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Your Dog Grosses Me Out

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Jennifer Ginsberg: Last Saturday night, I was invited to the birthday party of a family friend. As much as I wanted to go, I hesitated when responding to the invitation because I knew that I would have to deal with Shlomo, their big, stinky dog.

dog humping woman's leg

Before you burn me at the stake for admitting that dogs gross me out, let me make myself clear. I respect animals. I do not wish them any harm. I have been practically vegan for years because I cannot stand the thought of animals getting tortured. But if I wanted to cohabit with them, I would live on a big farm out in the country -- not in a single family home in West Los Angeles. And I even hold the highly controversial belief that dogs are not equivalent to human beings and do not deserve the same rights and privileges that people do.

There is nothing that disgusts me more than walking into someone's house and having Fido run up to me and hump my leg and slobber all over me. And dogs always seem to sense that I am not a "dog person," so they work extra hard to win me over with super-aggressive humping and double-wet and sticky licking.

It is freaking annoying when I sit down on your fur-covered sofa with a plate of food and your dog stands one inch from me, panting his nasty doggy breath and whimpering as he begs for my crudites. My 2-year-old daughter didn't enjoy when Shlomo sucked on her toes while she was eating birthday cake, either!

Even worse was the other couple who brought their dog Fifi to the party, who wouldn't stop yapping the entire time. The nonstop barking made it nearly impossible to have any adult conversation ... but maybe I missed the point and I was invited to a Dog Party. No, I DO NOT like your hat!!!

The owners of the yappy dog seemed to think their wretched little beast was cute, and went so far as to rationalize her obnoxious behavior by telling the guests, "Forgive her barking -- she's blind."

"Ohhh ..." was the collective murmur heard around the room. Nothing can bring a crowd to near tears faster than talking about your dog's illness or disability. I restrained myself from asking the couple if they had signed a Living Will (i.e., a no-heroic-measures document) on Fifi's behalf.

Perhaps I am a fool for asking -- but why does being blind rationalize Fifi's ear-piercing, incessant yelping? Now, if she was walking into furniture or crashing into walls, I would have understood the excuse of blindness, and even been able to summon some sympathy for the pathetic creature.

But blaming barking on blindness is like using menstrual cramps to justify Tourette's syndrome. Actually, I am going to try that -- the next time I go to a party, I am going to repetitively shriek, "MOTHER F**KER C**K-SUCKERS," and my husband will sheepishly tell the guests, "Forgive her -- she has PMS." Let's see if I garner as much sympathy as the stinky, blind, heinous doggy.

If you choose to cohabit with dogs, then how about putting them outside for meals and parties? I know that you consider them to be a part of the family, but they are animals, not people, and it is not acceptable for them to infringe on the comfort of your guests.

Humanizing animals is a glaring example of our society's broken moral compass. It's easier for some people to feel frothy emotion about the imagined plight of an animal over actual human suffering. It's also simpler to have a relationship with a pet than a person -- there aren't any real emotional requirements, and you get to feel loved unconditionally for no good reason.

If these self-proclaimed dog lovers really cared about animals, perhaps they would strive to meet their genuine needs, rather than attempt to turn their dogs into submissive love slaves. These poor dogs are tools for people to get their narcissistic needs met, while they deserve to be respected for the animals they are. The truth is, dogs don't belong in houses -- their natural habitat is outdoors -- and they certainly don't belong at a party with young children running around.

Needless to say, even the most tamed and trained dog can get spooked and attack a child. But dog-worshippers are magical thinkers who believe that their pet operates from a place of human intellect rather than animal instinct, and will go so far as to say, "My precious Fifi would never bite anyone!"

Humanized dogs even seem miserable, which is evidenced by their hyperactivity and manic barking. I bet if they could talk, they would say something like, "Man this sucks! I'm a freaking dog, for God's sake! I really want to be outside chasing a squirrel and licking my ass in private -- not at this dumb-sh*t party with all these neurotic, creepy people doting on me!"

