Author Topic: a conversation at the dog Park.  (Read 11782 times)

strider3700

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a conversation at the dog Park.
« on: November 18, 2012, 11:59:26 AM »
I was at the dog park a few days ago and talking with another dog owner.  She had a beautiful doberman pincher.  During the conversation, she discussed how much she doesn't enjoy coming to the park and the dog wasn't her's it was her sons.  He wanted a dog and she said no.  He moved out and bought a dog,  1 year later he couldn't afford to live alone and moved back in bringing the dog.  She took in the dog and him. She was complaining how expensive the dog was.

She didn't like the food he was feeding the dog so she got "better" stuff.  It's now costing $120/month for the food.   Then she thought the dog would like the back yard better if it had a run and a house - $900.   The dog sleeps inside anyways so it needed a new bed $60 which is chewed to pieces because it was a puppy, $60, $60, $60 and it's now getting beyond the chewing stage.     She decided since it's a pure dobbie it should have the ears done as well as everything else a puppy needs from the vet $600.   then the license - $45.  She still works and didn't want to leave the dog at home alone so she takes it to doggy daycare $30/day 5 times a week.    And then she thought it should come to the park to get some exercise  but she wasn't going to drive it around in the back of her brand new sedan so she went out and bought a small used SUV (4runner) for $10,000   which only gets used to take the dog to daycare and the park.   She gets up,  drives about 15 km to daycare in the truck, drives 15 km home then gets changed and into her new car and drives to work.   The park is right beside the day care so she'll do the same in the evening.   She then complained about not being able to go away to somewhere tropical because she doesn't trust her 20 something son to take care of the dog correctly.

Just for comparison my dog costs $50/month in food and misc   and maybe $15/month in vet bills.   I've previously posted in the mustachian shame thread that it's 2km to the dog park if I drive it  and we've been walking it far more often since then...  dog license was $25 because it's a border collie cross which is a different category then the dobie.


KMMK

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 12:30:00 PM »
Wow, just wow. Now I've known tons of pet owners and they provide my paycheque and I have no problem with people spending tons on whatever they want, if that something is important to them and they can afford it, but that goes beyond my level of comprehension. There are just so many other ways to avoid those expenses. It's not like a medical issue where you are spending for your animal's life. Purposely choosing the most expensive way to do something is mind boggling.

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 12:53:49 PM »
At first it sounded ridiculous, but then it kept going and going.  I'd have thought that was an article on the Onion or something.  Crazy.
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strider3700

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 01:10:07 PM »
I have many conversations with people that could be posted here (just yesterday friends just spent $100 on costumes, $120 on ferry, who knows how much on food and hotel all to go to a 1 night birthday party for a friend because they needed a break since they're massively stressed about the debt levels and not being able to cover minimum payments... Oh and because they deserved it whatever the fuck that means)          This dog park discussion was easily the most over the top unmustachian thing I've ever heard in person so I had to share it.

sheepstache

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 01:50:22 PM »
This isn't just spendthriftness, spendthriftness being something which I find particularly annoying when it's a blind spot for an otherwise normal person.  This woman sounds a little cray cray.  If nothing else there is definitely something going on emotionally between her and the son.  There's this contradictory vibe she's sending the son: "look at what a burden you're placing on me by having moved back home" vs. "look how much adult responsibility entails, you can't possibly make it out in the real world, my baby boy."  On top of that, I can't help thinking that, despite her protestations, she really likes the dog :)

PJ

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 02:22:22 PM »
Wow.  I resemble some teeny tiny part of that - I do have a dog walker, and I have driven my dogs to the park.  But there the resemblance ends.  I second the opinion that there is something off kilter there, not just in terms of spending decisions.  What on earth is she going to do when her son gets his act together and takes the dog away - or will she manage to sabotage him, to prove that he can't possibly manage his life as well as she does hers?  (tongue firmly in cheek)

strider3700

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 02:43:44 PM »
well in the conversation I also learned that she has 3 kids, the dad left right after the birth of the last one and was never seen again, and she gave up her youth hauling kids too and from baseball and soccer games until they all go old enough to either quit or drive them selves.   The fact that I'd never met her before does lead me to think yeah something not right upstairs.     Perhaps she was just into using me as a sounding board rather then a therapist.   

