Heckles

Getcho own dawg!

Julia Fabian | Fulcrum Staff

NOT ONCE BUT twice have I been told by random people on the street that my dog has to pee. Sound ridiculous? I thought so too. I was walking in Sandy Hill a couple of weeks ago, minding my own business, when my Chihuahua-mix, Pepa, stopped to take a leisurely sniff of a flowerbed. I indulged her for a bit, then gently tugged her away to keep going, as we had places to be. As we started back on our way, I heard some guy on the lawn of a house yell to me, “Your dog needs to pee!”

First of all, woah, buddy. Lower your voice. This guy seemed so angry at the perceived bladder-denying injustice that he felt he was perfectly within his rights to call me out on it—loudly.

Second of all, no, she didn’t. Pepa had done her business—with ample time given by me to choose the most appropriate blade of grass, I might add—about two lampposts back. The fact that it was out of this guy’s line of sight was hardly my fault.

As I didn’t see arguing with a stranger over my dog’s urinary function a good enough reason to be late for the friend I was on my way to visit, I said nothing and kept walking as the guy muttered under his breath behind me.

It was not three days later when it happened again, this time downtown, with a different flowerbed and different person. I can’t help but wonder where are all these misguided animal activists coming from? These incidents were increasingly pissing me off (pardon the pun), so this time I replied, “She actually just went.” A true statement. The man then replied quite strongly, “Some dogs go four or five times on a single walk, you know.”

Yes, I do know. I know that because I give my dog two long walks a day, during which she often goes pee 10 times! I know that because I adopted her months ago and have learned her peeing habits like I have learned my phone number. I know that an, “I gotta go” grass-sniff is different from an, “I think there’s chicken here somewhere” one. I know that when she gives me the big brown eyes and looks towards the back door of my house, it means, “Let me out, Mama.”

Look, I have nothing against well-meaning people. I, too, cringe when I see an animal injustice, like a dog in a hot car or a dog being dragged along the sidewalk in a too-tight choke chain. But please, get your facts straight before you open your mouth and don’t tell good pet owners how to do their job. The truth is that I strive to be the most loving, most responsible, and best pet owner I can possibly be to Pepa.

So instead of these people trying to tell me what’s what, why don’t they put their good intentions (and I am giving them the benefit of the doubt here) to good use. Volunteer at a local shelter if you want to make a difference—they always seem to be looking. If you truly love pets, give a better life to one, like I did. But for the love of dog—leave me alone!