And please don't tell me that dog saliva is more sterile than human spit, as I have never seen a person lick their butt, then run up to me and lick my face!

next: What NOT To Do When Your Car Is Smooshed
82 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley November 9, 2009, 5:42 AM

THANK YOU!!!!!!! I live in the suburbs where people worship their dogs. It’s weird. People (my own son included) think I hate animals because I don’t want them in the house. I don’t hate them, I just don’t want my house to smell like dog. I have a toddler’s poop to clean up(sometimes, she is potty trained most days!) I don’t want to clean up dog poo!! Now, a feww months agosomeone called my husband and offered us a kennel trained, house broken scotty dog. I gave in. Let me tell you that dog STINKS!! But we like him, he prefers to be outside all day and sleepsin his kennel at night.

Kelley November 9, 2009, 6:05 AM

Hear, hear! I couldn’t agree more.

Al November 9, 2009, 6:58 AM

I love dogs! My dogs eat before me, however, they need exercise and discipline. Without proper care, dogs will become out of control. I agree that it is very rude to invite people over and not kennel or remove a dog(s) for the general party area. Also, no one in my neighborhood would think of bringing their own dog into my house without my permission. I can assure you that my own dogs would not take well to that.

Kimora November 9, 2009, 9:39 AM

I laughed the whole time while reading this article! I am in TOTAL AGREEMENT! Hence, and because I don’t want to be bothered by anyones’ dogs’ or cats’ well, I chose not to go over their home. (Oh, and no pets are allowed in our home either..) Thank you for this very true and real article!

Monica November 9, 2009, 11:46 AM

This article is right on the money. I totally agree. I am not a ‘Dog person’ either. I just don’t understand why people think that because they are in love with their dog that you are too. That’s rude to let a dog run around during a party. And I truly agree when you said that people think their dog won’t bite because they think the animal is using human logic. Exactly, I don’t know Fido and Fido doesn’t know me. How do I know Fido won’t bite because he thinks I’m a shifty character. As a human with human instincts if I’m at a party with a shifty character I might bite too. Especially if I’m begging for cake and everyone in the room is eating cake but me.

Kristin November 9, 2009, 12:08 PM

THANK YOU!! I cannot stand dogs… I lived with my OH and his family for a while and they have 2. One is very old and doesn’t understand English (OH is Ukrainian) and the bother is a little bastard who runs outside every time we opened the door and pisses on everything and barks all the time. I’ve never liked dogs, but that little bastard made me want to kill him. (Not that I would, of course, but I entertained the idea.)


Sylvia November 9, 2009, 1:57 PM

I totally agree. The filthiest houses I’ve ever been to were houses where dogs lived inside. I once left a dinner at someones house because their old senile dog almost peed on my child. I can’t eat with a nasty scratch dog staring at me-put the damn thing outside. Thanks for this article!!

Jeffrey Levine November 9, 2009, 3:25 PM

This was very funny, and you had me in total agreement for about 1/2 the article. Then I started to wonder why you had so much “charge” on this topic - especially without bringing up cats, birds and other pets. Claiming that humanizing animals is a manifestation of our drifting moral compass, you have to admit is quite a stretch, especially since the only “humanizing” you mentioned was considering them part of the family. By the end of the article I started to feel sympathy for you - that actually you’re missing out on something, that your life would be richer if you could relate to an animal that way. Just a thought. Funny article, though. Thanks for sharing.

Jaime November 9, 2009, 5:18 PM

Wow, it is SAD that you are actually a parent and a blogger that other people read and look up to when you print CRAP and biased bullshit like this. You are SO stereotyping pet owners - I cant believe you had the nerve to post this. You are an uneducated, self-righteous heinous person who doesnt even deserve the love of a dog, much less a child or other human being.
People like you make me sick to my stomach. Youre a vegan and dont want to see animals suffer but you want them all to run free in the wilderness and freeze and starve to death and get eaten by wolves and bears?
So how mcuh is PETA paying you to print this bullshit?
I feel sorry for you, your lack of compassion and humanity, your obvious lack of education about animal welfare is abhorrent and unacceptable.

