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Old 12-13-2007, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Who invited the dog?

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Who Invited the Dog?
By JOYCE WADLER and ABBY AGUIRRE
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IT was a dark and stormy night — actually four stormy nights — when Jayme Otto, 31, and her husband, Ryan Otto, 33, drove 1,200 miles from their home in Boulder, Colo., to her parents’ house in Cleveland for Christmas.

“We traveled all this way to bring our yellow Labrador, Cody Bear, home to spend time with his grandparents,” Ms. Otto said, “grandparents” being dog-person-speak for her parents.

Besides wanting Cody Bear “to participate in his favorite yearly activity of unwrapping gifts and destroying all the boxes,” as Ms. Otto put it, they wanted the dog to meet her brother’s fiancée.

But on Christmas morning, a commotion ensued: the fiancée was allergic to dogs and broke out in hives.

“The dog was banished to the guest bedroom and we were unable to share our Christmas morning with Cody Bear,” Ms. Otto said bitterly. “The family blowup between my brother and I over the dog resulted in my mother not speaking to me for two months and my brother for four.” This Christmas will mark the first time that the Ottos will not be returning home.

Where, one might ask at times like these, are the elegantly embossed cards people really need, ones reading: “I can’t believe I could have been so insensitive.” Or better yet, “I can’t believe you could have been so insensitive.”

They might also include a sketch of a sophisticated, well-traveled pet. Something for an animal that understands, even if others do not, that it is a valued family member. And of course a handwritten note, the tone bemused but firm.

“Rex is truly sorry he sent Granny to the emergency room with the oxygen mask, but it isn’t like anyone told me she was allergic. All is forgiven, see you next New Year’s. Leaps and Gloppy Drooly Kisses — R.”

Difficult guests are no longer limited to humans. The boundaries between humans and animals have been so eaten away by pet therapists, pet designer outfits and pet bar mitzvahs, that it has reached a point where devoted owners, who treat their animals as privileged children, lose all perspective on the pet’s role in their social lives.

More American households have pets than ever — 68.7 million of them in 2006, according to a new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association, up 12.4 percent from 2001.

Among dog owners, 53.5 percent considered their pets to be members of the family, the survey found. For cats, the number was 49.2 percent.

And the term “family member” should not be used lightly. Ari Henry Barnes, who works in a New York law firm, is so devoted to his cat, Romeo, that he wipes the animal’s behind every time he does “a stinky boom boom.”

When the cat became an extended houseguest at the home of good friends, Mr. Barnes found it stressful, because despite his wishes, the cat was allowed outside. “I think anybody who is taking care of someone else’s child or pet, they should protect the parent’s wishes.”

Many four-legged family members are routine travelers.

Derek Welsh, the president of www.bringyourpet.com, a “pet-friendly” hotel and lodging directory, estimates the number at roughly 10 million a year.

Mr. Welsh also said that in a Bring Your Pet survey of 100,000 self-selected pet owners, 38.5 percent said they had difficulty finding pet-friendly lodging.

This means there’s a very good chance they may be visiting soon. And so, for animal owners and those on the hosting end of the equation, a guide.

OMITTING THE WORDS ‘PLUS ONE DOG’ ON THE INVITATION WAS NOT A PRINTER’S ERROR

A legion of two animal experts interviewed agreed that taking an unexpected animal to a party is impolite. “You never spring a doggy or any other uninvited guest on a host,” said Claudia Kawczynska, the editor in chief of Bark magazine. “If you do get a green light, bring a lot of treats for both your dog and the human host.”

What if the owner cannot bear to leave the dog at home?

“Many pet owners exhibit hyper-attachment,” said Victoria Stilwell, the British host of “It’s Me or the Dog,” a show on the Animal Planet network. But that is not fair to the dog, she said, because it may suffer intense separation anxiety when it is left alone. Also, she pointed out, “If you allow your pets to become hyper-attached, you’d better understand that it will limit your human relationships.”

ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM IS THE FIRST STEP

Her name is Elisabeth Montoya. She is a 30-year-old lawyer who lives in Bozeman, Mont., with her husband, Johnny, an architect, their 2 ½-year-old son, Jack, and their 88-pound golden retriever, Diego del Mar de la Joya Montoya.

