1. Get totally offended by humping.
I own a submissive dog. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to swallow my pride on a park bench and watch a female German shepherd named Daisy treat him like a Japanese blowup doll. But am I going to interfere? No. Am I going to get all huffy and confront the dog’s owner? No. They are dogs. They descend from wolves. Get it girl. Keep on rockin’ with your bad self.
2. Baby-talk our dog into oblivion.
I own this majestic beast. So you can imagine he gets a lot of attention. When I get intercepted three times by three different individuals on my way to the post office without a bra on, I get a little ticked. Especially because the usual chosen form of communication is baby talk. Actually getting down on your hands and knees and baby-talking my dog to the point where he and I are both extremely uncomfortable.
3. Assume you know what’s best for our dog.
I’m running into the store to get some tampons. Okay? When I tie my dog up outside, please do not passive aggressively ask me, “Isn’t he going to get cold?” No, random stranger, he is not. He’s wearing a fur coat so luxurious PETA should throw red paint on it. Please calm down. Let’s not make this into a Portlandia episode.
4. Know nothing about handling your breed.
First of all, don’t walk around a city, totally wasted, with your unleashed 75-pound male pit bull. Second of all, don’t stand aside completely bewildered while he attacks my 8-year-old border collie. Thirdly, don’t then run away from me, while my dog bleeds out and I have to pay $1,000 to get 11 stitches and three tubes put in his chest. True story.
There is no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad dog owner. Respect the strength of your breed and know how to handle it. Or don’t own that breed at all.
5. Approach veterinary medicine from a corporate standpoint.
Are you seriously going to charge me $35 for a plastic cone? I could make that out of two milk jugs and some duct tape.
6. Don’t pick up your dog shit.
I was once a dog shit evader. I did the whole look-away routine, the scoop and pretend tactic. I’ve since changed my tune. An environmental scientist once told me that if no one in the city of Portland cleaned up their dog’s shit, the city’s water would be undrinkable. Dog feces accounts for 20-30% of stream pollution.
Alternately, though, there are times when I just cannot pick it up without compromising my personal integrity. And I’m not going to get a mop, so, deal with it.
7. Ask, “Does your dog bite?”
Yeah, he does actually. Especially men in khaki short shorts and argyle tube socks. Maybe a better phrasing would be, “Is your dog friendly?” He’s a dog. I know him pretty well but I have no idea if he’s going to get a whiff of your Old Spice deodorant and attack you. If I were a four-legged animal, that might sound fun.
8. Keep your dog cooped up all day.
Owning a dog is like owning a perpetual child, who is never going to mentally mature past three years old. Why own an animal if you don’t plan to take him with you everywhere? If you can only take him for a walk twice a day, before you go to work and when you get out, what’s the point?
9. Let your children run up behind my dog.
I did that when I was 5. I now have two scars under my nose.
10. Say anything against mutts.
You spent $1,500 at the breeder to get a mass-produced golden retriever? Good for you. My dog has heart. He has history. He’s that kid in high school your parents wouldn’t let you hang out with. He hid his bong in the darkroom and slept with the entire art club. Now he owns a private jet and vacations in Fiji.
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