Imagine a world without dogs

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FabianoIf you are expecting a cute article about how wonderful dogs are and how we couldn’t live without their companionship and lovability you should move on to the next article. I have no use for the fur bags that live around us. Since I live in the land of dogs and I assume it is in style to at least own a couple of dogs I, on the other hand, would rather chew off my right arm and especially dislike their existence.

The basis of my disdain for this specific life form covers many areas. First of all their favorite activity is to bark. They bark all the time whether it is to simply clear their heads or scare the hell out of anyone who dares walk by. The people passing usually don’t mind because they are usually walking their own four-legged freak. The stereo sound of dogs drills through my head like a jackhammer does to our urban neighbors. The larger the dog the deeper and louder it’s perpetual bark. The smaller dogs are worse because their shrill sound is much worse than any fingernail across a chalkboard. I look forward to colder times when I have to close all my windows in order to block out the weather and their sound. I was forced to buy an air conditioner so I could keep my windows closed during the summer months. Every now and then I open my windows in order to get some fresh air only to be greeted by the bark of my neighbor’s dogs. It is as though the sound of my windows opening initiates their chorus.

Dogs also smell. Their scent is that of an old blanket found in an old box hidden away in an old attic that was perpetually kept wet by the drip of a leaky roof. Since I don’t have a dog you might ask how I know this? Dogs have a tendency to jump all over you every time they are let off their leash. They even invade your space when they are on a leash because owners of dogs think everyone wants to meet and pet their dog. They also like to extract all their venomous saliva on parts of your body whether it is clothed or not clothed. This leaves the stink of the dog that can only be dismissed by multiple washings and baths. My wife and I were once working on our deck when a giant yellow dog came out of nowhere and jumped on her. Needless to say she pulled out her back forcing us to delay the use of our deck that in reality we barely use because of the multitude of dogs that inhabit our neighborhood.

Dogs carry disease and ticks that carry disease. I am now reading articles that a new tick has evolved that can carry a disease we have yet to figure out how to cure. At the end of every day I find myself checking out my body in order to find a tick that was delivered by a dog I do not own.

Dog owners argue that a dog is a wonderful companion. I am told they talk to their dogs and they get the feeling the dog understands what they say and even soothe emotions and feelings. I tell these people to buy a plant.

The people who own a dog are also stressed out. If they follow the law or the ethics of their community they have to walk the beast at least twice a day. Of course you could let it fertilize their own lawns or defecate on all their neighbor’s lawns. I consider the area around my mailbox a communal area because I am perpetually picking up gifts that are left. A summer hasn’t passed when walking through my lawn I haven’t felt the ooze of dog dung flowing through my toes or had to take the time to scrape off stench that becomes a permanent part of my shoes or sandals.

I wonder if dog owners realize dogs are expensive. I read an article that stated the average dog costs their owners $42,000 during its life. Large dogs eat more than I do. When you consider the time taken to care for a dog, the time taken to walk the dog, and the time taken to console your neighbors about the dog this estimated expense is probably undervalued.

By now you must have the opinion I hate dogs. I guess I am the minority or at least an individual who doesn’t hide his or her feelings. Now lets take the time to talk about cats.

Jim Fabiano is a retired teacher and writer living in York, Maine
Email Jim: james.fabiano60@gmail.com
Writers Journal column

Author of two books “Laugh it Off” (2003) and “Humor from York Town” (2005)

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