Love me, love my pet! 06/09/2010

People who own pets make them a part of their family, treating them as one of their children, infact  their pet becomes their  favourite  child, receiving  all their undivided love and care. Most part of the conversation with these pet owners revolves around their pet  and its pranks. One such owner I know says with pride, “you know  Jimmie  is super intelligent and very observant. He switches the air conditioner by himself  before retiring for the night. Another says excitedly, you know Jessie opens the door of my fridge and helps himself to what ever he wants to eat without disturbing me. Yet another talks in glowing terms of  her Tiger  who loves visitors and literally thrusts himself  on them licking them all over as proof of the fact.

Such accolades for their pets go on and on and I find nothing wrong, infact  envy the pets more for the attention and care that is given to them  by their masters/mistresses.The problem arises  when they expect the visitors also to bestow   whole hearted  love and  undivided attention  on their pets. Pet dogs are so much like spoilt children, I realized after a few  experiences  of ours. At  a  get together  in one of our friend’s houses, their pet dog, described as a friendly one   made its presence felt throughout  the two hour period  we spent with them, barking  almost continuously, only stopping in between, probably for the  briefest   respite. When  its  master  tried to check its full throated bark, it only resulted  in an increase in its decibels  and embarrassment  of its owner not to speak of   all our voices being drowned in the process.

Again like children pets detest being left alone when you are away. Only difference perhaps is when you  leave them in a room (which you dare not do with your child) they  cannot be destructive or come to any harm but imagine the neighbours’ plight. Our neighbour’s pet  dog would howl endlessly  when it was left  alone for days on end.(the care taker would feed him regularly and would leave him to himself after that)

The story  with pet cats is no different, perhaps it is worse. One such lover of cats invited me to dinner and to my horror I found their cat tugging at my sari  and when I let out a scream, it  ran and hid itself  under the chair of its master. “Tommie is a dear and so very affectionate. He doesn’t like certain foods but when I pamper and cajole him to eat, he  readily obliges me”,  related the proud owner. However one look at the  skinny and boney creature which appeared  anything but healthy   made me want  to  run away from the place  as soon as I could!   

Tail piece: You may love your friends and neighbours  but expecting you to love their pets as well is a tall order, I feel!

n.meera raghvendra rao


13 thoughts on “Love me, love my pet! 06/09/2010

  1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    Whether it is their children or pets, you can expect the same sort of behaviour from the parents or owners, always praising the small things they do (which seems pathetically insignificant to you). They don’t seem to realize how boring it is for others. The main reason why people have pets is perhaps because they are grateful and show their gratitude and unconditional love towards their owners, which is not the case with children. When children outgrow the dependency stage and enter the counter-dependency stage, they rebel against all the rules you have set for them, talk back and are very difficult to handle and their love is not unconditional. That’s why some people prefer pets specially after their children have flown out of the nest or in lieu of children. Incidentally, I have the same dread of dogs and cats and don’t enter the premises of their owners until they are safely tied up !

  2. Professor V.Raghavan

    My case is worse. We have a long common pathway with our neighbors, who have two dogs with them. Their grown up children let them loose on the common pathway and have a running race with them. I am OK nowadays, after I threatened the dogs with dire consequences if they tended to shower their affection on me. The servants are still apprehensive. Once, the senior Mr Narasimhan of THE HINDU come to our house and called us on the cell phone from the gate, as he saw “something” lingering behind the plants. It turned out to be nothing but a chipmunk!

  3. meera rao

    What was your threat to the dogs which kept them away from you? Perhaps We could learn from your secret.When I tried to be friendly with my neighbour’s Labradors, they both sprang on me almost pushing me down. I would have fallen flat on my back but for our compound wall which protected me. Ever since then the dogs would stop at our gate while being taken for their walk , bark when they saw me sitting in the verandah and reluctantly go past our house.

  4. Professor V.Raghavan

    The threat I use is a loud “Chooo…!” One can also show a stick so that the dog understands what the next step will be. The dogs here hardly bark. After a threat, they look sad, as they cannot understand why some one does not want to be loved!

  5. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    There is a saying that dogs are man’s best friend. It may be true for most people but to some people like me, just seeing the teeth or the face of the dogs makes them shiver with fear.

    A bad past experience with a dog may cause this fear. The abnormal fear of dogs is called cynophobia. To some, it may be irrational but the fear of dogs is also a natural emotion because they are potentially dangerous. A certain amount of fear is reasonable but it is generally advised to approach unfamiliar dogs with caution.

    When dealing with unfamiliar dogs, a person must be aware of behavior that the dog may take as threatening. Touching the dog’s head or taking anything from the dog (like food) may make them aggressive. The common response to this is by running, but the most ideal thing to do is to stand still and slowly turn away. Experiencing dog attacks contribute to this kind of phobia.

    Fear must be irrational to be considered as phobia. Like most animal phobias, fear of dogs is commonly caused by a bad experience especially if it happened during childhood. A growling large dog can make a major impression on a small child even if no attack was made. A child’s imagination together with an incomplete understanding of a dog’s behaviour can lead to the child’s phobia of dogs. Varied reactions may be observed like shivering or freezing in fear, running away, or even hiding to avoid seeing the dog.

    Avoiding dogs may be hard to do as there are just so many dogs around. Your normal activities may be restricted if you try not to get into contact with any dog. I go out for early morning walks at 5.30 am and the street dogs also become active by then. I carry a brigadier’s baton with me and I show that to the dogs to dampen their enthusiasm for intimacy.

    1. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

      Yes indeed. Your write-up on Canine Psychology is not only amusing but gave me a lot of food for thought. Reminds me of an embarrassing situation I once faced. I was a Dy.General manager (HRD) in CUMI, Madras reporting to a Vice-President (Personnel), who had some interpersonal rivalry with another VP (Finance). My boss used to see me chitchatting with the DGM(Finance), one Mr.Rebello during the lunch break. Rebello was an expert in western classsical piano music and I used to exchange notes with him on this subject. My boss told me that I shouldn’t interact with him anymore since Rebello’s boss is his persona-non-grata. Ofcourse I continued my friendship with Rebello but at his residence !

  6. meera rao

    Interpersonal rivalries in official circles are common and they are generally issue based.They should not percolate to the personal level .I have seen two persons going hammer and tongs at each other based on issues and talking like friends once outside their work place.

  7. Krishna Rao

    I too never liked dogs till Togar (Doberman) joined us. My only suggestion to you is to have a pet for yourself and you will change your opinion. Your blog is full of your experiences & why not on a pet. Have one and you will disagree with all these writings.

  8. meera rao

    Thanks for the owner’s perspective.I did try to have a pet while young on two occasions which had not been pleasant experiences.However I do agree with you that it certainly is rewarding to have a pet like Toger.Incidentally another relative of ours also was of the same view as yours.

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