My last post was full of anger and rage, so here's another on to throw on the pile. I don't really do positive.
However, I do try to do positive things. I'm not sure where that puts me on the pessimism/cynicism scale, maybe more cynical than pessimistic.
One of these positive things is working with an animal rescue group. I admit that this was something my wife sort of dragged me into; I doubt I'd be involved if not for her motivation. I'm not a joiner, really. It doesn't come naturally to me. My usual charitable efforts consist of giving money to worthy causes, but I've typically been rather selfish with my personal time. No excuses really, I'm just generally sort of lazy and prone to getting lost in my own brain.
This is further complicated by my issues with dogs. I was raised by a crazy person who (among many other psychological issues) was a pet hoarder. At one point when I was a kid there were three simultaneous litters of puppies along with all of the pound dogs we couldn't properly care for, totaling up to about 40 dogs. Three litters of 8-9 puppies and a dozen full grown dogs. Yeah, forty. It was a pretty unmanageable situation, and it left me with issues.
So let's just say I was a very reluctant animal rescue volunteer to start with. I like animals and all, I just wasn't really mentally equipped to deal with them all that well.
But I got over it. Confront your fears or something.
See, we started with this whole animal rescue thing about three years back after we got our first dog. We got him from a pet store, and found out that yes, he was a puppy mill dog. A little online research lead us to find out that the company that sold him were a bunch of ultra-right wing religious freakshows with seriously questionable ethics and a litany of health code and animal cruelty violations. In other words, raging shitheads. A topic I covered several years back.
So as a form of penance, and because we discovered how fucked up the world of dog breeding and puppy mills is, we started volunteering.
We volunteer for both a local and national breed specific rescue now. And, well, a few things have become apparent to me, during my trials and tribulations as a volunteer. I will list these observations one at a time, with an explanation, for full clarity. I will also word this to be as accusatory and hostile as possible, because quite frankly, you fucks have it coming. So this is my gift to you, dear owners (or potential owners) of pets in America:
TAKE CARE OF YOUR GOD DAMN PETS, ASSHOLES!!
HOLY SHIT! YOU PEOPLE ARE FUCKING INCOMPETENT!! MOST OF YOU SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO CARE FOR A HAMSTER, LET ALONE A DOG OR, HEAVEN FORBID, A CHILD!!!!
That's my opening statement. You lazy bastards sicken me. And now I will go into details why.
- First, get your god damn pets spayed or neutered. I can't stress this enough. I direct this mainly at men. Guys, seriously, your dog doesn't give a fuck whether he has his nuts or not. It doesn't affect his manhood in the slightest, because dogs aren't as insecure as you pencil dicked mouth breathers. It will alleviate stress, prevent overpopulation, and make your dog much more pleasant to be around. You know how fucking cranky you get when you haven't gotten laid in a while? That's what intact dogs go through all the time when they're full of raging hormones, times ten. See, they can smell when a female dog is ready to go, and it drives them berserk. No one wants to deal with your untrained and undisciplined dog when he's raging like a horny teenager.
- This brings me to point two: There is no need for you to breed your dog. Your dog is not that special. There are thousands more like him, and there are plenty of reputable, and also disreputable, breeders out there making sure the dog population remains sustainably high. We really don't need you with your half assed schemes at making a few bucks by selling off poorly socialized puppies to people. For starters, you won't sell all of the puppies, and then you'll be left with several adult dogs you don't want, and eventually I'm going to wind up having to care for them or they're going to get euthanized. This goes ten times over for Pittbulls. If you read this and still feel the need to breed your dog, go punch yourself in the mouth in front of a mirror a few times and just don't fucking do it.
- That segues nicely into point three: Pittbulls are not the devil. In fact, I generally find that the breed doesn't have a lot of bearing on how nice or mean a dog is. It's all about how well you train it, and how well you treat it. They're sort of like children that way. If you're mean to your child and don't give them any boundaries, they're probably going to grow up to be a stripper and/or a drug addict. Apply the same logic to your dogs. If you happen to be a failure as a human being, do us all a favor and don't get a dog and don't have kids.
- Take your animals to the vet. Let me clarify: take your animals to the vet, you stupid ass. You know what's fun to watch? And by fun, I mean like trying to watch "Dancer in the Dark" and not kill yourself afterward? Seeing an entire litter of puppies or kittens succumbing to something like Parvo Virus or Feline Distemper. Or watching a dog that's never been treated for heartworm cough up blood because the only treatment for a severe case is to dose him with arsenic to kill the worms, and now the little decaying worm bodies in his blood stream are causing lung embolisms. I imagine it feels a little like snorting a satchel of pop rocks and thumb tacks. There are a ridiculous number of diseases around to just make a dog or cat keel over dead. I see a lot of pricks get the bare minimum legally required rabies vaccine (if that) for their pet and actually decline heart worm tests or any other vaccinations. Another common thing I see is people who get a cat or kitten, assume it's just fine as an indoor cat, and never ever bring it to the vet. Then, several years later, they're shocked when it gets sick and dies and they have to pay through the nose for vet bills. A little prevention goes a long way. And if you're an anti-vaccine nut, I hope you die from whooping cough, and I'd appreciate it if you stop reading my blog, and also wasting the air I need to breath.
