Suave, Four-Legged Children

I’m from a soflo city which, in recent years (about the last 20 or so) has become somewhat of a suave place to live.  Part of the suaveness includes numerous Starbucks (thank God) and a posh mall that, when I was a child, had a toy store and a Taco Viva (yes, for a seven-year old kid, it was thrilling). Now there is a plethora of stores I do not know the names of (excluding Juicy because that’s just sheer fun to pronounce). But I digress.

I am an allergy queen.  I will not bore you with the details but the only pets I am aware of that will not aggravate my asthma or allergies are reptiles (yep, turtles, snakes, lizards etc.). Fish are safe, too, but not an option.  Years of living with lone Betas that required their own little containers (because the pretty males would kill one another if put in the same tank), certain water, special fish food, who managed to persist way beyond the normal goldfish life span (one of them survived five years even after accidentally ending up in the disposal), no way, no how.  You get the drift.

Back to my original point.  People here like dogs.  A lot.  They love them actually.  Many people act like the dogs are their children.  Some of the dogs ARE children.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love dogs.  Have always loved dogs.  Will always love dogs.  I was fortunate enough to have two of the dear creatures growing up (they were a girl’s best friend).  But, they were DOGS.  They did not sit at the dinner table, have their own laptops, and sport designer clothing.  In my city, though, a phenomenon exists.  I’d call it a trend but it’s bigger than that.  More like a revolution.  A doggie revolution.  Not only do dogs have their own park, they now travel (many of them complete with doggie seat belts and sunglasses) to such places as the aforementioned posh mall.  And high-end restaurants.  And Whole Foods.  And Starbucks.  The owners of large dogs showcase their “children” by diamond studded leashes.  The “children” flaunt pink leather collars with engraved, sterling dog tags.

Look, a working dog helping someone to live a normal life (or as close to a normal life as possible), fabulous.  Police canines who fight crime, sniff out drugs, and help to protect my community, awesome.  Childhood pets like Buster, Max, and Molly, who are home chilling where they should be, wonderful.  I’m not referencing these fantastic animals.

I’m speaking about Fifi, Diego, and Persia whose doggie doo I step in when I come out of Starbucks.  Who I spot scouring The Mall perched in their comfy, cushiony STROLLERS!  Where else in the world, with the exception of Beverly Hills, can you walk through The Mall and see a pair of dachshunds side by side in their pink, double wide STROLLER?  I know, I know.  I grew up here.  I am a native and I swear it wasn’t like this twenty-five years ago.  I find myself irritated enough to consider showing up with an adopted “child” in a stroller, too.  Only my “child” would be roughly twelve feet long, have brown blotches up and down its back, and would curl up nicely in its STROLLER.  Of course, when it would get hungry, I’d be sure to drop into the nearest pet store to pick up a few rats or rabbits. At least my “child,” couldn’t send someone into anaphylactic shock.  A heart attack, maybe, but no Zyrtec necessary.  Please, people, leave your “children” home, safe and sound.  Those of us who are allergic, thank-you.

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14 thoughts on “Suave, Four-Legged Children”

  1. I don’t have a dog but I love to own one in the future. I’m not against dogs treated like ‘children’ but overdressing them too is depriving their status as dogs – animals – which wish to behave exactly their own nature… Never want to spoil a dog with material stuff – it’s costly..:)

  2. I suppose it creates a whole new idea for walking the dog? I admit my dog does have a santa hat, sunglasses and a tutu (he’s hiding in shame now) but that’s all for fun and picture opportunity only. I find it cruel that people carry them around as accessories, I can only imagine them crying with shame and the yearning to run in a muddy puddle, catch a ball and roll in dirt. Or is that just my urging? LOL

    1. LOL! Puhlease! I dressed up my large dogs when I was young :-) The lab, Windy, even had antlers she wore at Christmas. . .never out of the house of course! She hated them! Ha-ha, yes! Dogs should be allowed to be DOGS! I think those dogs want to WALK or maybe even RUN! They should not be in strollers!!!!!!!!

  3. This is a very interesting piece as even though my daughter has allergies and asthma, I never really thought about this. We don’t see it around TN as much as some other places, but it is still something that should seriously be considered.
    Also, got a great laugh out at imagining you entering the mall on a Friday evening with you ‘coiled up pet’ in a stroller and making your way to the food court! Wouldn’t that be a hoot? People would —-!

    1. Yes, it’s more than annoying. . .especially with the allergies and doggie poo on concrete! LOL, I’ve thought about it and decided it would need to be a “fake” child. I wouldn’t make it through the door if it was real :-)

  4. in my day job we fight the good fight against dogs in food premises, it’s a handbag accessory that portrays the silliness of the owner. the alfresco scene is awash with pooches wrapped around their owner’s knees or in some cases, on their laps being fed the food scraps … we’re losing at the moment.

    1. Yes, I’ve must say dogs in food establishments is. . .gross. I worked in the food industry many years ago, here, and it was never acceptable for dogs to accompany their owners (unless of course they were working dogs).

  5. what the? We love our Maximus but he is still a dog and I’m sure he wouldn’t go for any of that crrrap!
    Let them behave as dogs.
    That reminds me I’m sure Max could go for a Latte right now. “Max, Sugar? 1 or 2?”


  6. I don’t see the problem. My doggie goes to the doggie gym every day to play with her friends. We stop at Starbucks because she gets treats. Now we’re off to have her portrait taken. (Just kidding) I used to train German Shepherds and Doberman pinschers but can’t say I’m a fan of the boas. That doesn’t look like you in the picture carrying around that hugger.

    1. Ha-ha. I’m surprised Starbucks doesn’t have fair trade doggie treats! :-) Good for you!!!! I am a dog person but, unfortunately for me, I can’t own one. I don’t want to be mom to a boa. Just borrow one for the day!

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