What Non-Dog Owners Don’t Get
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?
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.