- Train your pet. If you can afford to drop hundreds of dollars on a purebred dog, you can afford some training classes. And for you guys, again, because I see a lot of you imbeciles thinking you know anything beyond how to wipe the drool off your chin: you don't know shit about training dogs. You may think you do, but I'll bet money you probably don't know shit about shit. It's an odd guy thing that a lot of us just assume we're going to be able to train a dog, effortlessly, by sheer virtue of our manliness. If you think this, I have news for you: you're a raging douchebag. I can't tell you how many dogs I see where some slope headed neanderthal declares a dog 'untrainable' because his ham fisted approach that 'worked for my daddy' doesn't do shit, so they just dump it off at the pound to be killed and move on to get another one. Alternately, there's the well intentioned young women who coddle the shit out of their little lap dog and don't understand why it acts out. In both cases, let me say this: Dogs are not toys, they're living critters, they have their own personalities, and they take a little time and effort to work with. There are plenty of trainers available all over who can help you with training. Hell, at least watch some Animal Planet to get some basics, they have a billion dog training shows on. Which leads me to our next point...
- You are not the dog whisperer. No, really, you're not. I don't care if you watch Cesar Milan 24/7 and buy all of his books and videos and whatever the hell else he sells. Your TV viewing doesn't translate to experience with a dog, and his show is edited to hell for content and an enhanced sense of drama. He also confuses "calm and submissive" with "scared to move" a lot, but that's my own personal thing. He has some good methods, as do most professional trainers, but until you've actually worked with dogs you still don't know shit. Don't try that pinning domination thing unless you actually know what the fuck you're doing, it'll just get you bitten or confuse the hell out of your dog.
- This next item applies to people trying to get rid of their dogs. Just be honest, we don't want to hear your bullshit excuses. We've heard it all. Seriously, you wouldn't believe the crap that people come up with when they want to get rid of their dog. He smells (yeah, really), he's untrainable (bullshit), he won't stop peeing on things (see training), we're having a family crisis (so bad you can't afford dog food?), we just had a baby and don't have time for him anymore (you should have thought of that before, dimwit), he's too hyper (take the fucking dog for a walk you lazy shit, you could use a few minutes moving around yourself, fatty), I suddenly found out I have allergies (after three years???), he's suddenly turned vicious to our kids (don't let your baby crawl in the dog's food bowl while it's eating, dumbass), the dog bit our son (don't let your kid poke the dog in the eye with a stick for fucks sake), etc, etc... Usually we find out the truth is that the dog has health issues and needs surgery or something, and usually people lie to us about it since they're afraid we won't take the dog in if it needs serious medical intervention. The only really legit excuse I see, and I see it way too much, is that a couple is getting divorced and have to sell the house and neither can find an apartment that allows dogs. I see a lot of people getting laid off and having to leave their home too. It sucks, and I get the feeling a lot of those people didn't try to hard to get a pet friendly place to stay, but at least I can tolerate that one. The ones I love in particular are the fucks who get their house foreclosed on and just leave the animals behind. We see a lot of dogs that are on the brink of starvation because some fucknut packed up and moved and just left their animals in an empty locked house. Which brings us to the next point...
- Shelter dogs aren't maladjusted terrors. In fact, most of them are pretty well adjusted and love people. Some dogs, like pittbulls, get a bad rap from the news, and we do see an incredible number of them that were bred for fighting or guard duty and have been basically beaten mean. But I've seen plenty of adorably friendly and cuddly Pittbulls too. The thing is, as a rescue group, we don't take in aggressive dogs. We get our dogs from local pounds that euthanize them all after ten days, and most of the ones we take have been just abandoned or dumped somewhere once a family is sick of them. They had a family and were well socialized, maybe with a few training issues, but that's it. People just dispose of them. Maybe I'm a bit of a bleeding heart, but that's kind of fucked up to me.
- And lastly, No, we will not surgically remove dog nipples. Yes, that's in response to any actual request. I just can't make this shit up. Yes, the dog had puppies once. No, it's not common practice to cut nipples off. I don't care if you're uncomfortable rubbing the dog's belly when it has nipples. Although I guess I can apply this to special perks and treatment some people want from poor animal rescues... Folks, this is a volunteer operation; not a single one of us gets paid for our time. Haggling for spa treatments for your potential adopted pet is just really bad form, since the fifty dollars we'd waste at the groomers could maybe go to pulling another dog from the pound about to be euthanized. Which do you think might be a better thing to do? Jesus christ I really can't get past that nipple removal thing though. Wow. And it wasn't like, one member of the family, the whole clan of them were on board with this whole nipple removal idea. The whole idea that people like that are living and walking around confuses and frightens me.
So, aside from the nipple removal, which I think was a one time incident (I hope), those are the top things I'd like to say to people who have dogs, or want to get dogs, or want to get rid of their dog. Some tidbits apply to cat owners too, because a lot of you suck at caring for your animals too.
Anyway, this rant was brought to you by the nice couple who dropped off T-bone at our place this past weekend and lied to our faces about all of the medical issues he has and the surgeries he needed and why you were giving him up. It was really awesome when he turned purple from overheating and asphyxiation because you said "Oh, he doesn't have any medical issues, he's just a little overheated and makes loud rasping noises!" and then ran out our front door as fast as you could to avoid our questions. The ice baths we gave him after you left kept him from dying, and the vet doesn't think he has any permanent brain damage from chronic over heating, although he's still at risk for tracheal collapse.
You'll be happy to know that the soft palate trim, neuter, vaccinations, heartworm tests, and nasal passage surgery went well, although we think that they two and a half years you decided to not get him treated have probably given him a hernia, so he's still vomiting about fifteen times a day and needs to be on IV fluids so he won't die. I'd like to think that if you can afford a rare thousand dollar purebred puppy you could have afforded some basic medical care, but what do I know. And we know you knew what was wrong with him, since your vet told us all about how they've been pleading with you to get him these surgeries since he was a puppy.
I can't imagine what listening to this dog desperately gasp for air every minute of the past two years must have been like, and can only say go fuck yourselves for not taking proper care of him.
Well, it's been fun, but now I'm going to go drown myself in the toilet to get away from you people.