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Who should own them?

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by fearlessknight, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    There is a huge difference between luxury and necessity. Having a fence is a luxury, not a necessity. I've been leash-walking my dogs for over a month now for their potties, since we have no fence. Does it suck? Damn skippy. Do they suffer because of it? Well, they've got a bit more pent-up energy than normal, but only a PeTAphile would call their existence suffering.

    If one of ours was injured or sick, we would scrape, sell, beg and borrow to make them right again. Bills would go unpaid if necessary. We've done it before, and I'm not deluded enough to think we wont need to do it again. These dogs lack for nothing. If they can eat Canidae while we eat Marie Callendar's TV dinners, then that's how it goes. Its the life that we chose, and we're perfectly happy doing without from time to time so our dogs can continue to prosper. And on occasion when they have to do without, you can bet we make up for it.

    I know we're not fond of comparing pets to people, but what about kids? They're way more expensive than pets, but a lot of low-income homes have them, and I can't imagine its an everday occurance for a child to be taken from their parents because mom and dad couldn't afford the fluff that a lot of kids get. A fence is fluff. Vet care for a broken toenail is fluff. A cushy pillow for the crate is fluff. And that's not to say dogs in low-income homes don't necessarily get those things, just that greater care and thought is put into it before giving them.

    I am really bothered by the ideal that dogs are a privlege. Doesn't that go against everything we fight for? Property rights instead of guardianship? If a person can give even the barest minimum to an animal, don't they deserve to keep their right to own that animal? Sometimes one of the few things we have in life which makes us happy is the family dog. Rich people aren't the only ones who get enrichment from living with an animal. And low-income people don't necessarily want them for less savory purposes just because they can't give them all the extras. The dog is essentially a blue-collar kind of critter, and we're suggesting that blue-collar people who struggle to provide for their own shouldn't have them? Why on earth not? Are they better off at the animal shelter, where they might have a chance at that home on the silk pillow (or then again, they might not)?

    Our household income is nothing to write home to mom about. We just bought a home, thanks mostly to a generous downpayment gift from my dad. We've gone through some lean times, and we always make things work, even if we have to make uncomfortable choices. We even manage to have enough left over to hit the shows we want to hit. I don't know how much my old man makes, but its less than $30K a year, and I haven't made squat for over 2 years since I had to leave my job in St. Louis. But as noted earlier, my dogs lack for nothing.

    So to answer the question, who should own them? Whoever is responsible and dedicated enough to do so.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2008
  2. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    Some of the people in the Austin article were being cited because they put the dog outside for a short time while social workers visited. That's just excessive. Sure, you can put the dog in a bedroom -- hell, you could keep it there its whole life as long as its not tied to anything, according to Austin law -- but what the heck is wrong with putting a dog on a tether for a little while? If you think about it, people who use those bathtub restraints, or grooming tables with nooses would be technically in violation, even though the dogs might only spend minutes "tethered" like that. Its stupid.
  3. Rai_77

    Rai_77 Good Dog

    Thanks for pointing that out. We have a 3 hour (I think) tethering law here, I figured Austin had a certain length of time, too, but I guess there is no tethering at all, ever? I'll have to read the article later.
  4. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    I honestly think the 3-hour limit is too short, too. I was thinking about that when I first heard of the CA law. I crate, so it wouldn't affect me. But a person should have the option to tether a dog on a nice day while they're at work. Hell, you could suck up those 3 hours with one trip to Wal-Mart on grocery shopping day. LOL
  5. fearlessknight

    fearlessknight Good Dog

    I could hardly follow that post....I am sorry, it made very little sense to me :confused:

    My comments quoted in red and blue!
  6. fearlessknight

    fearlessknight Good Dog

    nobody else?
  7. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    Baha, I agree with a lot of what you're saying.

    Dogs don't need fancy, cushy beds. They don't need ceramic bowls, collars with their names embroidered on them, clothes, or anything else of that nature. What they need is clean water, nutritious food, vaccinations, exercise, and love and attention. The rest is langiappe (or extra).

