Thursday, October 22, 2009

Animals Help!

I had lunch last week with a long time friend whom I hadn’t seen for ages. We started talking about pets (of course!), and I learned he had absolutely no interest in them. That surprised me, since I always considered him a warm and caring human being. But we knew each other professionally at first, so the idea of pets hadn’t come up before.

As we continued talking, though, it turned out that he’s not completely averse to pets after all. He has a granddaughter with a disability. Every time they go walking by a pet store near his house, she asks to go in, and of course he obliges. She’s excited to see the animals. Just recently, her parents decided to get her a dog to keep her company and help her. They were going to a reputable breeder and not the pet store, and had researched what kind of dog would be best. My friend didn’t seem completely enthused about the idea, but he was happy about anything that might help his granddaughter.

I’m hoping for an update soon about granddaughter and dog and how they’re getting along. It sounds as if this could be a wonderful symbiotic relationship!

Do you have any friends who aren’t wild about animals? Do you ever say anything to them about it?


signlady217 said...

We grew up having cats and dogs (often at the same time!) As long as they are well-trained, I love 'em! My mom had her Cocker Spaniel-mixed breed for about 14-15years. Dad had a German Shepard for 14 years, too. Now my folks have a Chihuahua. All of them have been well-behaved, much loved and spoiled rotten! By the way, mom trained the Chihuahua to use a litter box (is she part cat?) I have several friends who can't stand animals and other who love them to death. It just takes all kinds. But the worst is losing one of your pets. Been there, done that. It's hard for some people to understand how attached you get; I just tell them it's kind of like loving someone's else's baby (that they seem to get!)

Betty Hechtman said...

The non pet people I've come in contact with seem to fall into two camps. They're either afraid of them or have health concerns that they carry germs.

Personally, if people don't love animals, I'd rather not see them get a pet. Maybe it changes their mind sometimes, but usually I think they up not keeping them.

Kate Hathway said...

Those who don't like or want animals around them are missing something wonderful, and I sort of feel sad for them. However, I also think that most of them shouldn't try to change themselves, because so often I've seen them do a disservice to the animal because they (the person) is also missing the part that can give something back to the animal, and that sharing is awful when it's faked.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I had a friend whose husband was deathly afraid of all animals. He'd flinch when birds flew overhead. Get physically sick if he found a hair on his clothes that might have come from an animal. He'd grown up on a farm! He was also abusive toward her--controlling, mean, belittling. I wondered how those traits were connected. I still think about him.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Having pets well trained is certainly preferable, signlady. But mine seem to train me! You're definitely right about losing them. It's absolutely like losing family.

I was just speaking to a person today, Betty and Kate, who's afraid of dogs but likes cats. I agree that it's better for someone who doesn't like any kind of animal not to have one of them around. Too much stress for them and, especially, for the pet. But it's hard for an animal aficionado like me to understand not loving 'em.

Interesting character study, Joanna. I wonder, too, if the fear of animals and possible abuse of people could be related...