Today’s post is being brought to you by very bestest friend, Caroline. We met a four years ago at the climbing gym, and by met I mean we made eye contact and non-committal head nods in each others general direction until we finally used our big girl words and love of food to become inseparable.
I asked Caroline to guest post for me because of her absolute fear of dogs. That’s right. My friend is terrified of dogs and I have two dogs that people cross the road to avoid. Who better to help educate against fear and hatred of my girls and their kind than someone who has a very real, very legitimate fear of the entire species?
I don’t do dogs. We just don’t go well together. They are oil – quietly floating around wherever they please, and I’m so very vinegary. Yes, we’re oil and vinegar, and that’s my classy way of saying I cry like a very small child when I see one.
So why the guest post? I don’t have adorable pictures of pups that need saving. I don’t have a tasty gluten-free recipe to share (though I can recommend a rockin’ Chinese Bean Cake), and my climbing borders on the pathetic these days. Still, I’m here, so I must have something of interest to say.
Turns out, I do.
I think I’m a theoretical dog lover. Certainly, I’m a dog respecter. At the very least, I’m an Analaigh and Rose respecter. Analaigh and Rose make it easy, because they are beautiful, and sweet, and funny, and smart. They are their mama’s everything (and I know a little something about that).
My bestie and I have discussed Breedism enough for it to sicken me in theory even while my innermost secret self hopes and prays that everyone just leaves their giant dogs home. And sicken me it does – enough so that I can’t stop myself from speaking up when it takes place.
Some weeks ago, a lively debate broke out among several moms in Mr. Baby’s playgroup. On one side, I heard comments like “Such a gentle soul” or “She puts up with all the nonsense my kids can deliver.” Pitbull parents know their pups and trust them with their (other) most precious possessions – their toddlers. The other side of the argument saw thoughts like “This is a bully breed”, “Pitbulls are not safe.”, “They absolutely cannot be trusted.”, and “They will turn on you eventually”. Truly ridiculous statements, like “I’ve never been attacked by any breed but a Pitbull. They have that reputation for a reason.” How about “Pitbulls do not bite. They maul.”
More enlightened mamas said things like “You will never, ever convince me an entire breed of any animal is vicious. In any species you’ll find good and bad.” and “As a human race we have a history of hating what we fear instead of trying to understand. It truly saddens me to hear such fear driven ignorance.” This is where I weighed in. “Dangerous Dogs” aren’t the problem. Can we ban “Dangerous Owners” instead, please? (And truly, I wish we could.)
Hours later, the argument raged on. I just couldn’t believe the hate that poured out of otherwise reasonable human beings. That was the moment that I *knew* that my son wouldn’t grow up this way. I grew up (understandably – though that’s another story for another time) terrified of dogs, and my terror has calmed to a persistent feeling of dread. I will do anything to ensure that Mr. Baby has a different experience.
Back to the beginning though. I don’t do dogs.
If only I knew someone trustworthy who did. If only I knew someone loving and patient enough to teach Mr. Baby the love and respect a pup deserves. If only that person were willing to move herself and her girls to Collegeville to do this “life” thing with us for a while.
Dogs and I might still be oil and vinegar – but maybe there’s room in all our lives for a tasty vinaigrette.