An Open Letter to Some Dog LoversAugust 10, 2015
Dear some of the dog lovers
I come across you every now and then in every nook and corner and I am impressed by the care you show to your dogs. Dogs teach us valuable lessons and are more trustworthy and straightforward than human beings. I have come across a lot of wonderful dogs in my life and I loved many of them. I can tell you hundreds of wonderful stories about my grandfather’s dogs. I also respect dogs for their loyalty. But I understand that I may not qualify as a dog lover despite my love for them since I don’t cuddle or sleep with them. So, in your eyes I might be a lesser dog lover and therefore this open letter should be treated as a message from a lesser dog lover to great dog lovers.
Why am I writing this letter? Because I want to tell you three things about the differences between your love for dogs and mine and why we should give each other some space and should respect each other’s differences.
1. Do not force him or her on me, PLEASE
I love dogs or any pets from a distance and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I do touch dogs and cats and any other animal but I might not be in the mood for it all the time. I understand that your dog is an integral part of your family. It is okay if you introduce it to me and let it do a little bit of sniffing. I do not, however, appreciate when you let one of your family members jump on my lap, lick me and leave small specks of fur on my clothes. He is not a part of my family yet and I do not like to be touched by strangers. Perhaps you never expect strangers to lick you and cuddle with you the moment you reach their home. So I request you to ask your cute little family member maintain a respectable distance from me next time I visit your home. We can be friends with minimal physical contact. When I am comfortable with your dog I will definitely touch it. I have no problem with your dog but I expect a bit of space and respect for my personal likes and dislikes when I reach your home.
2. You don’t need to ‘undog’ the dog
Some of you take offence when I call your dog a ‘dog’. “Please don’t call him a dog. He has a name and he is a family member.” I believe if you love your dog unconditionally then you should not be ashamed of what he or she is i.e a ‘dog’. If you have to deny him his identity as a dog then I am sorry to say your love for him is conditional. You need the pre condition that your dog is not a dog to love him. If your love is true then you can love your pet as a dog or a cat or even a lizard. I know this because I had a pet lizard and I never fooled myself into believing it is not a lizard. I loved it as it was- a lizard. In my childhood a pet bird of mine died and I cried for two days. To feel that bonding with the creature I did not have to deny it was a bird. I believe you can love anyone in his or her true form. Otherwise your love is just show off.
3. Go to another restaurant
Some of you carry your dogs to restaurants and argue with restaurant managers or other customers if they object to your dog’s presence in the dining area. With due respect to your dog, everyone is not comfortable with an animal in the restaurant and you should respect that. If you cannot eat without your dog then you can try another place. Respect other’s choices so that others can also respect your choices.
Once again, let me tell you I have no problem with your dog and I respect your love for the animal if you sleep with it, dine with it or watch movies with it. But please for the dog’s sake do not use me as litmus for testing your love for your dog.
Thank you all.
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