Mistaken identity

English: A typical Snellen chart. Originally d...I was about half a mile through my walk when I saw them in the distance.  There were three of them, rather large, down a darkened path on the corner I was approaching.  One was definitely black and another appeared to be a black and white mottled color.  This was strange because I didn’t know anyone who had dogs fitting this description in my neighborhood.

My heart began to race and I knew the smartest thing to do was turn around as quietly as I could and head for home, hoping they hadn’t noticed me.  One unknown dog is bad enough, but three could have dire consequences.  I turned around and walked quickly toward home, glancing back a time or two to make sure I wasn’t being pursued by a pack of dogs.

All the while I was getting angrier and angrier.  How dare people let their big dogs out to run around without any supervision when I was trying to get my daily exercise?  This walk was my sanity and now it was getting cut short due to someone’s negligence.  I planned and plotted in my head what I would say to the owner, the heated post I could make on Facebook.  So much for the calming effects this walk usually affords.

Whenever I got home, I explained to my husband why I was back so quickly.  He, being my protector and all, said he would find out who they belonged to and talk to them.  Later that day, after he had spoken with the closest neighbor to where I had spotted the dogs, we still knew nothing.  She didn’t have big dogs and didn’t know who they might have belonged to.

The next day, my desire to walk won over my fear of encountering them again, and thankfully, I haven’t.  All I could surmise was that perhaps they were just visiting with someone or lost and they were long gone.

Imagine my surprise today when my husband comes in the house with a big smile on his face and asked me if it were possible that the “dogs” were goats?  He saw the neighbor again and she said there were some goats nearby that had been getting out of the fence.  The animals that I saw were on the outside of the fence looking in, almost like they wanted to get back in.  I had no idea anyone nearby even owned goats, so never would have considered that a possibility.

One thing I have to admit is that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.  As I’ve said many times, I love my forties and yes, I even love that I can laugh at myself and share embarrassing moments.  However, I do miss my 20/20 vision and looking back on that day, it infuriates me that I lost so much peace over goats!

Rough, Ruff

German Shepherd

After a full day of traveling, I finally made it to my hotel room laden with luggage and a grease stained bag containing burger and fries from Five Guys.  It’s officially time to grub out and relax and ponder my day.

I’m sitting here reflecting on the day and one memory grabs at my attention.  Dogs.  There were exceptionally large numbers of them in the airport today and on the plane.  I also saw one lady opting for the “companion” restroom with her canine friend.

I feel the need to preface the remainder of this post with sort of a disclaimer….There are those in my “circle” (you know who you are) who have misinterpreted my feelings about dogs, cats, and animals in general.

I love animals, especially the ones who are wild, who go about their business over land and in the sea, free to roam as the good Lord intended; lately my husband and I really enjoy watching birds that come to our feeder out back.  I will gladly admit, without care or worry of repercussion that I do not care for cats at all, nada, zilch!  My experiences with them have not been all that positive and I can assure you when our outside cat Lily goes, there will never be another in/around our abode.

Now, about dogs.  We had a lovely german shepherd named Yahtzee growing up who we all loved dearly.  When he died, though, I never cared if I owned another pet.  I would love to say (to impress my dog loving friends) that his death barred me from ever being able to love another dog.  However, since I am of the truthful sort, I can’t say that.  I don’t know the reason except that I don’t desire the companionship, the mess, the being tied down, the extra expense, etc….that comes with owning a pet.   On top of that that I am highly allergic to dogs.  All of them.  Yes, even your non-shedding, or hairless one, and no it doesn’t matter how clean your house is, or if  you vacuum before I come.  It appears I am allergic not only to the dander, but to their saliva and you know what that means.

I have many family members and close friends who have dogs; for the most part, they understand my dilemma and try their best to accomodate me.  My daughter had a friend watch their poodle (one I seem to be the least allergic to) when I flew out to watch my granddaughter because she knew I wouldn’t be particularly enthralled over walking him several times a day, especially when the walking involved a scoop and a baggie.

My mother in law loved her little dog so much that she recently acquired a second one.  Hmm…. maybe she just wants to make sure I don’t come over.  Just kidding!!!  She loves me, just not as much as she loves her dogs.  My sister takes her dog, Paris, everywhere with her, except to my house.  She dresses her up and takes her for “rides” in the car so she can let her fur blow in the wind.  I’m not judging, just not my thing.

So, as I sat in the airport today waiting to board and the little dog directly in front of me strained against his collar to try to get a lick (I was eating a ham and swiss panini, which probably enticed him all the more), I had no choice but to get up and move.  People don’t understand when you don’t want to love on their critters. Even if I was inclined to do so (which I am not), it’s not worth the headache, itchy eyes and rash that develops.  On a bad day, my throat feels like it’s closing up.  It all depends on the dog and my level of exposure, I suppose.

I guess my point is, don’t always assume people like me are just rude and hate your pet.  For those of us with allergies, sometimes their excitement over meeting/greeting us can ruin the rest of the day.  I just want to assure you not to take it personal.   You have no idea how difficult this post even is for me to write because I know how sensitive people are about their pets and I don’t want to be misunderstood (or hated).  I just want to point out both sides and that not all of us are as inclined as others to desire or enjoy a pet  (for whatever our reasons may be)  and it doesn’t mean that we are callous, coldhearted people as we are sometimes treated.  Love to all of you and your pets; just don’t bring them over please 😉

Mitch Teemley

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