Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Confessions Of A Non-Animal Lover

I wrote this post for another blog I contribute to:

There are so many people who love animals, love pets, love any creature that crawls, wiggles, runs, or flies. Admittedly some animals can be very cute and adorable, especially when they are babies. But, I just can't love them.

I don't like how animals shed. Dog and cat owners are frequently covered in hair, as well as their couches and carpets. Snakes and tarantulas shed their skin and leave ghost snakes and tarantulas behind.

There is always poo and pee to clean up, and it doesn't smell good. Though we don't own any animals, we have had to do our share of cleaning up the yard from various neighbor dogs. We're also pretty sure that the next door cats have left some 'presents' in our unplanted box gardens.

I shy away from picking up animals because it unnerves me when I can feel their ribs through a fluffy coat of fur. They wriggle and squirm when picked up also, and I'm worried about dropping them.

Major confession: When I see you pet your dog, then reach into the potato chip bag, then lick your fingers after your chips, then pet your dog, chips, repeat cycle.... it makes me never want to eat potato chips again. Also, open mouth kisses with your dog? Ewww.

We had two rabbits and a guinea pig growing up. It was really fun to feed them, but I didn't enjoy cleaning up after them. When I had to pick one of them up, I would wrap them in a towel first. It's calming to pet animals, but I always feel like I have to wash my hands afterwards.

I do enjoy looking at animals though, especially the zoo. It's fun to see all the different types of animals and learn about their amazing lives. I do appreciate also that people can get much love and comfort from pets, and I'm grateful that those people have animals.

I also have a mildish fear of dogs. The small yapping ones aren't as worrisome because I know I can kick them away if they bite me. But the big dogs, especially German shepards and pitbulls are slightly terrifying.

Many times I have gone the long way around to avoid a dog on the loose. When I'm with my husband and a dog starts barking and running towards us, I squeeze his hand and try to remain calm. Everyone says dogs can smell fear- is that actually true? Also, they say to not bare your teeth at them because it's a show of aggression.

Watching Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer show has helped a lot. He tells the dogs that he is the master, and they always end up giving in to him because he is the alpha dog in the relationship. He has an amazing way with dogs, and I'm glad he's willing to take so many dogs in and train them.

Just growing up and being in charge of others has helped as well. When I'm alone with my baby on a walk, I can handle the dog situation much more rationally because I am in charge of her safety. I have to take care of her, so I do.

My daughter seems to have taken a fascination to animals though. Whenever there are animals of any kind on tv, she stares and gets excited. She loves to pet cats and dogs. I'm pretty sure she'll want a pet when she's older, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!

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