Normal conversations at the dog park  with other random strangers (all though many of us are regulars and know each others names)  usually revolve around,  pointless gossip about other owners dogs,   hey look Dog X is humping dog Y,  and complaining about the weather, the condition of the dog park, or how busy/empty the park was the previous day.


PJ

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 03:20:18 PM »
Normal conversations at the dog park  with other random strangers (all though many of us are regulars and know each others names)  usually revolve around,  pointless gossip about other owners dogs,   hey look Dog X is humping dog Y,  and complaining about the weather, the condition of the dog park, or how busy/empty the park was the previous day.

LOL!  Sounds about right!  And don't forget guessing games about various dogs' breed mix, "how old is yours?," complaints about the mosquitos, and updates about the last time by-law control officers were seen in the park.  Man, I miss going to the dog park!  I have a (friendly) older pit bull who is technically not supposed to be in the off leash park because of breed specific legislation in place here, and a certifiably crazy younger dog that I won't take there any more because she's too aggressive.  Oh well, maybe with the next one ...

Dee

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 04:50:02 PM »
I can identify a bit with this woman. I don't have a dog specifically because I realize that if I did, I would want to make arrangements for either doggy day care or, at the very least, a mid-day walk. (I'm away for about 10 hours a day on work days, which I find too long for a dog to be asked to hold it.) So I don't have my own dog. But if one came with someone who moved in, my inner crazy dog lady might manifest. Or maybe she's under control now that my boyfriend has a dog and I can get my fix a couple of time a week. But that inner crazy dog lady would do nearly anything to ensure a dog's comfort and happiness if there was one on my premises. Maybe this woman knew that about herself enough not to get her own dog, too, but now that there's one in her house, it's just too powerful a force to keep the inner crazy dog lady at bay. That puppy's been unleashed! (Pun intended.)


Nords

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 05:26:08 PM »
What on earth is she going to do when her son gets his act together and takes the dog away - (tongue firmly in cheek)
He has free dog care-- I don't think he has any reason to leave!

Maybe he's really the Mustachian one...

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 09:40:48 AM »
$120/month on dog food?  I have a large dog (110lb Labrador mix), and even if she's buying premium brand dog food, which is like $60 for a huge bag, I can't imagine he's eating 2 bags a month. 

And I also have to admit that I take my dog to daycare 2x a week.  BUT, there are zero dog parks within an hour drive of my house, and my job makes it so I'm away from the house for 13 hours a day.  (I got the dog long before I got the job). 

But really, she's spending an awful amount of time and money taking care of a dog that she pretends to dislike.  Sounds like she just needs to own up to the fact that she LIKES spoiling the dog.  (I bet she spoils her grandkids too).

strider3700

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 01:41:18 PM »
my vet sells dry dog food that would easily cost  $120/month for a large dog.    It would be trivial to do with the high end wet food which is $3+/can. Why you would ever feed a large dog that much wet I don't know. I sure couldn't afford it.

okits

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 08:50:33 PM »
What's really funny is the ad at the bottom of this page is for DogTV, only $9.99!  "The First TV channel for dogs!" Strider, maybe you should tell the dog park lady about it (she probably already has it!)

totoro

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 09:02:20 PM »
my vet sells dry dog food that would easily cost  $120/month for a large dog.    It would be trivial to do with the high end wet food which is $3+/can. Why you would ever feed a large dog that much wet I don't know. I sure couldn't afford it.

I have a labradoodle and make her food for 60 dollars a month plus a marrow bone a day.  She is a bigger dog. Very healthy and loves to run and play at almost six. People mistake her for a puppy almost every day.  I think a big part of it is diet.  Given the fairly captive, non-verbal and short-lived consumers and lax rules around content  - combined with the profit margin - just doesn't give me confidence.

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 09:21:52 AM »
I will never understand why people have pets.  It just seems so weird to me.  Hey lets's have an animal live in the house with us!! We will pay for it and it will chew on all our shit! It will shed all over the house and I will spend all my time sweeping its hair and complaining about muddy paws...  But at least I get the enjoyment of watching  (and hearing!) it lick its ballsack all day!  Then, it will die and the kids will cry.  The end.

Pet ownership seems like a form of mild insanity to me.  Why?  Why do you do it?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 09:23:49 AM by jp »

totoro

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2012, 09:44:32 AM »
Why? Because not everyone feels life the same way.  Some people need connections more than others to feel good day to day.

