I actually wrote this a few month ago.
Never published it cause I was embarrassed but F that. Lets do this.
First off, I have done nothing wrong. So let me be clear in my confidence when I say this: I’m an amazing dog owner. Top friggin’ notch. So all you know-it-all “shamers” of the pet-owning community can suck it.
I have three children: A son, a daughter, and a dog named Winston. Winston is a fully-vaccinated, house-trained, weekly-bathed, ID-tagged, mild-mannered dream come true. And just like my children, I shell out money every month on his well-being. Heartgard. Frontline. Petco treats. Rawhide. Chew Toys. I spoon him in the morning. I wrestle with him in the afternoon. I walk him at night. The chimes of his dog tags are no different than the sound of my own children calling, “mom?” I love my dog, and I’m a good mother to him.
So you can imagine my outrage when some self-proclaimed upright citizen took it upon themself this morning to lecture me on my pawrental choice to leave my dog in a freshly air-conditioned, all windows (liberally) cracked, impeccably clean automobile while I quickly picked up some ready-made donuts from a local donut shop. Now before you gasp in my face and get all, “You left your dog alone in a parked car? How could you?”—Let me tell you something. The average American suburb does not have a dog-friendly business community. In fact, within the five-mile radius of my house, there are ZERO businesses that will allow even the best-trained dogs through their doors. I get it. Dog shit. Allergies. Inattentive owners (not to mention the liability of customers—or other dogs—being subject to possible canine attacks.) Believe me, I get it. And I’m fine it! And 90% of the time, I don’t take my dog with me on errands. But today I did. It was just a box of donuts. Sue me.
I got to the donut shop. I parked my car, cranked down the A/C while I fished for my wallet, rolled down all the windows a good four inches, turned off the ignition, and ran inside to grab a half-dozen glazed donuts. When I returned, there was a minivan parked beside me along with a woman standing outside my car, peering into my passenger window with her hand INSIDE my car, petting my dog. My first reaction was sheer panic. Oh my God, I left my purse in the car. I’m being burgled. DON’T TAKE MY DOG!!! As I approached the car, this fantastic citizen gave me a look like I had just spit in her protein shake.
“Is this your car?” she spat.
I hesitated. “Yeah?”
“You really shouldn’t leave your dog in a car unattended,” she said.
A bit embarrassed, I huffed a laugh and smiled. “Oh, I was just grabbing some donuts real quick”—I pointed to the shop—“I wasn’t gone long.”
I sincerely thought my charming blush would shoo this woman away. After all, it wasn’t really hot outside. A little humid maybe. And I wasn’t gone even five minutes. Frankly, I was disturbed. Not only was this creeper petting my dog, raping his face with her unwelcomed hand, but she had appeared out of nowhere. Like she was actively waiting for the opportunity to find someone like me so she could capitalize on it.
“Well just so you know, ma’am, I was about to write down your license plate and call the police.”
License plate? Police? Ma’am? —the fuck?
I stood there, unsure of whether to be panicked or insulted. Maybe she hadn’t heard me. “I was . . . just grabbing donuts.”
She then turned, got back in her car, said something to me behind the plate glass of her window, and drove off. What she said, I don’t know. I couldn’t make it out. But the uncertainty of it made me feel icky. Insecure. And even though Winston licked my face in affection the second I sat down, I legitimately felt violated by this woman’s attempt to publically shame me. I couldn’t remove the image of her hand petting Winston, comforting him as if she suspected he deserved a better owner—someone more like herself. I mean, come on lady! I can understand someone leaving a dog in a parked car in the middle of a blazing hot afternoon, but this was not the case. I had taken precautions. I knew what I was doing and I was fully-confident he would be physically fine in my short absence, yet I was still pegged as a wrong-doer. A taboo dog-owner.
I don’t know if saying this is wrong or frowned upon—I certainly by no means wish to undermine the wonderful people who advocate against the mistreatment of pets—but until more dog-friendly businesses start popping up, it’s inevitable that I’m going to run into situations where I have no choice but to leave my dog in my car if no other option presents itself. I’m smart enough to know the difference between a good choice and a bad choice, but sometimes decisions fall somewhere in between. And in those cases, we must make sub-decisions as a precaution—which I did.
So to the lady who felt so compelled to shame me for choosing to leave my dog unattended for only a moment in the best possible environment I could offer him at that particular location: Fu-Q. And your cats.