I see your “Normal Dog” and raise you “a Real Dog”

Buster Brown pauses to show us his best "normal" face

I know people who have euthanized dogs and cats for nipping at their kids.

I know people who have “debarked” their dogs because they don’t like the sound of barking.

I know people who have declawed their cats for the sake of their kids or their furniture (not realizing of course, in addition to it being inhumane, that it can make the cat more aggressive, defensive, and more likely to bite).

I know people who have abandoned or euthanized pets for peeing in “inappropriate” places.

I know people who think it’s cool to buy a manufactured dog from a breeder, instead of adopting, because they believe in the myth of the “hypoallergenic dog” or “a pure bloodline” (hysterical) and because they want a dog who sheds less hair on their custom sofa, as though it’s a Prius that might offer better mileage and social acceptance than a Ford Focus (except in the city of Detroit) or a Coach bag instead of a thrift store book bag.

In general, I find the word “normal” offensive.  But when it comes to dogs, it’s just absurd, because a normal dog to most people essentially means a creature that is not dog-like in anyway.

For those of you who treat dogs like they’re accessories, the following is essential reading.  For those of you who love dogs for who they are and also find attempts by owners to de-dog them comical, if not terrifying, here is a little preaching to our choir for you:

The myth of “normal”

Please, for the love of whatever superior being you worship, don’t get a pet for any other reason than the one that matters:  This is a living being who I am committed to caring for for the full duration of its life, for better or for worse, and who, in turn, will add enjoyment and richness to my life.

About emily douglas

Emily Douglas authors The Unexamined Dog blog and writes regularly about "pit bull" advocacy, humane education and the parallels between the education field and the dog world. Emily and her dog, Peaches volunteer as a registered therapy dog team in the Southeast Michigan area, where their visits are affectionately known as Peach Therapy.
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