I tried to buy my grandma's house.  It was in a nice area but on a busy road and needed repairs.  It was not logical.  Logic would have been to go for the best investment.  Why?  Because of the memories and feeling that being in that house would have given me.  I would have enjoyed raising my kids there and they would have enjoyed the sense of continuity and connection.  It was more than just an investment.

Pets are part of the family for many folks.  They have great memories of their own childhood pets and when they sit with their pets or play with them this magnifies the joy.  There is also the sense of companionship.   Many reasons. 

You likely have something like this in your life.  Most folks do.  What are you willing to spend money on that is not a good financial investment but gives you more than money back?

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2012, 09:52:21 AM »
You likely have something like this in your life.  Most folks do.  What are you willing to spend money on that is not a good financial investment but gives you more than money back?

I guess.  Maybe I am just not an "animal person"... I find it annoying when people dote on their pets like they have human feelings.  Of course I do things for the enjoyment of it, I just don't understand why people enjoy dogs (or cats or hampsters or whatever).  My one adult experience with a dog (roomate had one in college) was terrible, the thing just annoyed me to death and provided nothing in return.  It was a "good dog" but that didn't help me understand why he liked it.  To me it was just a dumb animal that liked to do gross things.   

I understand that people like animals, I just never really understood it to be honest.  If I was stranded on a desert island with my dog (if I had one), I would eat that thing within days.  Other people would starve while sharing food with their dog.  I guess it just boils down to simple preference, what you care about and what you enjoy.

totoro

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2012, 10:01:26 AM »
jp - I can understand this. 

We have a dog and my children are really connected to her.  I love her, but I'd be okay without a dog. 

What I would really like though is a cat.  I had one growing up and was very connected to him.  He used to wait for me after school at the school ground.   

I suspect my kids will have a dog when they grow up.  The memories of their relationship with our dog will be something they want to repeat and re-experience.

If you did not have this connection as a kid I think the pull is way less strong as an adult.  The mess/inconvenience/unsanitary feeling far outweighs the benefits.   Having lived in Asia in a place where dogs were not so common as house pets, I saw that most people, including children, did not have the same positive reaction to dogs that loads of people in NA do.

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2012, 10:10:09 AM »
I actually always had dogs growing up, and cats too.  I liked them enough then, but found them to be more work than they were worth even as a child.  As an adult, any loving feelings I had towards dogs or cats has faded.  I don't dislike them, I am not going to kick one or anything... if I am at a friend's house and one sidles up to me, I will pet it.  But a dog is a lot like a boat to me... a lot of work, not as much fun as you think it will be.

I guess I just wondered why people liked them.  I understand that people do like them.  The usual response is that it is loyal and always waiting for me, etc.  Since that doesn't appeal to me in any way, it is probably just that I don't really have that particular need (that something else love me unconditionally), or more accurately, it doesn't mean anything to me when it comes from a non-human. 

Russ

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2012, 10:26:44 AM »
I will never understand why people have pets.
Where I'm from, there are plenty of practical reasons to have dogs and cats. Pest control, farm work, hunting, etc. I'm not that big a fan of cats, since there's little they can do that a dog can't do better, but both have a place besides just providing company given the right environment.

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But at least I get the enjoyment of watching  (and hearing!) it lick its ballsack all day!

I'm sure there are also plenty of humans out there who would gladly lick their own balls if they had the flexibility.

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2012, 10:40:58 AM »
I guess I just wondered why people liked them.  I understand that people do like them.  The usual response is that it is loyal and always waiting for me, etc.  Since that doesn't appeal to me in any way, it is probably just that I don't really have that particular need (that something else love me unconditionally), or more accurately, it doesn't mean anything to me when it comes from a non-human.

You answered why you will never understand. You said that people "dote on their animals like they had human emotions".  Here's the thing, animals do have emotions. They may not be identical to human emotions, but they certainly have them. Many people don't equate a dog's happiness or sadness as equal to a human's. They sperate the world into human and non-human as if that is how it always was (never mind that dogs have been part of human civilazation longer than what we call civilization). I think that is their, and your, loss.

Personally, I only have empathy with mammals. I cannot see the emotions in birds, reptiles, or fish. I do not understand why people keep those animals. That is my loss. And, like you, I'm okay with that.

