I love pets. Wait, I think I messed up the wording of that. Let me it again. I love other people's pets. Ah, there it is, that's what I was going for. Other people's pets are wonderful. It's great to rub your hand up and down a cat's soft fur, throw around a ball of yarn, and then leave. It's a great situation, because I don't want to be put in a situation where I have to take care of something that can't make a sandwich for itself when push comes to shove. But other people's pets aren't perfect. Damn, I messed up the wording again. I'll take a mulligan. Other people that own pets aren't perfect. As great as their pet may be, they're probably doing something to try and counteract all inherent excellence present in the pet. If you own a pet take note and people will like you more. Or maybe they'll only not-hate you…I'm not sure yet, so I'll try and get back to you.


1. Your pet's gender does not matter

Pump your brakes pet owners. A random passer-by on the street should not be made to feel like they are an asshole for calling your female dog “boy”. Would I be less of an asshole if I double-checked by pulling out a mechanics roller and sliding under your dog to examine their business? Your dog doesn't have a transmission, so I'm not doing that.


2. Interesting animal does not mean interesting person.
Oh that's so cool and unique that you have an iguana, I'll wager that your cup runneth over with awesome. Wrong. Just because you are in possession of something cool does not make you cool. After all, it's not like owning a sweet DVD makes you a great filmmaker.

3. No kissing your dog.

This needs to stop. There has to be a reasonable distance between your tongue and your dog's tongue at all times, no exceptions. And I know what you're going to say, you're thinking “But Colin, a dog's mouth is cleaner than our mouths.” Don't waste your time, as my concerns are not rooted in hygiene. My concerns are rooted in “you're making out with your dog.” Just because their mouth is clean doesn't mean you should. I just brushed my teeth, doesn't mean I should start licking my friend's faces.


4. An animal is not a person…it is an animal
I mean honestly, cut that nonsense out. You have a pet, you don't have a person. If an animal was really like a person then I'd wager that slavery laws would have several applications in your relationship with Fido.

5. Keep your dog out of your purse.
I find that kids really are the best barometer for finding the inherent ridiculousness of a situation. They haven't lived a long enough life to understand when they have to be polite and they love to ask questions. A kid is not afraid to call you out on your b.s. This is why when I saw a woman with a dog in a bog, it was a child that let her know this was senseless. “Is that your dog?” “Yes it is.” “…why is it in a bag?” “…uh…” The woman was stumped. So just a hint, if you can't justify what you do with your pet to a six-year-old, then there's a good chance that the SPCA should be involved.

Take that all in and get back out into the world with your pet. You're ready to interact with people like a non-asshole. Feel free to take your dog for a walk, let your cat curl up with you and your girlfriend on the couch, or raid other ships with your parrot on your shoulder. You are good to go. As long as you don't own a ferret. There really is no coming back from that.