Friday, May 26, 2017


The other day one of my students was talking about his job at Walmart.  He said customers bring their dogs into Walmart all the time.

"You mean service dogs, right?" I tried to clarify.

"No, just dogs.  I just leave them alone," he answered. 

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"Walmart just lets them, and we leave them alone.  I'm not getting in trouble over someone's dog."

I was flabbergasted.  What are these people thinking?  Why would you think bringing a dog into a grocery store is your right or need?

First, I grew up when dogs, except for what was called "seeing-eye dogs" never went anywhere.  Second, dogs are not all house-trained and might go when they feel the urge.  Yuck.  Who gets to clean that up?  Third, children often walk up to dogs they don't know and get friendly--they shouldn't but they do.  As the owner and daily walker of a pitbull, I am extremely vigilant about children who have not been trained that all dogs are not sweet puppies and they should give strange dogs a wide berth.  Fourth, dogs are still ultimately wide animals; yes, they are thousands of years removed from wolves, but they are still genetically very, very, very close.  They sometimes just do crazy, wild things.

Even more, can these people not live without their dogs for the time it takes to go into Walmart (which, admittedly, can sometimes be long and is never pleasant, for people or dogs?)

But . . . now I have been told that students can bring pets to class not because of a clear disability (I had such a student last year, and her beautiful dog was a joy to behold), but because of a need for comfort. 

Add to this the most bizarre article I've read on Breakpoint in a while: Dog boomers 

I truly am afraid that not just the twenty-somethings but older people are becoming totally unable to cope with life and find alternatives that would have been scoffed at forty years ago.  Self-medicating, not being able to go anywhere without a pet, trigger warnings, seeing offense in everything, microagressions.  Is it going to get worse or are we going to get real?

I read that 28 Coptic Christians were killed today in Egypt.  Yet Americans have to have their puppies with them all the time.  Nowhere have I ever been so confronted with the differences in the West and the rest of the world. 

I'm going to write my Compassion Child in Rwanda now and be reminded of reality.

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