When adopting a dog it is important to find one that matches the type of lifestyle you have. You wouldn’t get a Saint Bernard if you lived in an apartment, just like you wouldn’t bring a fire sign into a water sign’s home. These are the type of factors that have to be taken under consideration or things could really be ruff. ah ha.
That’s why I appreciated the full profile on the door of every dog’s kennel when I went searching for my furry companion. Not only did the profile contain a behavior report, but a full Myers-Briggs Personality test analysis. “Good with kids? Check. House Trained? Democrat? Check. ooh wait a minute, he has a Hilary Clinton button on his collar. That’s kind of a deal breaker.” I searched down each aisle only to be disappointed by the lack of ambition held by dogs, “we can’t all be chasers of squirrels now, can we?” I found myself posing this question to a Pomeranian.
“What about this one?” My mom asked. “It says here that his favorite movie is Sleepless in Seattle, just like you!” I stared at the beagle skeptically knowing full well that dogs often lie on their profiles to seem more appealing to potential owners. I seriously doubted this beagle had even seen the Tom Hanks classic. “That’s just a movie, where does he see himself in five years?” My mom flipped through his headshot along with the rest of the profile until she found it, “he wants to settle down with a nice family and help bring love wherever he goes.” Commitment is scary but the in house pet psychic assured us that we would have a happy life together, and it only cost me $20 to get a guarantee.
For the first few weeks everything was perfectly blissful. We had to teach him some proper dining etiquette, everyone knows you’re supposed to at least wait for the owner to leave the room before you go through the trash. But besides that we were on the same page in terms of values and beliefs, or at least I thought we were until today. It was just like any other walk. We greeted our neighbor, the alaskan malamute, and were enjoying the fresh air until he barked. I knew this could be a possibility, I mean I had been warned but it wasn’t the barking that bothered me as much as who he barked at.
We had been taking our usual path but what was different today was that our paths crossed with a few children, no big deal. Peanut is like me, where he doesn’t necessarily like kids but he tolerates them. But this time he barked. He barked at a small African American child. All of a sudden I realized, my dog was a racist. I tried to convince the kid that he totally had other black friends, but the kid wasn’t buying it. Who was I kidding? Of course he wasn’t buying it. I didn’t understand. I had poured over my dog’s profile and didn’t see this coming. Maybe his information got mixed up with another dog who came from the south. How was I going to handle this!? I couldn’t have a racist living in my house!
Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I hadn’t been sheltering him, and not exposing him to the wealth of different cultures that exist in the world. I would enroll him in a cultural humility class, those were a thing. I just saw one on television not too long ago. Hell, I would start my own class if I had to! The key was to teach Peanut and give him some more understanding about the world around us. It’s not his fault he was so sheltered.
*Five Years Later*
“So there it is ladies and gentleman, if my dog can make this change then so can you! Let’s all stand together and fight hatred and violence! Also feel free to pick up my book for $19.99 in the lobby called, My Dog, The Racist: How I Taught Him He is Actually Color Blind. Thank you and goodnight!”