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2012, 11:08:58 AM »

You answered why you will never understand. You said that people "dote on their animals like they had human emotions".  Here's the thing, animals do have emotions. They may not be identical to human emotions, but they certainly have them. Many people don't equate a dog's happiness or sadness as equal to a human's. They sperate the world into human and non-human as if that is how it always was (never mind that dogs have been part of human civilazation longer than what we call civilization). I think that is their, and your, loss.

I think we all pretty much have to separate the world into human and non-human.  Or at least we all have a random hierarchy or  "value of life" system.  Human > dog> chicken > fish > fly > amoeba.  Some people claim to not have this system, but I have to think that these people would be more shocked by the death of a perfect stranger in front of them, than by the death of the innocent ant they accidentally squished.  Maybe dogs are people too, but maybe just like really gross hairy people that only live for a few years? 

In the human > dog vein, I mean, you could probably feed an actual person for the cost of dog food.  It just seems insane to me.  I know this is a slippery slope, as there are plenty of things that I spend money on that could be used to do good in the world too, but since the cost of a dog is really mostly "food for a being", it just makes the trade off more readily apparent to me.   Now, I don't use the money I would otherwise use on dog food to feed a hungry person, rather I stash it away greedily and bury it in my yard in case maybe, maybe, I might need it.  So this is no soapbox. 

As far as dogs being part of our ancestral history... there are plenty of things that have been around a long time that I think we are better off forgetting, or are completely useless.  As someone else mentioned, dogs are work animals too, and for that purpose, it makes sense.  Our ancestors probably needed them as work animals and to keep predators away, things like that.  I doubt they carried them around in purses.   

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2012, 11:39:03 AM »
I find it annoying when people dote on their pets like they have human feelings.

And I find it not just annoying, but abysmally ignorant, when people assume that animals don't have feelings.  After all, we share a billion or so years of evolution.

 
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I understand that people like animals, I just never really understood it to be honest.  If I was stranded on a desert island with my dog (if I had one), I would eat that thing within days.  Other people would starve while sharing food with their dog.

Yeah, and if you, me, and my dogs are stranded on a desert island, guess who's gonna be lunch :-)

It's not a heirarchy of life thing.  It's about friendship - or call it tribalism if you like.  I value my friends/members of my tribe, human or animal, more than I do the rest of the world.

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2012, 12:02:31 PM »

And I find it not just annoying, but abysmally ignorant, when people assume that animals don't have feelings.  After all, we share a billion or so years of evolution.

Dogs don't have human emotions.  I don't know what your point is here.  I never said they don't have emotions, sure they have some (simpler) dog emotions.  They aren't human, they don't have human emotions.


Yeah, and if you, me, and my dogs are stranded on a desert island, guess who's gonna be lunch :-)

I don't know if you are asking seriously... and I don't know you or your dogs, but if I had to guess and playing the odds, I would say one of your dogs would be lunch.  You may not eat him with me, but I can almost guarantee that your other dogs would dig right in with me.  That's how dogs are, you know... not human.  They don't care, they would probably eat you too if you died and I put some gravy or peanut butter on you.* 

It's not a heirarchy of life thing.  It's about friendship - or call it tribalism if you like.  I value my friends/members of my tribe, human or animal, more than I do the rest of the world.

That makes sense.  I just don't have the part of the brain that would want to draw a dog into my family I guess.  Then even if I did, I would never value my dog over a human, even a stranger in a head to head contest.  It is one thing to indirectly do it, by feeding your dog instead of a theoretical personb, but if forced to choose between a dog and an actual person, i would always choose the human over the canine, regardless of how long I had known the dog or what bond I thought we shared or whether he was in my tribe. 

I am not trying to bash pet owners here, and I don't dislike animals.  I just never really understood pet ownership and what drives it and why people feel so passionately about it. 

*  I don't actually eat animals or people at all.       
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:06:18 PM by jp »

strider3700

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2012, 12:36:15 PM »
Actually I bet you'd find it quite difficult to kill and then eat a dog with the rest of it's pack around.   The instinct to protect their own is amazingly strong in most dogs. They'd almost certainly not eat a fellow pack member.    There is also many documented cases of dogs mourning after the death of another dog or their owner.    Think of them like relatives that can't talk  and occasionally do disgusting things but you love them anyways. 

totoro

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2012, 12:47:35 PM »
I would eat my dog in extreme circumstances.  I would feed her to my children much more easily than I would eat her myself.   I'd much rather my dog die a quick death than starve slowly without being able to explain to her that I couldn't feed her.

