Thursday, August 22, 2013

Who Let the Dogs In?

It seems like stories about "rescued" dogs or dogs that need "rescuing" are taking up an increasing amount of space on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. "Rescue" has become the watchword for dog lovers, but I've found that my definition of rescue is quite different than theirs.
It's easy to wanna rescue this guy...

Here's what I picture when I think of someone rescuing a dog:

A dog and a man go skydiving. After jumping from the plane, the dog's parachute doesn't open. Apparently the dog didn't pay attention during the mandatory training course because it's not even reaching for its emergency chute. Realizing the dog is in peril, the man darts down, grabs the dog, pulls his own ripcord, and holds the dog until they both land safely on the ground.

OR

A woman stands in the middle of a long hallway. At one end sits an adorable puppy. At the other end stands Michael Vick. The woman sprints and scoops up the puppy, somehow outrunning the fleet-footed, dog-abusing quarterback down the hall. Still on the run and about to get caught from behind, she launches the puppy through an open window and safely into the arms of Sarah McLachlan, who happened to be standing outside... and singing Angel.

OR

At long last, a dog-loving housewife has booked an appointment for her and her Pomeranian to see Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. Halfway through the session, Cesar reveals he's actually a Cylon and, in addition to wanting to kill all humans, wants to also rid the planet of canines. The housewife somehow evades the Cylon, hurries home, watches the entire Battlestar Galactica series on DVD, learns how to kill Cylons, drives back to Cylon Millan's office and takes him out, saving the Pomeranian's life.

Those are some terrific examples of rescuing a dog.

The following is an example of the "rescue" stories I read online:

I saw a dog in the park and he didn't have a leash so I was like "OMG, this dog is homeless. I gotta rescue it." So I coaxed him into getting into my car with a dog treat and took him home, but my husband is allergic to dogs so I can't keep him. Can someone please rescue this poor pup? He's super cute and only 150 lbs and even though he doesn't exactly understand the difference between dog food and human flesh, he's a sweetheart... as long as you don't get him around other dogs... sometimes he eats other dogs. So please rescue this sweet puppy before my husband goes into anaphylactic shock and dies. Me and BWAAAAAAAARG would really appreciate it! :) 
P.S. - I named him BWAAAAAAAARG after the cute sound he makes when he's chasing my toddler around the house. lol

Sadly, that's not even that much of an exaggeration. A good half of the rescue stories I see on Facebook are people who take home strays, realize they can't keep it, then try to pawn the dog off on someone else. I understand dogs can be cute and it's great to have a sympathetic heart and to want to help animals, but you can't just take in every sad-looking puppy you see on the street.

... but what about BWAAAAAAAARG?
I've got good news though -- you don't have to!

Dogs happen to be animals and animals happen to be... wild! This means they don't need humans to take care of them. They can feed themselves. They can find their own shelter. They can even get exercise by running around on their own... without a leash! Pets are pets for the owner's sake, not for the animal's. Animals could get along fine without humans -- I mean, have you seen DuckTales or Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers? Sure, maybe without you as an owner your dog might start hanging with the wrong dog crowd, pick on innocent little cats, and blow his shot at getting into a good dog school, but it would find its way.

Obviously, I'm not much of a dog-person, but I'm not really this heartless. I know dogs can be fun, loyal pets and I think it's great that dog lovers enjoy their dogs. Still, the whole "please rescue this dog" thing is getting pretty tired. Dogs can fend for themselves, be happy on their own, and sometimes even solve crimes with a gang of meddling kids -- they rarely need to be rescued.