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Rescue and Shelter Dogs and Cats

December 3, 2013

Let me tell you something, every dog or cat that I’ve ever owned (or my family) was a “RESCUE” dog/cat.  Meaning we rescued that dog/cat out of a country ditch, an urban street, a freeway (twice), and a highway (once), etc.  Our last dog that we had for 11 years was rescued from the people across the street who thought they wanted a dog and really didn’t.

If you get a dog or cat from a shelter, you do not need to call it a “Shelter Dog” or “Rescue Dog.” When I hear someone announce that their dog or cat is a Rescue or Shelter there seems to be this pause between Shelter/Rescue before the next word to allow an expression of adulation.  It is transparent as hell that what he or she is really doing is conveying the message, “Look at me, I’m so benevolent! Give me a medal.  The world will end without my good deeds.  I’m such a good person!”

Can we practice kindness and caring without raking up Jesus points in the process?  Actually, it is not even Jesus points.  If there is a Heaven and a rating system the Jesus points will be tabulated by Jesus.  These points are more superficial, more like, “I’m socially superior than you” points.  Because everyone who stops to reflect for a second knows that there are so many fragile insecure egos populating the landscape who must, simply must reassure everyone around them including themselves that they are a good person.  Of course this can only be done at the expense of someone (or a group of someone) else. “I got a shelter dog unlike her/him (some generic fictitious person that possibly exists somewhere).

The reason this “shelter dog” thing is not working for me is this, where in the fuck else would you get a cat or dog if you don’t find one off the street than the shelter?  Pet shops aren’t overflowing with dogs and cats and if they are and my reclusiveness has led me to a life of ignorance, take comfort in knowing that you no one will automatically assume you bought your dog or cat from a pet shop before they assume you got it from a shelter.  If you are the type of person that someone will assume you bought it from a mill, pet shop or unscrupulous breeder then you already have a bigger image problem than adopting a shelter pet is going to fix, anyway.

It’s like I didn’t get the memo or am stuck in a different time or place because after a typical day of running errands, attending appointments, listening to office chatter and/or processing society’s white noise, I am left with the impression that life is about tooting your own horn, and not just a little bit, because I do understand if you don’t promote yourself no one else will, but it seems that everyone is going all out Kardashian style.  “My vacuous no-filter but filter superficiality is GREAT and all of you are going to tell me every minute of every day how GREAT I am and if you skip a beat I will be there filling in the in the almost, but not quite there silence.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2013 2:52 pm

    Some people see shelter pets as damaged goods. The idea is to work to erase that misconception, as many are abandoned for reasons other than behavioral problems, and to create a social stigma against casual breeding. Our shelter is very well-run and funded, their outreach program and spay/neuter subsidization program are strong, and they still have to put down over half the animals they receive. Some places are more progressive than others, good fortune to you if you live in one!

  2. January 4, 2014 2:57 pm

    Don’t know why I didn’t get my email follow-up on this — great post! Hope you and yours are well, Miss Kitty?

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