Friday, October 25, 2013

entitlement

So you know how men (and sometimes women) see a girl walking down the street and, if they’re not smiling, feel they have the right to tell them to smile? Or to make them feel guilty about not smiling? Well this phenomenon happens with dogs too.

Yonder is a very nice looking dog. And when people see him, they automatically think he is approachable and friendly – maybe because his tail is wagging or because he’s panting (which makes him look like he’s smiling). Even if I say, he’s going to bark at you, or, he’s wary of strangers, people will still approach thinking they are the exception. Let me tell you: they never are. And when Yonder doesn’t go up to them, wagging his tail and being all subservient - even more, when he does the opposite (barking or growling or ducking away) - they get offended. Some people even get angry, calling him “bad” or “untrained” or (yes, this happened today) "evil".

Honestly? It’s no different than that guy walking towards me on the street telling me to smile and getting offended or cussing me out when I refuse.

That guy thinks he’s entitled to feel good about watching a girl walk down the street, and if she’s not smiling it negatively affects his mood. Similarly, human beings think they’re entitled to the devotion of dogs. They see a nice-looking dog and think they have a right to that dog’s affection. So when a dog doesn’t go up to them smiling and wagging their tail or (heaven forbid!) it barks at them, they feel personally offended. Dogs are supposed to be subservient and affectionate – this is their function. They are only valuable in so far as they make human beings feel good about themselves.

This, my friends, is entitlement and I have exactly no patience for it. In fact, the next time it happens to Yonder, I’m going to chase the offender down the street myself.

End rant.

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad I'm not one of those people.

    When I first met him, you kept telling him to stop barking because I was Known People. And I just kept trying to make him not see me as horrible... AND LET ME PET HIM BECAUSE HE IS SO CUTE... ahem...

    Oh gods. Maybe I AM one of those people?

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous - Not at all! I really don't mind people WANTING to pet Yonder, so long as they understand he's a rescue and has anxiety issues and is most likely going to bark or be very wary and it takes him a while to warm up to people. Your response is actually the response that makes me happiest. :)

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  2. On the flip side of that, I find that a lot of dog owners seem to think that I probably want their dog to come up and smell my privates. Like, when they let their dog come and greet me with sniffs, and sometimes licks, they are being a nice person and granting me my secret wish to be shown affection in this way. So I'm just walking along and all of a sudden there's this dog all up in my space, breathing heavily, licking my hand, sniffing my butt, and looking at me like I'm going to give it something. And their owner is usually like "oh he's just really friendly, don't worry he just really likes people, oh are you giving her kisses? Are you giving her kisses? Oh, what a good boy! He likes you!"

    If I were to go along with your analogy of telling someone to smile, the equivalent would be some person walking up in your space and smiling at you. Right in your face. No thank you.

    I get that some dogs can't help themselves and they just want to aggressively smother everybody with excitement. Ok, it's a dog, they can be like that. Doesn't mean I'm going to like it.

    So, I guess I'm on Yonder's side. If I could high-five him, I would. We'd do a secret handshake and chant our motto: "We're just trying to walk. Please go away."

    End rant. :)

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  3. Sharon - I think you and Yonder would get along just fine. :)

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