Let me start this column by saying I’m sure your dog (or cat or capybara) is a very nice person.
I’m sure if I sat down and had a good chat with it over some kibble, we could find some common ground. Maybe, for example, we both have a shared interest in the Coen brothers films. I don’t know. But as it stands, I just don’t feel that much affection toward your pet.
I know that makes me a monster. I can only apologize.
It doesn’t help that I tend to get some pretty bad allergies around pets (and that applies to purportedly “hypoallergenic” pets too). So at the very least, no, I’m not going to pet your dog. But aside from that, what has he ever done for me?
“He likes you,” you say.
“Then why is he biting my leg?” I ask.
I’m not always the easiest person to get along with, but I try to make an effort never to bite the leg of a person that I just met.
Now, to be clear, I don’t really blame the dog. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s a creature of instinct, and social cues are hard sometimes, even within the same species. I can only imagine how much harder it is for a dog. But for goodness sakes, human, don’t just stand there acting like I should be happy your 70-pound canine is tackling me.
I understand the appeal that having a pet can have for some people, although you won’t find me inviting a member of another species to live with me anytime soon. I’m a messy enough animal as it is, I don’t want to have to take care of another creature that can’t clean up after itself.
I mean, cats are kind of cool. They don’t really bother anyone. They seem pretty stoic and brooding.
But you have to admit, our system of determining which animals we love and which animals we consider just beasts is illogical. We’ve all collectively determined that certain animals have more value than others just because we think they’re cute.
If cuteness was the only determining factor in deciding who should live and who should die, I’m not sure I would have made it past the age of seven. And that’s pushing it.
Meanwhile, we’ve all decided that pigs are gross and brutish, so we slaughter them and eat them for breakfast. Never mind the fact that they’re actually smarter than dogs. If you eat pork, you have no right to feel a sense of moral indignation toward other cultures that eat dog.
I’m not saying I want to eat your dog. Quite the contrary. I’m just saying we tend to normalize practices that are actually kinda … weird when you really think about it.
I just think pigs get a bum rap.
I appreciate your pet, and I appreciate the joy it brings you. But I don’t necessarily love it with all my heart. I hope we can still be friends.
William T. Perkins is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. How do you feel about pets? Let William know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.