I do not believe I would eat my children.  The emotional impact would outweigh my survival instinct.  I would definitely save them before myself.  In absolutely hopeless circumstances where I knew they would suffer I believe I would likely kill my children and myself.

I do believe I would likely eat someone not related to me in the most desparate of times.  I would have less problem with feeding my children this way than myself.

Interesting survival/psychology - hope never to have to test the theory out.

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2012, 01:09:54 PM »
Actually I bet you'd find it quite difficult to kill and then eat a dog with the rest of it's pack around.   The instinct to protect their own is amazingly strong in most dogs. They'd almost certainly not eat a fellow pack member.    There is also many documented cases of dogs mourning after the death of another dog or their owner.    Think of them like relatives that can't talk  and occasionally do disgusting things but you love them anyways.

I was really kidding, but I think my human ingenuity would ensure my success, especially after they were weak from malnutrition. 

I hear anecdotes about dogs all the time.  But I really think people tend to romanticize the relationship.  For every dog that guarded his deceased owner's body, there is another one that killed the new baby or bit his owner's face off (actually there are probably 20 for every 1). 

This is the kind of thing that reminds me that dogs are dogs:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2132912/Horror-family-dog-kills-dismembers-month-old-baby-father-slept.html  (I know, I know... but MY dog would never do that...)  To be fair, human siblings kill the baby sometimes too. 


kisserofsinners

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2012, 01:15:00 PM »
This sound ominously like my sister's situation. At least now i have a perspective to remember how bad it *can really* get. :)

jp

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2012, 01:19:30 PM »
I would eat my dog in extreme circumstances.  I would feed her to my children much more easily than I would eat her myself.   I'd much rather my dog die a quick death than starve slowly without being able to explain to her that I couldn't feed her.

I do not believe I would eat my children.  The emotional impact would outweigh my survival instinct.  I would definitely save them before myself.  In absolutely hopeless circumstances where I knew they would suffer I believe I would likely kill my children and myself.

I do believe I would likely eat someone not related to me in the most desparate of times.  I would have less problem with feeding my children this way than myself.

Interesting survival/psychology - hope never to have to test the theory out.

No way I could eat my kids.  If I had to watch my kids starve to death, I am pretty sure I would just eat my own eyeballs.

Damn, I ruined this thread and took it to a really weird place.

totoro

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2012, 01:31:20 PM »
Yep, from buying the dog a truck to eating your own eyeballs.  I bear some responsiblity here too... macabre, just macabre.

okits

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2012, 08:39:25 PM »
Damn, I ruined this thread and took it to a really weird place.

Yep, but at least you know it!  :)

You're not a dog/animal person and that's okay.  I'm one of those people who believes my dog is a member of the family (and would totally share my food with him if we didn't have enough...  Though he's a bad swimmer so I'm hoping we'll never be in that deserted island scenario!)

Khao

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2012, 07:09:37 AM »
I stop reading this thread for a day and look what it has become! The fuck is wrong with you guys? If I see any of you approaching my dog saying he looks like he could feed a family, I'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE SO HARD YOU'LL EXPLODE LIKE A PIŅATA.

Now can we go back to talking about unmustachian dog ownership?

totoro

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2012, 09:23:38 AM »
Just out of curiousity Khao, would you classify your dog as mouthful or meal-sized?

okits

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2012, 09:03:13 PM »
Just out of curiousity Khao, would you classify your dog as mouthful or meal-sized?

LMFAO.

Unmustachian dog ownership: my dog is getting a present for Christmas (okay, so it's treats I would have bought him anyway), but this is in addition to whatever he gets* in his stocking (which my partner's family sent away for two years ago to a lady who custom makes them.)  Totally frivolous and not a single member of the family (including me) thinks there's anything wrong with that!

* He will not be getting a truck for Christmas.  The stocking is not that big.  :D

Jamesqf

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Re: a conversation at the dog Park.
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2012, 11:08:10 PM »
* He will not be getting a truck for Christmas.  The stocking is not that big.  :D

Besides, like I tell my younger one (who always wants to sit in the driver's seat of the truck): 1) You're not old enough to get a license yet; and 2) Anyway, your feet don't reach the pedals.