This is my second installment of the humanization of Dogs and I find its time to address another important area even though it might be sensitive to some.
As we all know Halloween is just around the corner. For some of us that means dressing up our children and possibly ourselves in all kinds of costumes. Some will be dressed as Witches, Ghosts, Devils, Cartoon Characters, Harry Potter Characters, Transformers, Pirates, and More. In addition to this it appears now its important to some to dress up their dogs.
As we visit the Halloween stores we were able to find several Dog Costumes. Again here we go attempting to Humanize a Dog. I have yet find any costume that either of my dogs has picked out and insisted that I buy for them, nor have they begged me to dress them up in a costume. What?s even more interesting is that the merchants, Pet Smart, Pet land, Wal-Mart, and the Halloween stores all have a supply in stock because they know, accept, and prey on the fact that there are people that wish to Humanize their dog.
By the way is this acceptable:
Not to stray from the subject, but I read an article the other Day about President Obama?s Family throwing a birthday party for their dog. Or course we know this is not the only dog that has ever had a birthday party but I certainly wonder if the Tax Payers in this country picked up the Tab. There was even a birthday cake for this dog made out of Veal? I guess I really should have been surprised that this Dog Birthday Party was even Newsworthy.
Here is a link that talks about this dog's birthday party:
So here we are dressing up our dogs for Halloween. In addition, we throw birthday parties for them like they were children. Of course as close as Christmas is we should not forget those that will hang up stockings for their dogs and even go as far as putting presents under the tree for them.
In addition to what has been mentioned above, there are some that arrange play dates for their animals. So after reading posts about play dates, I decided I would take a peek on the net and see if I could find the origin and definition of what a play date is.
Here is what I found:
This definition is from MSN Encarta:
play?date [ pl?y d?yt ] (plural play?dates)
date for children to play: an arranged time when children are brought together to play under supervision, often at one another's homes
This one is from Merriam Webster online:
Main Entry: play?date
: a play session for small children arranged in advance by their parents
As you can see these definitions specifically mention children not dogs.
I certainly have no issue of taking a dog to the dog park. At least where I live its called a Dog park and not a Dog playground.
Here is a definition from online:
Dog Park: A dog park is simply a fenced area that people can bring their (well-behaved) dogs to so they can have a little off-leash time to run around and visit with other dogs and people. Many dog parks are part of the public park system, funded by taxpayer dollars and usually with no screening or oversight.
Of course there are private dog parks as well.
You can visit the website that I referenced this definition from here:
As you can see the attempt to Humanize dogs runs pretty deep. It has not only affected our dogs, but also our perceptions on what is appropriate treatment for a dog. Some Dog owners treat their dogs like they are their children. Apparently even in the US our president does.
What kind of damage are we doing to our dogs by treating them like children? What is acceptable to you are a dog owner?
Where is the line between the Dog and Human? Where, when, and why does it become acceptable to cross that line?
The biggest question is:
When does a dog just get to be a dog?