Before her son was born, Ms. Montoya admits, she was “really annoying” with the dog. “We nearly expected him to be given a place setting at the table.” Even now, she remains a dogaholic.

“The first time we brought Diego to my mom’s house was a disaster,” Ms. Montoya said. “He walked straight to the white-carpeted living room and proceeded to lift up his tail.”

The dog dragged himself perhaps 6 to 8 feet. “He left a noticeable brown streak in his wake. Horrifying.”

Now, Diego is even worse, Ms. Montoya said. He even bolted off the porch and bit a passer-by the other day.

“I babied him so much,” she said. “That’s why he’s like this.”

“We used to bring him to other people’s houses,” she said, “but now we don’t bring him around. He’s the cover dog for the worst dog ever.”

BEING WILLING TO MAKE AMENDS IS A NICE GESTURE, BUT NOT NECESSARILY A SOLUTION

Ms. Montoya appears farther along the road to recovery than the couple who attended a catered dinner for out-of-town wedding guests with their puppy.

The setting was not far from Aspen, Colo., in a home so lovely it is frequently featured in shelter magazines. The name of the puppy — a truly out-of-control guest — was Dude.

“It was unbelievable that good friends of mine and good friends of the parents of the bride would even consider bringing this dog,” said the hostess, a photographer and amateur landscape gardener named Sally who, perhaps because of the trauma, would not permit her last name to be used.

“The first thing Dude did was jump into the outdoor pond,” Sally said. “He shakes off on the grass lawn, then promptly heads inside and leaps onto the white couches, leaving a trail of pond scum. Then he runs outside, jumps onto one of the dining chairs, jumps on the table and helps himself to the hors d’oeuvres and fillet.”

A week later Sally received a note of apology, suggesting that she let bygones be bygones, signed with a paw print. Sally did not respond, which, she said, very much annoyed Dude’s owner.

This happened five years ago, and they have not spoken since.

The owners declined to discuss the matter with a reporter, but sent a comment through the bride: “Dude categorically denies everything.”

NEVER ASSUME

Problems can also occur when the guests assume that if the hosts have dogs, they, too, can bring theirs. This was the case with Donna Engelson, a 65-year-old former clothing designer, and her husband, Mel Engelson, a hardware manufacturer who for a time shared a Southampton home with Mr. Engelson’s brother and business partner, Larry, along with his wife, Tina, and Tina’s golden retriever, Cooper.

Although Donna Engelson had had asthma as a child, she did not worry about the dog. Her sister-in-law kept the house vacuumed and the dog upstairs.

One summer, the couples had a big Labor Day party. Since the Engelsons had a dog, friends brought theirs. After the third dog, Donna Engelson wound up in the emergency room. “It was very scary,” Ms. Engelson said. “My breathing capacity was 65 percent of what it was.” The couples are still close, but they have their own houses.

GIVE THAT PUPPY A TREAT

There was the time Rosi Kerr, today a 32-year-old New York energy consultant, then a teaching intern in an elite boarding school, brought her golden retriever puppy, Gus, to a meeting with the school’s director, who happened to be a cat owner. Ms. Kerr wanted to extend her stay at the school, but had a feeling the director did not feel the same.

She certainly had not planned to bring her new puppy, but she was running late.

“I sat in the living room trying to keep an eye on my dog as he wandered and sniffed,” Ms. Kerr said. “Somewhere along the line, I lost track of Gus. As she described how I was not a very good listener, I frantically craned my neck looking for my puppy.”

Gus reappeared just as the director told Ms. Kerry she was being dismissed and dropped a large, kitty litter-encrusted deposit at the director’s feet.
It always amazes me how people don't have any consideration for others. I was in Dean and Deluca the other day here in SoHo and a man was shopping with with his little dog on a leash. If he's lived here in the city for any period of time longer than 2 minutes he should know that dogs aren't allowed in restaurants or grocery stores unless they are service dogs ex. seeing eye dogs. I actually had to tell one of the workers since other workers didn't notice it (busy store.) The guy rolled his eyes and walked out the door.

