Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bragging Rights

One of the things I've come to love is the client who feels the need to impart a certain fact about a dog or cat they are bringing in that really doesn't matter.

Take, for example, this familiar scene from an ER visit. The client has handed over paperwork, and Fluffy has been taken to the back.

Me: Ma'am? About how old is Fluffy?

Her: We don't really know.

Me: Do you have an idea, roughly?

Her: He's a RESCUE dog. Our vet said between seven and nine years old.

Or how about this:
Such-and-such client is checking out

Me: Who's this cute little one?

Them: Zumba....she's a rescue dog.

I guess it's not difficult to figure out why people do this.

First off, they may be trying to make conversation, maybe hoping for the following:

Me: Oh, a rescue dog? Fascinating! Do tell me the particulars, as I am doing absolutely nothing else at this time!

Them: Well, it all started one day in the ghettos of Auburn (Does Auburn even have ghettos?)...

Possibly, this is their reasoning:

Ohmygawd I'd better tell them it's a rescue dog, otherwise, they'll think that *I'm* the reason he has a broken leg and an oozing contusion on his rump when that's not the case. I FOUND him like that, and they'll think I'm a horrible person if I don't clear that up right away!

Don't worry. We don't judge.


Honestly though? Most of the time? I think this is what they're looking for:

Me: Oh, a rescue dog? You rescued this poor unfortunate? Good for you! You must be a fantastic person, full of goodness and rainbows! You deserve an award of some type!

I realize that I may be simplifying or putting things way over the top, but attend:

There are reasons people actually rescue dogs (and cats), and those are perfectly valid. What I want to know is the motivations for mentioning it constantly for no discernible reason.

Me: Do you have pets?

Them: Yes! Our poodle, Stevie. He's a rescue dog.

Why did you add that? The dog is still just as rescued without you telling the world that you did it, and in my field, everyone can claim to have a rescue dog. Lets pull the definition of rescue, shall we?

1) To free from confinement, danger, or evil.

Hmmm. Okay. This one makes sense. At the pound in danger of being euthanized works. Moving on.

2) To take (as prisoner) forcibly from custody.

This could be stealing your neighbor's dog. Look! Here's Fifi, our new cockapoo!

Them: Hey! But that's our dog!

Them: We rescued him....

3) To recover (as a prize) by force.

You just finished winning the "Greenest lawn in a drought, by golly" contest, and have decided that your prize is the loser's Brittany Spaniel. Good luck convincing the Home Owner's Association of the spoils of war there.

4) To deliver (as a place under siege) by armed force.

This just goes to show that a "rescue" dog can be saved or wrested with the help of canons and land mines from anyone you feel is undeserving. Your mother-in-law. Those neighborhood kids who never fessed up to denting your car with that baseball.

So go forth, rescuers! Go forth and rescue dogs! For how else to make yourself feel good this holiday season but to obtain an animal and then announce to the world your good deeds....


You can stop now.

I mean it.


I need a raise.


Carolyn said...

I think mostly people are making excuse for something, like not knowing how old it is, or why the breeding is screwed up, or bad behavior from early conditions. Don't you think?

redgirl said...

I think that's probably quite a bit of it. I feel like, for people who won't bother to train their dog, saying it's a "rescue dog" is kind of a cop out for fixing problems. I suppose we could extrapolate this for people and shoddy upbringings too...