I am obsessed with my dogs. They are better looking, funnier, and smarter than anything you have in your life. There is a chance everyone feels this way about their pets, and maybe everyone isn’t right– including me. Gasp!
My dogs are Mila and Magnus, and they have taught me many things. The sappy stuff, like selfless love, patience, and the ability to clean up poop. They have also taught me some less impressive things about myself– mainly that my laziness and inability to say no to my dogs, and mean it, makes me a bad pet parent.
Today, I had one of those experiences mothers of toddlers talk about while they’re on their third glass of wine. It was an experience I didn’t see coming into my life for quite some time. A stranger was awful and judgmental about my dogs, and by extension, me. I mean, I am not saying he was wrong, but it was embarrassing.
I went home for lunch on Friday afternoon to let the dogs use the bathroom and play. I normally let them play on this large ungated patch of grass in my apartment complex on sunny afternoons because it’s calm and people aren’t coming in and out with their dogs in the middle of the day– except today.
Mila and Magnus are large dogs who are obsessed with small dogs. So, a redheaded freckle-faced man came out of the side door of a building with a white fluffy little cotton ball of a dog. We’ve encountered this dog before. It is as mean as it is cute, and it considers my dogs’ needy playfulness as aggression, so they are not friends.
Mila and Magnus saw this little fluff ball and his ginger handler, ignored all of my commands- which they only do when it’s really important they listen- and sprinted their way across a parking lot. The man picked up his dog as I ran behind mine. As I got closer, Mila and Magnus changed directions and ran into an enclosed dog area.
I sighed and said, “ok, we’ll just go to the gated area.”
I was talking to my dogs– feeling annoyed, but happy that there was no barking and no drama. Then, I heard it:
“They sure do whatever they want, don’t they?”
Ginger said it in such a neutral way, but I couldn’t help but think the dig at my dogs was really just a dig at me. I turned, made eye-contact with him, and debated what to say…
“At least my dogs are friendly.”
“Mind your own business.”
“You sure are a jerk, aren’t you?”
I settled for: “I guess they do.”
He doesn’t know N and I work with the dogs everyday. He doesn’t know Magnus is huge but still a puppy and has a hard time listening. If he knew, would he care? Probably not.
Like I said, he wasn’t wrong. My dogs embarrassed me and that man, all his freckles, and I knew that to be the case. Did he need to point it out?
Either way– Good burn, Ginger, good burn.