In this neighborhood there are 2 stores that look like children's clothing stores, but actually are for dogs clothing.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Now, Diego is even worse, Ms. Montoya said. He even bolted off the porch and bit a passer-by the other day.
This kind of shit enrages me. Bringing an uninvited dog to a party is bad enough, but if you're so irresponsible that your dog is attacking others, you need to be barred from owning pets altogether. Many of these dog owners aren't even capable of seeing that they're the problem. While walking my dog (on a leash) I've had numerous run-ins with neighbors' dogs who are completely uncontrolled and aggressive. They either offer a sheepish smile and a mumbled "sorry" when they finally leash their growling, barking animal, or they become enraged when I kick it or hit it with a stick while it's attacking my dog or threatening me.
This is more than just a matter of courtesy; when you have an animal that is capable of injuring another person, it's your duty to keep it under control 100% of the time.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Out here in Los Angeles it has apparently become OK to bring your pets with you into stores over the last few years. So much so that I even remember a newspaper article on it a few years back describing how stores were accomodating such actions. I was in Home Depot last week and entered the building behind a man with some sort of smallish breed on a leash. I admit that I am one of those that views a pet as a family member and would go above and beyond...but I mean c'mon...Home Depot?
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This story scares me, and angers me. I have never had a good history with dogs. They bite me, bark loudly at me, scare me, hump me, and pee on me. Every dog I come in contact with does one of those damn things, so dogs are my mortal enemies. I'm not sure if there are other people who feel the same way about dogs as I do, but seeing a dog in a public place like inside a store freaks me out, even if they're on a leash, I don't trust dogs. I wish there was some way I could explain my fears to dog-lovers, because I try to tell them to keep their dog away from me, and they get offended! They don't understand: its not that its THEIR dog....its that it IS a dog that scares me, so please keep it far far away from me!
If I could make more people understand this, I'd be overjoyed.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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it always irks me when people treat dogs better than they treat most other people. especially when they like dress them up and give them really expensive food (or god forbid even cook something special for them). that always struck me as odd
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Remember: Dogs don't start bullshit wars over weapons of mass destruction.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Crompsin
Remember: Dogs don't start bullshit wars over weapons of mass destruction.
that's why i like animals, they don't fight wars.

what are you talking about? animals fight all the time.

not with nuclear arms. you can't hug your children with nuclear arms.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What is truly appalling is that these dog owners don't think they did anything wrong and show no remorse.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jorgelito
What is truly appalling is that these dog owners don't think they did anything wrong and show no remorse.
because they see their dog as a person, or perhaps even above people

these people are sick
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My nickname here is in honor of my dog. She was adorable and smart and I loved her but she was a dog. I have kids. I could tell the difference.
Listen up, people. Dogs don't know how to love. They're pack animals. They've merely accepted their place within the pack-your family-and do what the pack tells them. Those that don't accept it are the ones who bite, piss, bark, etc. Bring them into a new place and they will do their job and "mark" it and explore it-to humans that is called "doing destruction". They don't care if your sister's sofa is white or that the food on the table is not for them.

Sheesh...some people need to get educated....
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Obviously not a group of dog owners...
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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nothing to say

Last edited by pocon1; 07-06-2008 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnison
Out here in Los Angeles it has apparently become OK to bring your pets with you into stores over the last few years. So much so that I even remember a newspaper article on it a few years back describing how stores were accomodating such actions. I was in Home Depot last week and entered the building behind a man with some sort of smallish breed on a leash. I admit that I am one of those that views a pet as a family member and would go above and beyond...but I mean c'mon...Home Depot?
A few months back I was out shopping with my mom at Lowe's and saw a dog that was clearly NOT a service dog on a leash there. Despite the posted signs saying that only service dogs are allowed, no employee made an effort to get the dog out of the store. To me, it's a safety issue--I don't want to trip over your dog in Lowe's while I'm carrying a large object or run it over with a cart because I can't see it.

My parents' dog goes places, but he never goes anywhere a dog isn't expected to be, and more often than not, they leave him home (despite the fact he is a well-trained dog, they just don't want to deal with the hassle of traveling with the dog). Not too long ago, my SO's mother was bad-mouthing the behavior of my SO's cousin's dogs, who are two little out-of-control hellions. She was saying that she wasn't going to allow dogs at their house any more, just to keep the cousin's dogs from coming over ever again. But then she turned to me and said, "But your folks can bring Jack over any time! He's so well-behaved!" Phew.

