I always start my morning by reading email, visiting the Daily Beast (via links they email me), and then swinging over to the New York Times to check out the headlines. This morning I scrolled through a fun slideshow called “Readers’ Photos: A Family’s Best Friend?” Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for this kind of thing, and I was impressed by the quality of the pictures! Some were really outstanding. It was fun to read the little stories that accompanied the pictures and how the animals had changed their owners’ lives. But then one submission really put a damper on my day. It was next to an unusual looking dog, very striking, and the story next to the picture said this:
I am not a dog person. But with three boys and a country house, I deemed it important that my children experience a deep connection with a being who wasn’t human. So, we ordered our hypoallergenic Spanish water dog, Muki, last spring and guess what, she is a “Velcro” dog, desperate for my attention and jealous of my husband. It’s stressful having a dog I don’t want alienate my husband and only slightly tolerate the boys. I sometimes feel the urge to let the coyotes lurking in our backyard lure her away, but I know I have created this new dynamic and must deal with it rationally. She is getting better, but we wish she were more lablike in her behavior. What to do?
— Aspen Real Life, Snowmass, Colo.
WTF? I almost feel like this is some sort of joke, some tool taking on the tone of a snobby Aspenite who can’t stand her new hypoallergenic Spanish water dog (a breed many of us were probably unaware of). First of all, I’m sure she paid top-dollar for this dog from some breeder without doing any research on what this breed was like—she probably put emphasis on hypoallergenic, without thinking about personality. Second, to say she occasionally feels the urge to let the coyotes have their way with this dog is particularly disgusting. I’m not saying she can’t express regret over purchasing the dog and it not working out for her family, but that’s not quite the same as saying she wished the dog would be brutally mauled and killed while the owner’s back is turned. I find that pretty gross, and it makes me feel sorry for the poor dog because it’s stuck in a household with this flake. I mean, it’s not rocket science to find a new home for the dog—there are rescues and humane societies that could help. I just hope her written words are more severe than her actions, and that she secretly adores the dog (though I’m not holding my breath).