Rori Raye November 9, 2009, 7:23 PM

Whew…you had to know you were going to get plastered with this one and…surprise! you didn’t! Everyone is either agreeing with you or has tongue firmly planted in cheek, as they say. I went to a super-classy dinner party at a super classy home the other night, and the dog was as much in evidence as a toddler would be - actually, for many, many people who’s children are grown - loud, crying, insistent, demanding babies are pretty hard to take. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. If I come to someone’s home…I assume I KNOW them, and that they have a young child, or a dog - and I’m prepared. If there are cats, we have to weigh the evening over the health effects of the claritin my husband has to take. I’m guessing, though I don’t know you, that this was a spoof…for people who don’t like babies in restaurants or in the movie theater. Personally, I’m a dog person and a cat person and a boa constrictor person, and a child person…and with a bad headache I can also be none of those…so…here’s to being uptight, and may we all chill. Thanks for the very provoking post…Rori Raye

Life With Dogs November 9, 2009, 8:35 PM

And I thought winter in Vermont was cold.

Sara Elizabeth Bonds @ The OmniCouple November 9, 2009, 10:31 PM

You make very broad, uneducated, and ignorant statements in this article. You make statements so matter-of-factly, but they are not at all factual (aside from the statements about your experience at the party).

You come off like an angry vegan who is simply using this article as a platform to TELL people that animals shouldn’t be pets. What’s worse is that you seems to believe you know a lot on the subject. You are not a Doctor in Animal Psychology nor Animal Anthropology. You specializes in addiction.

This article makes about as much sense as an article claiming ALL children are loud, misbehaved brats who should be shipped off to a boarding school, or an article claiming that ALL Catholic Priests are molesters.

We are animal advocates, lovers, and parents. ‘Humanized’ animals (pets) most certainly can be happy, fulfilled, healthy, and well behaved. We know this to be true.

You are blithely unaware of what a relationship between pet and pet parent truly is and can be. The kind of pet parent you describe in your article, as well as the kind of pet (miserable, manic, hyperactive), is the minority in my experience. I have been a pet sister, aunt, parent, and advocate my entire life, so I do think my experience counts for something.

Heather November 9, 2009, 10:35 PM

I loved this piece! So honest, so funny, so true!

Danielle November 10, 2009, 5:25 AM

So you have 15 years experience in dog training or anything in an animal related field?? Nope - sadly you are not an expert on anything except addiction which has absolutely nothing to do with animals. I think it’s sad we live in a world where people are as small minded as you, it’s even worse when people are actually agreeing with you…

It’s obvious you are a very sad and completely unhappy person, and you must have a very uneventful life. There are a million things worse than having a dog at a party. How about kids kicking your seat at the movies? How about people who don’t cover their noses or mouths when they sneeze or cough? How about little kids running around at a party getting into everything? I mean the list could go on and on. Congrats on getting this published though - I’m sure it will help further your career in the addiction field.

Gina November 10, 2009, 6:14 AM

Love it! Dogs drive me freaking nuts, and yes, I think they’re gross.

Kyla November 10, 2009, 6:53 AM

If you would have asked me two years ago, I would have agreed with most of what you have said. But once you allow a dog into your heart, I think you’ll see things much differently. Mine is my child. He’s well-trained, doesn’t bark or hump (people), gets along well with others, and is truly the light in my life. And as to your comment that even a well-behaved dog would bite a child, even well-behaved children will hit other children (or bite - I got bit by a human as a kid) when pushed far enough. Children must be taught how to properly treat dogs, and dogs and children should be supervised - duh.

Your comments are narrow-minded and uninformed. Dogs, like people, are all different and require love and discipline. The yappy dog sounds like he needed training. If it had been someone’s child screaming all night at a party, and the parents said, “Oh, she’s blind,” would you be complaining in a blog post about it? Would you blame the child or the parents?

