I’ve wanted to write about this for a while and keep forgetting until I come across another situation that reminds me of it. I’ve had a few recently so here it is.
I don’t understand why people feel the need to judge others based on their pets’ appearance or behaviour. I was recently walking a dog who was pulling and excited and starting barking at another dog. The lady walking the other dog GLARED at me and made some comment under her breath to the effect of me having a bad dog. While I agree he wasn’t acting like the most appropriate dog on the trail and it was not a display of behaviour that I would accept from my own dog, I don’t know why she felt the need to say anything. She has no idea, first of all, that the dog isn’t even mine; why the dog was behaving that way; and whether or not his owner was doing anything to try to work on his issues. I compare it to a kid acting out in a grocery store – maybe crying because the mom is not buying them candy – well it isn’t anyone else’s business how the mother handles the situation, even if you think the kid is being a brat saying so out loud with a disapproving glare is not going to change anything for the kid, the mother or you. Unless of course the mom is beating the kid, then you should do something about it.
I often have clients apologizing for things like their house being messy, or dog not being groomed, etc. Unless you are mistreating your pets or neglecting them completely, which you are obviously not if you’ve hired a service like myself to walk/feed them, I am not judging you, your pets or your home. I know it’s a natural thing to do….I recently caught myself apologizing at a vet visit for my dog not being perfectly groomed….but I really don’t pay attention to how long your grass is, or how messy your kitchen table is or that you didn’t put toilet paper on the holder (yes, sometimes I need to use your facilities). I will, however, let you know if something could be harmful or uncomfortable to your pet like long nails or matted fur – not to judge you but to be a voice for your pets 🙂
I go into a lot of homes and see a lot of different ways that people live but I am not there to judge you as I would not want you to judge me if you came into my home which of course can be messy, dirty, smelly and hairy at times….I have 3 dogs…of course it’s going to happen!!
I also have rules for my dogs that might seem strict – they are not allowed on the furniture, they must sit and wait for their meals, there will be no rushing out of open doors (they are released one at a time by name), no playing in the house, etc. I have these rules because of the number of dogs I have – it would just be too crowded on the bed or couch with 3 dogs, if they played & wrestled in the house my living room would constantly be a mess. I do not judge others for the rules they have for their pets even if you are more lenient than me. You do what works for you and I do what works for me just like we wouldn’t judge or criticize one another for the way we raise our children. Everyone is different and there is no one way that is more right or wrong than another.