Rees' Pieces: Pets and their Owners

Ben Rees

Animals are not people. They do have rights, and no animal should be treated poorly; however, these rights are animal rights, not people rights. If I cannot pee on 6th Street without getting a ticket, animals should not be able to sit at the table. I know there is no rule that says dogs must abide by an established canine code of conduct, and luckily, most people who own pets are wholly reasonable and keep their dog’s food in the dog bowl instead of in bone china (go figure). This being said, some strange people interact with their animals in a very creepy and inappropriate manner.

I wasn’t joking earlier; I know people whose dogs sit at the dinner table with them. Because dogs physically can’t sit at the table, and under my chair is ever so lonely, they go above and beyond their call of duty as owners and actually sit their dogs on the table. This isn’t right. I don’t care how many times cleaner a dog’s mouth is than a human’s, if I bathed by licking myself, I don’t think I would be allowed anywhere near the house, much less on the dinner table. When I asked this eccentric couple why their beloved Jeremy sat on the table (note the creepy human name), they told me it was too cold for him on the floor. Now, I’m no evolutionary biologist, nor a veterinarian, but I can bet that the reason animals have fur is because it keeps them warm, especially when they sit on the floor.

In addition, as much as I enjoy providing a pooch with a good ear rub, I just plain don’t like when animals follow me around. When I walk out of my bedroom at eight in the morning, I don’t want there to be a furry bridge troll at my doorway who won’t let me through until I throw a ball down the hall.

Pets are not children, nor will they ever be a suitable indicator for whether a couple is capable of having an baby. They are not the same thing, and just because you can walk a dog every day doesn’t mean you can push a stroller full of Furbees while you breast-feed.

The moral of this column is as follows: people who treat their animals like people are exceedingly creepy. Having a conversation with your dog doesn’t stimulate its intellectual capacities, especially when it’s scooting around on the living room rug. The only thing worse than talking to your dog is talking to your cat. At least your dog is staring at you while you talk; cats are essentially Slinkies with fur. Talking to your cat is only a half step up from talking to yourself, and we all know where you end up after years of doing that.

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