What Non-Dog Owners Don’t Get

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I remember when Tino developed glaucoma and was going blind. It was a pretty traumatic experience – more for US than for Tino. He actually adapted quite easily and quickly. But for us, it was hard because I felt such empathy for him. I wanted to baby him and take care of him, but realized that the best thing I could do was just let him live his life.
But, I remember a friend asking me if we were going to “put him down” because he was blind. To say I was shocked is an understatement. The idea never ever even crossed my mind. It took me a while to get over my shock that they would be so heartless, but I realized they didn’t have dogs, they didn’t understand the bond between a dog and it’s family…that the dog is actually a MEMBER of the family. I wouldn’t put my sister down if she went blind, why would I put my dog down?
member of the family
This question made me think a little bit about non-dog people. Most of my family are “dog people”. My grandfather raised dogs, we had dogs when I was a child (until my brother and I developed allergies), Steve had dogs growing up, all of my siblings have or have had dogs – same with my nieces & nephews…dogs are a part of our family tree. But there are LOTS of people in this world who 1. dislike dogs, 2. never had a dog of their own, and/or 3. have never been exposed to dogs.
It’s unlikely that any of them are reading this blog, so I could say all sorts of crazy things about non-dog people, but the truth is that I feel kind of sorry for them. They’ll never know the joy that a dog can bring to their life. We dog lovers know all of the good things about dogs and can rattle off our favorite stories about our dogs and funny things that they’ve done, or times they have cheered us out of sadness with some silly antic or soothed our anxiety by climbing on our lap for a hug. Non-dog people will never have that experience, so they’ll never understand that our dogs are family.

Tino was pretty goofy.

Tino was pretty goofy.

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  1. I have just been thinking about this recently as well! My best friend is so strange when ever we go to hang out or do something together and I have Diego with me. She doesn’t understand that I can’t just leave him in the car for hours if she wants to do something. She also won’t let him into her house, even on leash where he would just lay down. It is annoying that non-dog people don’t understand the bond, but as you say, we should feel sorry for them because they haven’t ever got to experience that bond.
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  2. It’s true :o) A lot people in our family are cat-people…. they roll their eyes about wild barking and jumping and say: uuuuuh how exhausting ! But at least they understand that a dog is a part of the family like their cats :o)
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  3. I always say that dog spelled backwards is God, and that is the most unconditional love that we have here on earth. I, too, feel sorry for people without dogs!
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  4. We were amazed at people in our area and their comments about Katie as she aged. They would ask why Mom walked her if she was so slow and unsteady, why can’t she hear, why does one keep an old dog around, it was amazing. After thinking about a lot of it, you really never see anyone walking an old dog. If the dog can’t walk, it either stays in the yard or is put down. So sad really. Would people put down Gramma when she started using a cane? If you don’t use it, you lose it, so keep your dog exercising as long as your dog can.

  5. It’s hard to fathom what goes through the mind of someone who thinks any kind of canine disability or shortcoming is grounds for euthanization. Mostly I find I want to avoid those kinds of people and strive to surround myself with (a) more dogs and (b) more dog people. 🙂

  6. I agree 100%. Everyone needs to own a pet to understand the bond you have with them.
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