The other day, Leda wrote about our tendency to judge other pet owners, doling out criticism like candy. I know how it is. People constantly tell us that our occasionally trembling Boston terrier needs a sweater. Often, they tell her directly that she needs a sweater. The excitement of said attention makes her tremble more. Why I haven’t yet been reported to the cops is a gosh-darn miracle.
Pet retailer Pet365 backed this up further with some survey findings, indicating an even more specific point of criticism: the relative goodness or badness of pet behavior. A quote from the company’s director, Matthew Beswick, sums it up for me. In a press release, via The Sacramento Bee, he says:
It’s fascinating that pet owners basically ignore their bad behaviour of their own dogs while accentuating the same in others.
Ain’t it, though.
I’ve definitely done it and heard it done, especially with big dogs. Not being used to it, an excited lab hitting me in the nose to say hi — surprise! — is an unexpected welcome. I, on the other hand, have a small dog, which means she’s an angel. (Pfft!) Gida always sits next to our visitors, whether they act like they like her or not. That’s pretty small potatoes, but she also doesn’t stop licking people once she’s allowed. Though I always tell her to stop — “Gida, the guests have already cleaned themselves” — I only recently wondered whether she’s earned a bad-dog label for that.
In any case, I will be minding my own beeswax, or at least trying to.
Photo: DrBudro on Flickr