Friday, March 5, 2010

Dogs In Shopping Carts

OK, this week it's all about dogs where they shouldn't be. Don't get me wrong, I love the animals, pets, cats mostly, but I'm down with the dogs too. I have dog references, Finster and Abbey love me. Here is a dog tip for you, feed them the leftovers after the kid refuses all forms of nourishment. The dogs don't even know what they just swallowed, but they love that you thought of them. I know that's kind of "Dog 101" but it's fun every time.

When I was a kid my all time favorite book was called "Follow My Leader" it was about a kid who blew a firework up in his face and was blind, and then he went to a boarding school to learn how to function and got his seeing eye dog, a German Shepherd and it was great. So maybe I'm oversensitive to this new phenomenon, bringing your dogs with you everywhere.

I was in Trader Joes awhile back and there was a woman with her daughter of about 13 or 14 and they were pushing a shopping cart around where there was a dog firmly entrenched in the baby seat. It's disgusting dog ass in the cart where most of us put food. I didn't say anything to her, I should have, it's true. I was actually out in my car when I realized I was still pissed, (sometimes it takes me a minute to sort it out) so I went in to talk to the manager. What I learned is he isn't allowed to ask to see service dogs certificates, I looked into it further and can you believe it, a service dog doesn't even have to be certified.

Service dogs aren't required to be trained in any special way, or be able to prove that they can do anything they are just declared.

I was reading a web site about it, and the people who use service dogs are actually fighting against legislation setting some standards for service animals. They don't want to have certification standards but are upset that service dogs aren't always allowed in places. Well is it just me or is this backasswards? Wouldn't some sort of tag or collar or scarf that is universally recognized grease the skids much like a passport does at the airport, or a drivers license when you get pulled over? Just showing me your dog doesn't scream "service animal". Especially if you're carrying it.

I can tell you the manager at that Trader Joes isn't pleased about this either, he said he is so allergic to dogs that he can't be in the checkout line with one.

It seems to me the people who seriously need service animals are shooting themselves in the foot by not demanding some standards.
The problem is the new gray area of dogs that are not to keep you from walking into traffic, but the ones who are for making you feel better. And I'm not saying that isn't legitimate, but these are the ones that confuse the issue. There is such a thing as a seizure dog for example, that does something I don't know what exactly, but I guess it's ok to bring it, I personally wouldn't want to depend on it calling 911, but if it's a service dog OK, I just want some proof. Still doesn't belong in the cart.

I personally have a self diagnosed case of ADD. My son mentioned one time that he thinks he has it, and after I thought about it for awhile it just explains all kinds of shit. Like why I can wander off with makeup on only one eye, (that's always as shock in the mirror later), or start to take a vitamin and not be able to complete the task. The fairly famous time I got all the way to Woodinville from Seattle to go to work and realized I was barefoot and had no shoes in the car. So I probably could bring the cat with me to the store a declared service animal if I wanted to.

Clearly the whole take your dog places started with Paris Hilton the Rhodes Scholar. Can you imagine how fast her great grandfather is spinning in his grave? He worked his whole life to make the Hilton name mean quality, and now this.

I am being kind of mean about it, I understand she rolls out of bed about nine and designs purses.

By the way, when you say someone is spinning in their grave do you think they are spinning like a weenie on a rotisserie, or like the spinner in Hi Ho Cherrio? I can't decide. The weenie way makes more sense.

People in stores and restaurants would prefer that you leave the dog at home. We don't think they are cute, we aren't charmed, we are irritated. It is rude and unpleasant all around for you to bring your dogs places that don't say "Dog Park" at the front. If it say's "Safeway" or "Red Robin" leave it at home. And by the way, how is it that most of these dogs are white, but not all the way sort of dirty and miserably ugly? They all seem to be the same breed, with base of poodle and a mess of something that didn't quite work out. Some of my problem is not only are their dog butts where my food is going to be, they look icky too.

Service animals should be on the floor, wearing their uniform and on a leash, so they can be proud of themselves as well they should be.

Another aspect of this whole mess is the people who are driving their dogs around in some sort of stroller. Jesus people stop it, you look legally insane and if you look closely the dogs are embarrassed to death. They are kind of slunk down hoping no one looks at them and just humiliated. Also I'm guessing the next logical screw up is all these dogs in strollers are going to get chubby, and that could be real bad. Richard Simmons might decide to get involved.

It occurred to me the other day that only women go places inappropriately with dogs. I seriously can't think of an instance when I've seen a man with a dog in a stroller. When men do it it's with some weird animal like a cat draped around their neck or a parrot. Not that I'm encouraging that either, it's just interesting. Personally I'm done trying to analyze it, but you are welcome to. So what have we learned?

Pets are to make us feel better at home. Service dogs are to get us there and back. A dog never never never goes into a shopping cart. Unless it's wrapped up in a Styrofoam tray and covered in Saran Wrap. OK, I take that back.