May 31, 2004

Domestication vexation.

After watching the FOX coverage of the Angels/White Sox game the other day, and seeing how many sadists dressed up their canines on "bring your dog to the ballpark" day, I felt the need to comment on this despicable practice. Yes, seeing owners dress up their pets is one of my biggest pet peeves. It definitely seems to occur most frequently with dogs, as most cats simply wouldn't stand for it. Perhaps seeing a cat dressed up in a miniature baseball jersey would be an even more lamentable sight. Regardless of the victim's species, dressing up an animal because one thinks it's "funny" or "cute" is disgusting, if not sadistic. I sincerely believe that making your dog wear a sweater so he'll look "spiffy" when you take him as a walk should count as animal abuse. Most dogs do, believe it or not, have a sense of pride and dignity, and dressing them up for kicks only strips that sense of dignity away and leaves them bare with humiliation. If you want something to dress up and show off to people, buy a doll or a mannequin and drag it around with you. I'm surprised I don't see more dogs walking around with a large Pepsi logo branded into their side. No matter what most people believe, your dog isn't loyal to you just so it can earn the right to wear your stupid clothes. Oh, and dogs don't need shoes, either. Thumb through one of those expensive yuppie catalogs, and you might find a set of four little boots to slip over your dog's paws. For its own comfort! Quit deluding yourselves, you pathetic yuppies. Dogs don't need shoes and have never needed shoes. Quit trying to anthropomorphize your dog more than it already is. Just because they enjoy your company (maybe) doesn't mean they don't want to be like you. Let it retain a little canine dignity and walk on its hard pads, on which it can get along fine. A collar is more than enough. Let your pet retain a thread of decency by keeping your threads to yourself. Not to sound arrogant, but if dogs could read and clap, they'd be clapping for me right now.

Perhaps what really disturbs me about this issue is that it's a blatant demonstration of human abuse of power over animals. ...A grim reminder of how so many people disrespect the dignity of an individual they have nearly complete control over, and can't talk back or be willing to fight back to defend itself. In that light, I simply cannot respect a domesticated canine to the same degree that I can a wild canine, if only because they allow themselves to be human-dominated. Of course, that isn't their fault. I realized this as I spent a little time with my parents' dog, who is tied to a tree most of the time, and was gelded when he was a puppy. Yet, he seems perfectly content most of the time, though it would be pretentious of me to assume that's how he always truly feels. I only have to wonder if he ever dreams of living as a wild dog, free from human influence. Something, however, tells me otherwise. He's very family-oriented. No matter, I can't help but feel at least a tinge of sorrow when I consider how many domesticated canines are at the complete mercy of their owners, when there are so many abusive, maniacal, careless, and neglecting owners out there. ...That forcibly removing/disabling a dog's reproductive organs is such a common, accepted practice. It leaves me wondering if I should ever get a dog. I probably will only if I live in an area where it may roam wherever it pleases. Should I ever get married, I'll make sure we adopt a puppy as soon as its been weened, then call it our baby. Puppies are much more handsome than infants, you don't have to change their diapers or spoon-feed it, or spend tens of thousands of dollars on its education. And we'd never own it. We'd respect it too much to own it. A child's parent isn't known as its owner, and neither shall that particular puppy's guardian.

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