Thursday, April 4, 2013

Benny the Amazing Rescue Dog

If I have to hear this term "Rescue Dog" one more time, I might have to straight up bite someone's face off.  What is this shit?  Is this what we've come to as a civilization?  Fuck the homeless!  Fuck the starving people in third world countries!  Apparently we've decided to bank all of our moral self-esteem on adopting stray dogs now.  And it's such a transparent way of declaring, "Look at me world!  Aren't I a wonderful person!?"  "It's a Rescue Dog!"  A Rescue Dog, huh?  Does it still lick its balls and eat disgusting shit like a normal dog?  Yeah?  Well then shut the fuck up, because I don't care.

I've had two dogs.  My first, Patrick, was a spastic little fucker that I got from the pound.  My second dog was Curly.  I got her from this girl that I worked with who had somehow been saddled with the dog from its former owner and she needed to get rid of it.  I suppose if I hadn't taken Curly, she would have ended up at the pound as well.  But I never thought of either of my dogs as "Rescue Dogs" and I never stopped to give myself a nice smug pat on the ass for taking them in.  They were just my dogs.  I hugged them and they licked my face.  That used to be enough.

But now we have this term "Rescue Dog."  The wording itself bothers me.  Why is it that every time someone adds an obnoxious piece of flotsam to the public lexicon like this, they have to screw around with the grammar like they're trying to tongue-fuck the English language?  Technically, shouldn't it be a "Rescued Dog"?  I hear "Rescue Dog", and I picture some pooch doing a ride along with the paramedics.  Even worse is when they say, "It's a Rescue."  Listen, I know you think you sound like a cute, but you're coming off as totally asshole.

And, on top of that, I don't care for this manner of labeling the dog.  Why should the fact that you got it from the shelter define the dog?  Would you call an adopted child a "Rescue Person" for the rest of their life, like they weren't a normal human being?  My wife speculated that it might be a kind of snotty code word for rich people to explain to their friends why they didn't get a pure bred dog.  Yeah, I could see that.  "Oh no, I wasn't being cheap when I picked up this trashy mutt; I was being a noble, generous, person.  You see, it's a Rescue Dog!"  "Ohhhhhh, well that's alright then.  Shall we go bathe in the caviar?"

Anyway, it's gotta go.  All these "Rescue Dogs" and "Forever Homes."  It's like there's some sort of cult of dog owners forming right under my nose.  Don't people just have pets anymore?  And what about my cats?  Don't I get credit for "rescuing" them, or does no one give a shit?  And what if a bird falls from a tree and no one is around to hear it?  What if you have one bird in your hand and two in the bush?  What's the exchange rate there?  *sigh* I'm so confused.   

8 comments:

  1. Strangers call you Sunny? I think they are more likely to call you Donner and Blitzen, if they speak German; or Mr Angry, if they didn't know what a sweet guy you are.

    I hope it's just a quirk of your literary style. The objects of your invective are dire, I agree. But the price of mass literacy is mass illiteracy, if you see what I mean. I'd certainly think of a rescue dog as a St Bernard, with a miniature brandy barrel attached to its collar for immediate succour to Alpine wayfarers buried in an avalanche. A rescue cat, by contrast, would be an impossibility.

    The term "forever home" was new to me, but http://www.aforeverhome.org/ instantly came to my rescue, as it were, putting the expression in context.

    I'd assumed there would be no losers in this symbiotic arrangement, but when we assume, it makes an ass of u & me. Which led me to the discovery of http://www.saveyourassrescue.org/ and 76,000 other hits for "donkey rescue".

    Come on, Bryan. A little more mangling of the English language is a small price to pay for all this blameless dogoodery.

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    1. The first time I heard the term "Forever Home" it was from one of my cousins. I told her that if I didn't know her (and what a sweet person SHE IS), I would have thought that that was some horrible euphemism for putting a dog to sleep.

      As for me "quirks", all I can say in the way of a disclaimer is that the anger is probably exaggerated for comic effect, but the point is generally sincere.

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  2. Preach on, good sir. I wholeheartedly agree. I "rescued" my dog from a pet store. At 6 months old she was scrawny, disheveled, and had a tag that said, "$100 - please buy me." I knew if I didn't buy her they'd probably put her down soon. I also knew she had potential. Now she's a strong, beautiful dog that gets complimented everywhere she goes because she looks like an arctic fox... so does that make me any less of an owner, or any less of a rescuer because I got her from a pet shop?

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    1. Picked up one from the dealership, eh? Still got that "new dog" smell?

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  3. Usually it's "fur"-ever home. I can get incensed about a lot of petty crap but not this. Tho admittedly rescue dog has my mind go immediately to a dog who aids in rescues. I favor animal causes over human causes...humans tend to be their own worst enemies and animals tend to be the victims of human's inhumanity.

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    1. Oh, I'm all for people doing the actual "rescuing" (if that's what they insist on calling it.) I just get tired of hearing them constantly refer to the dog as "a rescue", like they need to let everyone know that they're Mother Theresa for adopting a dog from the pound.

      I suppose it's about getting the word out and so forth, and it's a good cause. I agree with that. It's just that there's something about the way people carry on about it and the general trendiness of the whole thing that just grinds on my nerves like a cheese grater.

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  4. Meh. Labels are annoying in situations like this, I will admit. I mean, I'm really glad that people choose to adopt dogs from the pound, but I instantly start thinking about Dalmatians on fire engines when someone says "rescue dog". Hmmm...maybe we all just like to feel like superheroes. Like we have the power to rescue someone, even if it's a dog. Who knows?

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    1. Superheroes? I like that. I think I'll try to think of it like that from now on. That might make it a bit more tolerable ;D

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