I occasionally get sneering looks from strangers while hiking on the trail with Chester and Gretel. Why? Because they see a small dog with short legs and think it’s cruel for me to “force” them to hike.
If Chester and Gretel hated hiking, I would not bring them with me. I find myself frequently assuring people that they totally love it. They are always eager to hit the trails and are, more often than not, the out in front of me pulling because I am slower than them.
A friend shared an article today and I thought it was an interesting read. The article, Onions, Hot Cars, Ponies, Panic And Greed. Fear And Loathing In The Animal World, says that many people are overreacting when it comes to the safety and health of animals.
This is not a blog I am familiar with but it appears that this man lives on some kind of farm. Last week, his dog ate a small onion from the garden and he wrote about it. The author said, “I could not count the number of warnings, alarms, grisly tales and hysterical messages I instantly received from people telling me I should rush her to vet, get her stomach pumped and pray for her survival. Also chastising me for not diving headfirst into the garden to save her from this vegetable, which, I was told, is lethal for dogs.”
What I took away from this article is that the author thinks many people are going too far. He says that some people are purposely searching out situations where they can scream animal cruelty or abuse. He says some of these people “believe they are protectors of animals and their rights [and] often seem to only be able to see animals and pets through this prism of hysteria and abuse and victimization.” He also thinks that people are spending way too much money on “treating” their pets for things that aren’t that big of deal.
I have seen people make judgments about what other people are doing with their pets without actually knowing the owner or the situation. Some of these people feel perfectly ok confronting the person online or in person. Heck, I’ve been one of those people judging (more often than I would like to admit). I’ve also been blasted by others judging my actions without knowing the whole story or bothering to ask.
So I want to know what you think about this. Read the article and let me know in the comments. And come back tomorrow to see how I feel about it. I definitely have some opinions but I need a little more time to gather my thoughts.