Anything Lime



I Admit It…Your Dog Isn’t The ONLY Small Dog I Like

I had a great weekend. We went mini golfing (I got three holes-in-one) and Patrick and I beat the two other couples we competed against. It was a great time. We got some food at Qdoba and then headed to our friend Christian’s house in Isleworth — the very neighborhood of Tiger Woods. (No, I didn’t see him, sadly.)

We walked into their beautiful home to meet his parents and his tiny pet, Bella, a 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier. She and I fell in love right away. She trotted near me and I petted her tiny face and ponytail-topped head.

Bella and I snuggled in-between rooms while I was touring this mansion. She didn’t let the fact that it was past her bedtime keep her from dishing out the hugs and kisses. So when we left her to go play in the pool, I was a little sad. “Bye Bella,” I said as she looked at me with her beady little black eyes. “I love you.”

I turned to the group of people in the pool slamming dunks into the nearby basketball hoop. “I usually don’t even like small dogs,” I said. “But I like Bella.”

The next day I was talking to Patrick about her, and how sweet she was. Again, I said, “I don’t even like small dogs, but I…” and he cut me off to snap at me how I always say that about every small dog I meet.

“Do you like Lola? Do you like Daisy? Do you like Paco?” he said of my neighbors’ and friend’s dogs. (and yes, I like them.) “You don’t like it when people say they don’t like big dogs, so why don’t you just stop saying that and just love all dogs.”

(eh em.)

For the first time since my expulsion from the womb, I had no argument. That’s absolutely right!

I spent the next day and a half wondering why I had said those things in the first place. Why I tend to say it over and over even though it is clearly untrue. Had I become such an advocate for large dogs that I push away the little ones? Is it just a front that I put on? Am I just frontin’?

The only sense I can make of this is that it’s not that I don’t like small dogs, it’s the idea of owning a small dog for all the wrong reasons. I suppose it’s because I’ve met too many ignorant owners.

As celebrities glorify the idea of the purse dog, the pet industry has expanded — providing matching outfits for owner and pet, stylish carrying cases, diamond-studded collars and …gulp… strollers. (This has always boggled my mind — why push a perfectly able-bodied dog around in a stroller? It’s not like you see a 30-year-old businessman being pushed around in a stroller by his mother at Ikea on a busy weekend, so why do that to our dogs?!)

Because it’s impossible to tote around a golden retriever in the latest style of purse sold at a chic dog boutique (barf), the problem clearly exists only among small dogs. (Which, by the way, don’t enjoy wearing fluffy tutus or velcro shoes no matter how cute and little you think they are.)

And, as the demand for stylish small dogs increases (the tinier the better seems to be the trend), the more unethical breeders take advantage of such an opportunity and the more puppy mills engage in the kind of breeding that can only be categorized as animal cruelty. The puppies are sold to pet stores like Pets of Bel Air in Hollywood that was once home to the dogs of Paris Hilton and other celebrities. In a recent investigation, the Humane Society of the United States found that the animals sold at Pets of Bel Air came from puppy mills across the country. Read the whole story here.

While breeding, as “ethical” or “responsible” as it may be, continues to overpopulate the country, there are homeless dogs in shelters that also need homes. So my first instinct when I see a dog like Bella, a wonderfully friendly, adorable tiny dog, is to feel resentment toward her.

I know, I know, it’s not the dog’s fault. But being as small as she is, she sure makes a great scapegoat!

The problem is that there is a common misconception that only breeders provide healthy and smart dogs. People assume that they can only get a young dog or a purebred dog from a breeder. They also assume that if they go to shelters they’re getting a used product, or a dog that comes with health problems or personality disorders. If you also believe this, slap your own face. You are the problem.

I’m providing a call to action for this passionate ramble: if you’re looking to adopt a dog, go to a shelter. Petfinder is a great tool to narrow down your search and also search by breed (yes, there are purebred dogs in shelters! And puppies!) and find dogs close to home. Also check out your local Humane Society or your county’s animal services shelter. There is a life in every cage, and every one is worth saving.

For more information about puppy mills, or to find out how to help, check out http://www.stoppuppymills.org/

And, for those of you who still would rather go to a breeder to pay $1200 for the most expensive breathing accessory you’ve ever owned, scroll down. I’ve got a few suggestions for you as well.

Alternatives to owning a tiny dog for the sake of accessory:

1.) A stuffed plush dog. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But, you can dress it up, carry it around and name it “Princess Priscilla Bean Montgomery Sableton” without having to deal with the the responsibilities of actually owning a dog. Plus, while it’s sitting in a stroller wearing a hat, sunglasses, Puma sneakers, cargos, a hooded vest and a giant $ chain, no one will be able to tell that it’s not alive. Plus, just look at this thing. The resemblance is uncanny.

Yorkie plush toy

2.) Buy a hamster. The lifespan of a hamster equals the amount of time a fad lasts. And, because a dog is a trend, you’ll have to deal with it long after you no longer want to be accidentally peed on in public. So, this hamster is perfect. You won’t have to worry about it after the trend is over, because it will by that time have gone on to a better place. Also, it’s small enough that you might step on it, which is just like any dog you’d spend a zillion dollars on. This specific model of hamster comes with its own cup carrier (purse strap and designer logo sold separately).

Tiny cup hamster

3.) Find a hobby. Get a life. Don’t sit around and treat your dog the way you would treat a human baby. I’d tell you to just have a human baby to solve the problem you have with mothering your dog, but I think it’s for the better that you not procreate. So, stop treating your dog like a baby, stop making him wear a bib when he eats, stop feeding him with a tiny spoon. Find another way to spend your time. Join a book club or make some friends. Plant a garden. Or learn how to crochet (but don’t crochet a sweater and booties for your dog!)

Garden Tools

<steps off soapbox>

Sorry for the raw anger that is deeply woven into this post. It’s not your fault, Bella. And of all the small dogs I’ve met, I really do like you the most.

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Comments

  1. * Patrick says:

    Good for you Whit! Now… you mentioned that we won in mini golf, but who won all the games of water basketball? That’s right… ME!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 7 months ago
  2. * samueltolmanmills says:

    Whitney, once again you made me laugh aloud. And this post is very informative! I get so pissed when I hear people talking about going to a breeder because they “don’t want a shelter dog.” There is NOTHING wrong with shelter dogs! They’re only in there because of the stupid people that neglect them. Look at Cooper. He is a fabulous dog. And my parents’ last dog, Lightning, was from a shelter, and he was one of the smartest, sweetest, most obedient dogs I’ve ever seen. It’s important to let these people know that they should be going to shelters first! Then again… what happens to the dogs that the breeders can’t sell? It’s a vicious cycle. Like most problems, it comes down to greed and ignorance. Sad.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 7 months ago


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