August Secret Subject Swap - Pets

Welcome to August's Secret Subject Swap. Again 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  

Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out:

Coco the Labradoodle

Baking In A Tornado

My subject is 

We are coming up on the "Dog Days of Summer." Do you have a pet? If so, tell us about it. If not, tell us your ideal pet or why you don't care to have a pet.

It was submitted by The Lieber Family thank you, Rabia!

Dog Days??? I had to look up the expression, and when I did, I noticed that it exists in German as well, duh! "Hundstage", it's when you're panting like a dog because it's too freakin' hot! Feels about right these days, it's not just the heat though, what is actually worse is the humidity! I'm not at my best, let me tell you!

When asked about being a cat or a dog person I'd certainly have to say I prefer cats. I think they're cool. Independent, smart, elegant, cuddly when they want to be, bitchy when they need to be - kind of like myself ;-) Their life seems to consist in eating, sleeping and playing, What's not to love?

As a kid I've always wanted a cat. As we were living right by a busy street my Mom said we can't have one. We often discovered unlucky cats' bodies that didn't survive crossing the road, and she figured it'd be too hard if one day it was ours lying there. Plus she didn't believe when my brother and I promised to help cleaning the litter tray. Oh, and my Dad? He would always tell us those terrible stories of cats who ended up in people's crockpots.

On the other hand I get why people love dogs. Dogs are friendly, they seem to love you unconditionally, they are overjoyed to see you when you come home, they are loyal, and if you've trained them well, they do exactly what they're being told. 

I especially admire guide dogs for visually impaired people or individuals who suffer from epilepsy, diabetes or the like - so impressive how they can help make their owner's daily life easier, even prevent a person from going into shock or seizures! 

Nikolaj and Kalle

In Switzerland we have avalanche dogs that can find people who have been buried in snow. 

Still I wouldn't want to add a pet to my busy life. I just don't seem to want another family member to clean up after! The fact that having a pet seems more of a chore than a joy to me is probably a good reason not to have one! 

Just like I don't want to spend time planting flowers or veggies in my garden, I'll just enjoy other people's pets! So here's a gallery of my friend's beloved pets:

Betty (Queen Elizabeth)
Crotalus scutulatus salvini upon being born
Pixie and Piper aka Poopers
Cyrus who likes Halloween Candy
Thank you Judy, Eve, Grazia, Ursula, Doris, Daniel, Tobias and Beth for letting me use your pet's pictures!

I think it's great that people have a best friend in their pet, and looking at some seriously crazy human beings out there, a dog or a parrot, heck, even a hamster may certainly be a better companion than some flaky fake human friend. Also taking care of a pet gets you out of the house (at least if it is a dog or a horse), you meet like-minded people, and you have something to do, you're needed.

A dear friend of mine is a lawyer who spends insane amounts of time at work. Thanks to Libertine, his dalmatian, he takes break and gets out for some air. At this point we won't tell anyone that sometimes his assistant walks the dog.

However, in my personal opinion, some pet owners cross the line. An animal is an animal, so what's the deal with all the fuss? Furry baby really needs a coat and shoes at the first sight of raindrops? A diamond bracelet and a fancy designer purse to be carried in? Better and more expensive food than starving people? Really? 

A long time ago, when I had a summer job with a butcher's / deli shop I got to meet very different pet owners. The ones who purchased their chicken or beef for their family dinner and then asked "so is there anything you can give me for my buddy?" And the butcher would give them lung, kidney or something for almost no money. Then there were the ladies who would complain why there wasn't any salmon Sheba (super high end cat food brand that comes in varieties like tuna, duck, chicken, lamb, beef, "finesse mousse", "veal terrine" you name it) in the shelf because that was their princess' favourite? 

Or how about when the pet takes over the owner's life, and you can't meet for dinner because the dog is in school, competes in agility or isn't allowed at the restaurant, and can't be left home alone either.

And don't get me started on those fair weather pet owners! The ones who can't be bothered to really care for their pet? It takes work! Trips to the vet, groomer, dog school, and you have to pick up their (insert pc term for all kinds of bodily fluids or solids or in-betweens.) 

One minute they want a cute puppy, and the next they leave on vacation, and they need to get rid of the burden? 

A huge compliment and thank you to all the compassionate people who get a pet from the shelter and give them a good life!

Also, let's talk about training for a minute. 
I hate when unleashed dogs the size of a calf almost run you over, slobber all over you, don't stop barking, touch you with their dirty paws, and the owner just goes "oh, he doesn't do anything, he just wants to play." Back the hell off!


I know what you're thinking.

I'm a mom. 

This "I don't want a pet" is going to bite me in the butt.
My son is gonna wanna have a pet. Caring for an animal is educative. An only child may only benefit from having a companion. Then what?

Of course the subject has come up, especially when his friend's Dad made a life dream come true and got a puppy. 

Colin promptly wanted one as well. I told him he was welcome to offer his time to walk his friend's dog, sunshine or rain, early morning, during the day and after dinner, to pick up the dog's poop, to feed the dog and to clean up dog pee from the living room carpet - at the very moment that Robson-Kanu scores during Wales vs Belgium. 

I haven't heard back ;-)

Oh, and also... many things I said about dog owners applies to parents, I'm well aware of it. 

Many non-parents think children are messy, loud, annoying, spoiled, interfere with socializing and - unlike dogs - are actually allowed at restaurants, airplanes and shopping malls. Kids even get preferential treatment just because they are little and cute. For what it's worth though, they rarely poop into the neighbor's garden.

Concluding this post, I think that my ideal "pet" would be one that lives in their natural habitat, and that I could visit from time to time - think a dolphin in, let's say, Florida! It goes about their daily life, and when I take a walk at the beach, my dolphin and some of their friends are having fun chasing each other, dancing over the water and making those adorable clicking laughter sounds! 

Photo Credit

How about you? Pet? No pet? Why? Why not?