    Although many seem to disagree, back in the day all of our animals were on Alpo, Kibbles and Bits, and whatever other grocery store food we chose to pick up at that time. And this is the same for all my grandparents animals on back. Also throw in some table scraps (my paw-paw was a firm believer that the juice from cooked mustard greens did a dog wonders). None of those animals died before age 14 and my Cairn lived to be 4 months shy of 20-years-old when I had to put her down. And she NEVER ate a "good quality" kibble a day in her life. My point? As great as all these upper class foods are, if you feed your dog Purina One your not evil. Nor does it mean that you shouldn't own a dog. So I don't agree with that logic whatsoever.

    But the fact still remains that if you rely on government assistance and free healthcare to provide for you and your family, then you don't need the extra burden of having a pet (maybe a goldfish will suffice). I personally can barely afford to pay for these people's food and healthcare......I cannot and do NOT want to pay for their pet's vet care. As a vet tech, I am NOT willing to take a pay decrease in order to treat pets for free for those who cannot afford it. I also have a family to support and my family comes before their family in my eys.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  8. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    It makes sense, and I agree if you don't have the funds to own a pet, then you shouldn't...But I would hate for the govt. to have the power to decide if you can or not, because knowing the govt., they would end up screwing us all over.
  9. fearlessknight

    fearlessknight Good Dog

    Exactly! Thats my feeling as well.....I mean they are trying to do it now, but only a few of them...I agree, but I do not agree......
  10. megschristina

    megschristina Moderator

    I am low income, I'm using mom and dads internet ;), while my family is upper middle class and I generally see myself in that light, I am poor. but I do take care of my dog, so it isn't right to just generalize that poor people can't own dogs. I see with my own eyes what happens most of the time when they/we do, but there are exceptions to every rule....*points to self*

    Fearlessknight:thanks for the link the word I was looking for was *affected* :)
  11. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    I agree also. And I have to say I feel very strongly that people who can't or won't take proper care of their pets because of some personal experiences I've had.

    I don't think the gov't is qualified to determine who is responsible enough to own a dog/cat/whatever because its hard to know where to draw the line. You can't just say its the low income groups (although I do recognize that as a problem and I don't agree with how many kids most of them have either but thats another story) because there are plenty of middle to high class individuals who are just as irresponsible. Maybe a joint education/regulation sort of thing would be better. That way it would hit both the sectors.

    My current roommate has a VERY well paying job and I am doing part time jobs off and on, while searching for a more permanent one--just to illustrate the difference in income. We got two cats from my parent's barn back home and agreed that each of us would take care of one of the cat's expenses. She wanted the male because he would be cheaper to neuter than the female would be to spay (she is a huge cheap ass). Well the male ended up being on I think 5 or 6 rounds of antibiotics for kitty asthma. After about the third round my roommate stopped agreeing that he should see a vet for his issues (not to mention I'm always the one who made the appointments and took them in from the beginning). In fact she yelled at me when I tried to discuss it with her, "Its normal for him to cough all the time." and "Nothing will ever make him better so it doesn't matter!" :eek:

    You don't even want to know what she had to say when I stated that he was getting a dental. It was ugly. She also threw a huge hissy fit when I discussed changing them to a litter that wasn't the nasty silica dust filled clumping crap and screamed at me in Costco when I said we needed to get a cat food without corn in it. After chewing me out about the dental she went and bought herself a $300 cell phone instead of putting the money toward caring for the cat. She is not fit to own a pet in any way shape or form.

    Long story short, even though I'm pretty much broke I'm supporting three animals on my own and making sure they get everything they need. I'm lucky enough to have a Mom willing to help me out with expenses. Her "cat" is finally healthy with his asthma under control and during his dental he had to have SEVEN teeth taken out due to looseness and lesions!