I see this as part of a larger trend wherein people simply have stopped caring about what people think of them and just want to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and to hell with society. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude doesn't just stop with dogs--it applies to how parents treat children, too. There is this sense of entitlement that just boggles my mind, like these people think: "This is how it is, deal with it." Ugh!

Yeah, and you just KNOW that lady with the golden retriever that rubbed his ass all over her mother's white carpet is just going to raise a GREAT child. Jeez...you couldn't succeed training the dog, so you thought you'd have a KID?! At least with the dog, there are classes you can take, but God knows no one ever considers parenting lessons.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by troit
Obviously not a group of dog owners...
On the contrary. We just don't treat them like humans....
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ngdawg
Listen up, people. Dogs don't know how to love.
Sorry, but I think you're categorically wrong. On what evidence do you base this conclusion save the idea that animals who don't speak english are dumb and don't have feelings?

Quote:
They're pack animals. They've merely accepted their place within the pack-your family-and do what the pack tells them.
None of these traits inherently denies them the capability to have emotions.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I wouldn't, as a rule, claim that dogs aren't better than people. It really depends on the individuals being compared.

Many people suck, let us marvel in and comment on one of the specific ways in which they can suck.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I have an account on the books that's a large retail chain. About 2 years ago a customer had her dog in the store despite signs that it wasn't welcome. It bit a toddler that was trying to pet it.

The store paid $50,000 because no employee told the woman to get her damn dog out. They now have a strict policy to keep all pets out and will call the police if customers won't leave their pets outside.

For all you on the personal responsibility bandwagon, the dog owner's homeowners policy paid out its limits. Blame was assigned something like 80/20.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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.. .. did I really just read that someone wipes their cat's ass after it shits?
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shakran
Sorry, but I think you're categorically wrong. On what evidence do you base this conclusion save the idea that animals who don't speak english are dumb and don't have feelings?



None of these traits inherently denies them the capability to have emotions.
Who said "animals who don't speak english are dumb and don't have feelings?" Please don't put words in my cyber mouth that I did not utter.
Dogs do not love like humans, although most dog owners prefer to deny that.
A dog's "love" is an 'agape' or instinctive emotion-showing loyalty, protection and submission to us-their alphas. It's like when parents of a newborn think the baby loves them. It doesn't. We project our own love and wistfully think it's coming back.
Thay cannot "love" based on personality of their owners or desire their owners or profess some undying affection. If you brought your dog to your neighbor for an extended period of time and that neighbor treated the dog exactly as you, its "love" would be for the neighbor.
Dogs cannot hate. They can snub food or something as distasteful, but they can not hate. Their "anger" is based on protection of their family or themselves. They can feel sadness-that's proven.
They can display happiness as a result of pleasurable things that release Dopamine.
They also, of course, can feel fear.
Quote:
According to Fred Metzger, a guest lecturer in animal sciences at Penn State and a State College veterinarian, "Dogs probably don't feel love in the typical way humans do. Dogs make investments in human beings because it works for them. They stand something to gain from putting so-called emotions out there. The more 'cute factor' they give us, the more we feel like they love us. This makes it more likely that we will give them more attention, food treats, outdoor access -- all based on how much of a show they put on for us." Metzger theorized that dogs "love" us as long as we continue to reward their tricks and antics with treats and attention.
Does My Dog Really Love Me?
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guccilvr
.. .. did I really just read that someone wipes their cat's ass after it shits?
no didn't you read it right...

Quote:
he wipes the animal’s behind every time he does “a stinky boom boom.”
a stinky boom boom.

WTF!??!?!?!?!
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton

Many people suck, let us marvel in and comment on one of the specific ways in which they can suck.
only one? but...there are sooo many to choose from....


Quote:
If you brought your dog to your neighbor for an extended period of time and that neighbor treated the dog exactly as you, its "love" would be for the neighbor.
i know people who've lost their spouses that way too.
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