I know that I’m going to offend quite a few people when I ask this question. Since when did the Antiguan dog become a part of the family? I don’t mean the strays and the ones that make us believe that they’re guarding our property when they throw out a bark or two at night when they know we can’t see anything.
I’m talking about the dogs who are all up in our living rooms, sometimes in our beds and eating off of our good crockery.
I grew up with dogs. Sandy and Rex were two of my favourites and I have a soft spot for canines that I don’t pretend to have for felines. Sandy had so many litters that I’ve lost count, but I fondly remember how cute the puppies were. There was always a runt and always one who would shove all the others out of the way, come feeding time.
It was always a female. And she was always the fattest one – no surprise there.
I remember that after they were weaned we would feed them canned milk with some grated carrots until they could take solid foods. Back then, food designated for dogs was not always readily available, so most people would cook things like cornmeal and rice with a little chicken “back and neck” mixed in for flavor.
Later on, we would mix store bought dog food with the starches because we realized that dogs needed protein too – and the chicken bones weren’t exactly cutting it. But the pots that were used to cook those meals were never used to cook anything else. And we fed them in their own plastic dog bowls (or a beat up old pan), outside in the yard.
So imagine my surprise when a friend of mine told me the story about a friend of his who paid a visit to someone’s home and watched as the homeowner took a plate from the dish drainer, placed it on the floor and put some food in it for the dog. That would likely not be the visitor’s last time at that house, but she said it would be the last time she would accept any offer of food or drink.
He also told me of some relatives of his who had to move out of their apartment because the building did not allow pets. It seemed that the restriction became too unbearable since they were forced to visit the dogs at another location. Or maybe it was the inconvenience of having to leave their house to feed them. However, these were dogs that remained in the yard – the type I understand.
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t ever mistreat a dog or any animal for that matter, but like my sister said, they make things especially for their use – they don’t need to go using mine. Tell me which dog you know is going to wash his bowl out and turn it over? Tidy the mess he made on my floor? Excuse himself to go to the bathroom?
Exactly. So if someone can’t clean up after himself and he’s not sick, an octogenarian or a baby, that “person” really can’t be in my house. Frankly speaking, their noses are always nuzzling something on the ground, so forgive me if I don’t want them licking my face. And they’ve got two more legs than I’ve got – so why should I be carrying them around?
I know what I’ve said is probably politically incorrect – because these days we have to mind everybody’s feelings – but I think that the dogs will forgive me. It’s their owners I’m not so sure about.