Love can drive us to perform acts we never dreamed of. It causes some of us to truly open up for the first time, while others have to fight with an undiscovered fury for the embrace of a loved one. However, only one kind of love can bring us to the brink of insanity.
I spent St. Patrick’s Day studying for finals. My six-year-old sister, Cassidy, was dressed up in a St. Patty’s day outfit with a scarf similar to the kind Hillary Clinton wore on the same day. Later that week, my four-year-old brother, Seamus, was paid to have sex with someone he never met before.
I sincerely hope you understand that my “siblings” are dogs, but my parents instructed me to address them as people. More properly, Cassidy is my “fur sister,” and I’m not allowed to swear or speak ill of the dogs when they’re present because it could “hurt their feelings.” My parents tried to fill the void when my two brothers and I left for college, with dogs. They not only succeeded, but found a connection that caused them to go partially insane with love. Soon, they would find others that understood this state of mind.
My dogs are Irish Terriers, a relatively rare, fancy and well-bred dog with an almost cult-like following, which helps my parents display Seamus and Cassidy at dog shows all over California. I was dragged to one of these events and from personal experience I can tell you that the classic movie “Best in Show” is a small understatement of the truth. These people are bat-shit insane.
Case in point, there is a 60-year feud between two divisions of the Irish Terrier club in Long Beach, Cali., that essentially started when someone picked one dog for breeding over a different dog. They have passed down the hate from father to son, and mother to daughter. Despite the fact that the original participants are all dead, both sides retain a comical disdain for one another.
Finally, there is my favorite anecdote. Seamus is a pedigree pure-bred champion, making him extremely valuable for breeding with other dogs; people from across the state drive to my parents’ house so they can pay up to $600 to lock their female dog in the same room with Seamus. This is called a “date.” Once in the room, he naturally proceeds to hump the crap out of her. My dog has sex for money, which gets paid to my mother. My mom is a pimp.
I tell these stories to illustrate the complete insanity dogs can bring out of people. I love dogs, but I believe it is time to acknowledge that they are a threat to the mental health of America. They may be adorable, but they are making the world nuts. Millions of dollars are spent manufacturing dog costumes, toys and gourmet treats. The world almost pays as much attention to Paris Hilton’s dog as they do to the woman herself.
My older brother was the first to leave the house. Two months after he left, Cassidy was brought in to fill the void. As I left, another dog came to take my place. Once my younger brother flew out of the nest, a third and final dog came to plug the hole in my mother’s heart. This switch is the heart of the problem. Dogs are wonderful animals that bring us comfort and joy, but they are not people. Once we begin to love and treat them like people, problems begin to arise.
Your dog is wonderful, but he is not a person. Genetically, there is not much difference between your dog and most other mammals. The same animals you call rodents or the cows you eat are not particularly different from Spot the dog. He has the same survival instincts, blood and heart as all of them. He walks on all fours and smells his own poop. Spot is just an animal who was fortunate enough to be considered adorable by generations of humans. When you talk to him, he does not understand and he only loves you for your food.
None of this or any of my stories means you should not love your dog. Regardless of why he loves you, a dog is a constant source of comfort through your darkest times. A dog’s eyes will never judge you like a human’s. As long as you put food in the bowl, he will not care about the fact that you have commitment issues, eat paste or wear ladies underwear. Just take caution not to take your love to an extreme with which I am all too familiar.