A Rant on Responsible Parenting

This rant is not book-related. If you’re not interested in my rants, flee now. You have been warned.

Hello, parents of the world. I promise you that I will never, ever go up and start stroking your child without asking. Because that would be weird and wrong. Right? So please, please, I beg of you: Do not pet my dog without asking for permission. Teach your children that is not okay to pet strangers’ dogs without asking first. You tell them that it’s not okay to talk to strangers, don’t you? While you are at it, tell them unfamiliar dogs are off limits, too.

Last night, I took Wiki to a vet clinic that offers a physical, blood test, heart worm and flea medication all for only $20. It’s an amazing deal. This is all done at a community center by first and second year vet students at Cornell, so you have to be willing to let them practice on your animal, but there are actual veterinarians on site. You also have to be willing to wait for a few hours in a sketchy neighborhood, and quite possibly get turned away if they can’t get to everyone. Even so, for that price, you can’t beat it.

I have the world’s most skittish dog. She’s scared of just about everything. We’ve done lots of socializing activities, but it seems that it’s just her temperament. Wiki has never been aggressive, she’s never bitten anyone before. BUT if she is scared, I wouldn’t say that she absolutely won’t bite. Dogs that are freaked out do unpredictable things.

Last night, she was scared out of her mind. We were in a noisy, smelly room with lots of unfamiliar people and dogs. Children were running around and screaming and being obnoxious. I didn’t especially like it either, but she was really shaking and uncomfortable. Then the screaming, annoying children started coming up and petting her. I don’t know where their parents were, but I do know that if my dog bit them, I would be liable for their stupidity. And I won’t want to get in trouble or have my dog blamed because you were an irresponsible parent. I would think that you, as a parent, would not want your child to lose a finger. Unless you don’t like the kid very much. If that’s the case, let them stick their fingers near my frightened dog’s mouth again, but don’t blame me if you don’t like what happens.


6 Responses to "A Rant on Responsible Parenting"

  • Hear! Hear! I hate when anyone, especially kids, come running up to my dogs and pet them without asking. They get all excited and hyper and in the dog’s face. Luckily I have two of the most lethargic dogs on the planet, but my eldest (12.5 years) is more than happy to nip at the “puppy” who is disrespecting her if it gets too much. And then people have the nerve to get pissed off at YOU when you say “please do not touch my dog” if you’re trying to keep your skittish or scared dog protected from the hyper. GAH!

    Anyhow, I agree with you 100%.

    Also, parents should learn how to parent better. =P

    1 Cat @ Beyond Books said this (October 14, 2010 at 9:56 AM)

  • We have two dogs, German Shepherds, and generally people ask before they pet, as the dogs look menacing. One dog we say yes you can pet, but the other one is skittish, so we say no, just because we don’t want her scared of people.

    I absolutely whole heartedly agree with your rant, because people totes should not just pet strange dogs without asking.

    2 April (Books&Wine) said this (October 14, 2010 at 10:04 AM)

  • I don’t have dogs, but completely agree with you. If people don’t want to be bitten, they should ask first.

    3 Amy said this (October 14, 2010 at 10:33 AM)

  • I have a 3 year old daughter who absolutely LOVES dogs – even when they are foaming at the mouth – so we’ve taught her to be very “nice” to dogs since she could walk, and now she just likes to stand around them and see if they will lick her. She won’t pet the dog unless I am. I find that most people that don’t want their dog petted just pass her by.

    4 Rachel said this (October 15, 2010 at 1:58 AM)

  • Rachel, that sounds extremely responsible. Maybe you could lead seminars 😉

    I get that most kids like dogs. I think that’s wonderful. I just want them to ask first, and to not wonder if their parents have disappeared to another planet and left them alone in a room full of scared dogs.

    5 Melanie said this (October 15, 2010 at 8:29 AM)

  • I don’t have dogs but now that you point it out, it can be very annoying.

    I didn’t really pet dogs when I was little, I was a shy kid, and I only petted once the adult or the owner said it was okay and other kids were petting said dog. And my mom doesn’t want me petting dogs a lot, so I think this might be one of her reasons. But thank you for this post.

    6 Gabrielle said this (October 16, 2010 at 1:37 PM)