You might not be a dog person, which is fine, but please realize that it’s usually not the animal - is the person on the other end of the leash.

Kyla November 10, 2009, 6:56 AM

“The truth is, dogs don’t belong in houses — their natural habitat is outdoors”

Oh, and one more thing - dogs have been domesticated over hundreds of years to live INDOORS with humans. Dogs should never be left outside all day. They are not farm animals. They are domestic animals, like cats, who have been bred to be human companions. Making them part of the family is not cruel, it’s fulfilling what they have been bred for. Please do some research before posting lies.

D. Baby November 10, 2009, 7:01 AM

You know, some of us feel this exact same way - about your stinky, smelly, drooly, hyperactive, ugly…CHILDREN!

Seriously, if I have to put up with your dumb whiny brats and listen to your stories about how “smart” and “above average” they are, you get to do the same with my dog, who, as the bumper sticker points out, “is smarter than your honor student.”

Barbara Techel November 10, 2009, 7:03 AM

This post made me incredibly sad. While I agree with you that people who have dogs should offer kind constraint when others are over, I don’t agree with the rest of what you have said about people and their animals. I would agree that some people are way over board with their animals, but most are not. Whether you believe in God, or whatever it is you believe in, animals are breathing, living beings. They feel pain in their own way and yes perhaps different from humans, but that does not make them any less.
I truly believe until we can find compassion, true, unconditional compassion for animals, will we then as humans finally get that this is how we should also treat other human beings. Animals are trying to teach us, but too many are ignorant to that.
I happen to have an dog who is disabled and walks with the help of a dog wheelchair. Now, you or others may think it “selfish” of me to keep a dog in a wheelchair… but I say, wow, to have put this sweet dog to sleep because of my selfishness in not wanting to clean up after her when she accidentally pees and poops cause she cannot control her bladder and bowels would have been irresponsible and extremely selfish. We would never think about putting a human to sleep if they lost the use of their limbs, would we? And yet, humans have such a difficult time adjusting, feeling sorry for themselves, etc. While animals teach us that what matters is who we are… not what we look like… and that we can adjust and still give back to the world. Do you know how many people have done good in the world because of their dogs??? Because of animals???? Do you know how many lives my disabled dog has changed for the better? This is why I take such offense to your post… there is another side to animals and humans who know how to love and respect them, but I saw none of this in your thoughts, which really made me so sad.
I actually feel sorry for people who don’t see the beauty of animals and what they give us… my life is full of joy and love BECAUSE of my dogs… and I wlll always, always be grateful for them.

Anonymous November 10, 2009, 7:10 AM

You wrote a great article. For the people bashing her… she is by no means saying a dog should starve to death out in the wild she is merely saying that a dog has a place in this world… outside. I do believe dogs should be able to run free. I have this giant dog, st. bernard, and we lived in a small house when we adopted her. I am definately about loving dogs but I don’t let them kiss me, etc. When she got much older she didn’t like the small yard the small house and we took her to my parents farm and she loves it there! She loves being outside and being the “protector” of the house. She roams freely, no leash, no fence, and she is the happiest dog I know. If it gets cold she comes and stays inside by the nice warm fire but other than that she loves being outside, chasing birds and doing what a DOG should do. I do find it sad when a dog is couped up all day in the house with two 30 minute walks, yeah right. Poor dog.

Oh, and it’s so annoying when people get so angry about things like this. So what she doesn’t like dogs! Doesn’t mean she wants to go out and kill all of them. She’s just saying they do and pointing out to dog lovers to keep in mind people who don’t like them. Gee. Not everyone is a dog lover and again not everyone have the same beliefs etc. Lets just agree to disagree and let it be already!

I LOVE dogs and wish I could take in all the strays in the world but just because I won’t let them kiss me makes me not a dog lover? Please!

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