    And my dog may not have a fancy collar or a fluffy crate bed (she'd probably eat it anyway), but she gets the vet care, training, exercise, socialization, preventative care, and good nutrition that she needs to thrive.
  12. littledozer24

    littledozer24 Good Dog

    I don't think the government should jump in and start making laws regarding a person's ability to take care of an animal. I think for the most part that there are laws in place for when a person does not properly take care of their animals. How can the government decide how much money a person has to make in order to properly care for an animal? We all have different standards of living and that requires different amounts of money.

    Morally, if you are not capable of taking care of yourself and your family (for whatever reason) then you shouldn't have a pet.
  13. fearlessknight

    fearlessknight Good Dog

    Will all due respect...I would not fork over $5 for a cat... :eek:

    Seriously though, I understand where you are coming from and agree.......to a point
  14. monkeys23

    monkeys23 GRCH Dog

    :lol: Understandable.
  15. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    Fearless, what do you consider low-income? Is it necessarily that $15K bracket? We have 3 people and 5 dogs in a one-income household. I make nothing, and my dad pays his own bills with the remainder of a savings account. My husband makes a little over $8/hour. We bought our own home because my dad donated $25K to the downpayment on a $65K house. That's the only reason. I wouldn't consider us middle class by any means. Lower-middle maybe. Besides, as I will opine about at the end of this post, situations change. Maybe we're on our way to middle class, but the less prosperous times are not that far behind us.

    With regard to the property argument, damn right dogs are property. Luxury property, sure. Just like a TV or a computer, or hell, even a bed is luxury. But what I meant by my statement "I'm bothered by dogs being thought of as a privlege" is that such thinking slides too close to the "guardianship" ideal for me. No, thank you. I own my dogs. They aren't my kids.

    Mia, I didn't know we were talking about people who are on public assistance. That's a different animal from a person who is simply poor but chooses to try to do the right thing for their pets. No, I don't think people should be tapping the public keg and owning pets. Neither do I think those people should be having kids, smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol, or for that matter, having cable TV or high-speed Internet.

    ETA: Now that said, I wanted to add that peoples' situations change. If someone started experiencing financial difficulty, I don't think we should expect them to get rid of their pets at the first snag. Our financial situation has fluctuated over the last 4 years. We hit rock bottom and were going to a food pantry for a while, but then we clawed our way back up out of it, and are now doing all right.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2008
  16. fearlessknight

    fearlessknight Good Dog

    Comments in red
  17. Miakoda

    Miakoda GRCH Dog

    Somewhere I must've misunderstood and thought we were talking about poor people who rely on governmnet assistance to make ends meet.

    On the issue of just poor people, if they can afford to care for themselves and possibly a family as well along with providing adequate and proper care for a pet, then by all means have at it. The government has no business saying who can and who cannot own a dog....especially if THEY aren't being asked to pay for it. It's like saying that a poor person cannot own a car b/c they are expensive, gas is expensive, and insurance is expensive. Whoopteedoo. If a poor person can make the payments, then they can have the dang car.
  18. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    Fearless, this is the part I was referring to. I'll try to quote it:

    You made the differentiation between property, and property which is unnecessary. I don't entirely disagree with you there. I'm just saying that dogs are still property and not privlege. If we don't take care of them, yes, we lose them. But the idea that they are a privlege granted to us by big brother from the very beginning is what I think gets too close to guardianship, which I don't agree with. Does that make sense?

    And okay, okay, we're not destitute. But like I said, I remember less prosperous times. We started out good, two working adults and one dog. Then it went down to one working adult who got screwed over by his job. Now its getting better again. But that still doesn't mean that I don't sympathize with those who scrape to get by.

    So to update my opinion: A person who's relying on charity to pay their bills should not go out and get an expensive pet. Someone who already has that pet and falls on hard times should be allowed to keep it, provided they're still dedicated to caring for it. Because there's always a chance they can pull themselves out of their hole. Bottom line, though, I don't think there should be a minimum income required for keeping a dog.

    This is all great, but not everyone is like you!​
    Thank God for that. Could you stand everyone being like me? :D
  19. Rai_77

    Rai_77 Good Dog

  20. fearlessknight

    fearlessknight Good Dog

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008

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