Another fine Sunday morn here in blistering hot Palm Springs... perfect time for another unhinged rant, so let’s have at it, shall we?
I am not a dog person. From earliest onset of awareness, I have been a cat fanatic. (Actually, thanks to gender transition, I can now proudly claim to be a Crazy Old Cat Lady, which pleases me to no end.) Now, I don’t mean to re-ignite the eternal Cat vs. Dog debate (the conclusion is obvious, anyway) and I hasten to point out that I am, and always have been, an all-around animal lover. In my view, ALL the beasties are fabulous creatures and more-or-less preferable to homo sapiens: Aardvarks, kinkajous, macaques, lemurs, iguanas, flying squirrels, cats, tigers, lions, leopards, panthers, black widow spiders (whose habit of devouring their male counterparts after mating is extremely cool), and yes, dogs too; especially wolves, who are indescribably magnificent.
But having said which, I repeat: NOT a dog person. To me, dogs’ servile adoration of humans, aside from being wholly unwarranted, isn’t an appealing character trait. Neither is their happy willingness to chase sticks, bite at tires, bark incessantly, and leave steaming piles anywhere, any time. I just don’t see the attraction, y’know? I mean, if your kid did these things, how long would you stick around??
But there is one dog-related issue that chaps my butt more than any other: the whole “service dog” thing.
Now mind you, there is no question that so-called “Service Dogs” do exist; absolutely they do, and what’s more, they are extraordinarily brave and devoted animals, deserving the highest admiration. My parents owned a retired service dog once, a Golden Retriever named Newman, and by gosh that pooch was a hell of a lot smarter than 98% of the people currently serving in Congress, to say nothing of more honest. Newman passed away years ago, and I honor his memory to this day.
But what drives me hopping mad is the way so many undeservedly-entitled dog-owners assign the respected “Service Dog” designation to any old undistinguished cur, just so they can take it places where ordinary dogs aren’t customarily allowed. Seriously, where do they get off?? Just because it’s easy to buy some cutesy red dog vest online that says “Service”, that doesn’t mean you can bring your hideous Patagonian Poop-Yap into a restaurant where I’m eating! Bloody outrageous, I say. Especially repugnant are these teacup-sized little horrors who are lovingly referred to as “Therapy Dogs”... gimme an effin’ break. Their owners need therapy, all right, LOTS of it, but they ain’t gettin’ it from some misbegotten mutt.
The worst part of all this is that by co-opting a title that rightfully belongs to the highly-trained GENUINE service dogs , these canine frauds diminish the respect level that the others have rightfully earned... and I think that’s just plain wrong.
Nonetheless, it bears pointing out that, as is always the case, the fault here lies entirely with the humans, not the animals. Whatever else they may be, like them or not, dogs –and all other animals– are permanently, unassailably innocent.
Uh-oh, I better shut up now. My Therapy Cat, Xena, is fixing me with a baleful glare that says, “Dammit, are you scribbling away in that idiotic blog again??)
Until next time, take care, have a good’un.