours.

    Unfortunately, though, there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to stop her. A couple of years ago she developed a severe anxiety disorder which required human Valium, a dog behaviourist and lots of energy and TLC on my part to fix. It took several months to do so.

    Now she has age-related cognitive disorder, so the barking is back (albeit not as bad as it was before).

    So sometimes a dog owner can’t do much about a dog’s barking, except cringe when approached by the neighbours, and apologise profusely.

    But I know where you’re coming from, because my own dog’s barking drives me absolutely bonkers at times!

  3. Renee on September 13th, 2009 12:24 am

    Lovely reminder that dogs can be human and humans can be dogs.
    I am a current non-dog owner who often rents half her house to people w/ huge dogs. While my domicile situation is opposite yours: I live in the city where dogs w/o leashes are illegal unless human and dog are both present in a dog park. Also required is scooping your pet’s poop. All too frequently I encounter the undesired unscooped remnants of another’s pet.
    As for barking, one tenant who had two dogs apologized because they were barking. My answer was, “They are dogs; dogs bark.”

  4. Dave Meyer on September 14th, 2009 2:04 pm

    Animals have a lot in common with children in the respect that they need to understand the rules, should be disciplined as appropriate, and should not be allowed to roam free. Personally I’ve had many more problems with disrespectful children than I have had with animals.

    But that’s probably another story.

    If people really loved their animals as much as they said they did, they would discipline their animals and train their animals so that they would not create problems.

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