Opinion | No Escape From the Pandemic Puppy Bubble

Related Articles

When a friend of mine called recently to announce that he and his family had welcomed a puppy into their home, I wasn’t overflowing with congratulations. The tepid “that’s cool” was all I could muster. I’ve had asthma almost my entire life.

As he was talking about his puppy breed (something doodle) and his name (Randy or Rosie or Moby), I swore I could feel the start of runny eyes and itchy skin. When the cute, candid puppy pictures started bouncing around on my phone, I thought of my 7-year-old, who, like me, is allergic to feathers and fur. Then I mentally included these friends in the category of acquaintances whose apartment I would rarely visit again.

The pandemic has also prompted other friends and family to fall in love with the pup. Few of them tell me, without any shame, that they cleverly recorded their shaggy perils as therapy animals, giving them access to restaurants, hotels, and planes.

Data on dog ownership since the start of the pandemic is still a bit choppy, but as a New Yorker, I’ve noticed more dogs underfoot and an intensification of the species’ gentle, cuddly impact on the city’s ecosystem. All of this is perfectly acceptable to those hypoallergenic people who consider New York City to be a dog-friendly terrain and archetypal therapy animals like brunch and pizza. But the rest of us are breathing, sniffing species, and find ourselves living inside a puppy bubble, where refusing to squirt on hive-stimulating dogs, albeit a wonderful one, is considered bad etiquette.

Here’s something dog owners should consider: When introducing your beloved companion to people who aren’t dogs, think of it instead as a wild animal. Don’t ask: Would you like to pet my adorable dog? Instead, ask: Would you like to pet my direct descendant of the gray wolf?

I know I’m calling out the wrath of dog lovers everywhere, but please keep in mind that my puppy aversion is less Cruella de Vil and more Benadryl and hand sanitizer. I think, at least here in New York, we’ve gone too far: dogs in restaurants, dogs in prams, dogs on buses and subways. Uncovered feces on sidewalks indicate that both the puppy owner and the puppy have made marks on their territory.

I don’t mean to blame the poor dogs either. It is the owners who worry me, especially those with whom I am related. They have an excessive and annoying joy for their followers. They work on what they call it. They spend lavishly on their happiness. why? I have a theory: While pets can bark, they can’t really speak or express specific observations about their owners. If there was a technology that translated the meows and barks into the owner’s notes, the billion-dollar pet industry would dry up in a matter of weeks.

My kids, even sniffy little ones, adore dogs, which makes disappointment all the more difficult. They are excited about pet dogs in lifts, dazzled at dog racing and asking, almost every week, “When are we going to get a puppy?”

I’ve been honest with the young guys: I told them we weren’t. And I won’t budge. But when my oldest son brought home a lizard named Bobby from school to babysitting for the weekend, I revealed a small crack in my anti-pet stance. I fell in love with the orchid.

Bobby was a chameleon. Kids love it. Hold him. They washed him with a sponge and dressed him in robes of paper towels. They have tried to confront their cousins ​​to tell stories about their cute or devious tricks.

To be honest, I have never noticed a case of emotion in the face of my lizard Bobby. He didn’t do any tricks and didn’t show any character, not even wagging his creepy tail. It was the perfect pet.

It turns out that everyone was much happier with Bobby in the house. We sat around the cage tossing him through the glass, waiting for him to lead his heart, which he never did. Waiting for him to raise a paw or wink his eye, which he refused to do and was like Bobby. We asked him if he was a good boy and he looked at us with his blank look at Bobby, and we concluded, Yes, he was such a good boy.

When it was time for Bobby to leave, we took a family photo. Because in those few days, Bobby was part of our family. He hung there through all the petting, rubbing, and sponge baths. He had no hair. I didn’t sneeze once. I love him for that.

More on this topic



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Popular stories