So, this happened: http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/broo…

First, I am shocked that this man, who is by all accounts a devoted pet owner (the surgery his dog had is NOT cheap!), actually thought that this would be a good idea. I mean, what the hell, dude!? I think the Assemblywoman quoted in the article I linked to summarized it best: "If a person is weighing whether to get a tattoo, they will consider the amount of pain the procedure will cause both during and afterward against the benefits that they will receive from it," she said in a press release about the bill. "As we all know, animals do not have the capacity to make these decisions, nor can they contextualize that the pain they feel might result in what some might consider beautiful body art; sadly, all they know is the pain."

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As a pet parent myself, I know all about having to make choices for my baby that will cause him pain or upset him because they're for his greater well-being. Right now, he's wearing a cone to recover from his periurethral urethrostomy (PU), and of course, he's starting having his annual allergic reaction to the pollen in the air from spring. This means that his skin gets very dry and flaky, and ordinarily, I'd just bathe him using a medicated antiseborrheic shampoo to clear it up. However, I can't get his incision site wet for at least another week. This means that I'm having to spray him down daily with a medicated antiseborrheic skin soother, which helps, but doesn't solve the problem like the bath would. His skin is itching him terribly, and in response, his urge to groom himself is so strong that he's actually grooming his bed, because thats what he can reach in his cone. I'm not forcing him to live with this condition because I think it's cute or funny or badass. It actually hurts my heart to see him in such distress, and I'm almost crying at times when he's just sitting there whimpering because it itches so much. Fortunately, the spray really helps, and after only two days of use, he's already sleeping peacefully again. His skin is still itchy, and he may yet be going to the vet for a small steroid shot to help if it gets worse, but even that's not a great option since it could impede his healing process.

The point here is that every choice I'm making for him right now is built around what's best for him. I didn't put him through the PU surgery to save myself trouble from having to deal with his FLUTD in the future; I did it so he hopefully won't ever have another urethral blockage like the one that almost killed him two weeks ago. I'm not choosing to wait on bathing him because I don't have the time or energy to do so; I'm waiting because doing it now could harm him. When you are responsible for another life, you have to make the hard choices for them, to ensure that their best interests are always your priority. For this same reason, I clip his claws instead of having him declawed. That's terrible for cats, and can cause them lifelong pain. I'm driving an hour-plus this coming weekend to meet with a feline dietary specialist to plan a proper diet for him because I want him to always be happy and healthy, and while it would be easier to just give him the food my vet sells from here on out, I know that it's not what's best for him. I brush him every day since he can't groom himself, and I carefully apply his skin soother and massage it into his skin. It gets all over me and my bedclothes when I do it, but those can be washed. His comfort cannot be set aside for my own convenience. And I would NEVER take advantage of a situation when he was anesthetized to give him a tattoo or any other body modification that wasn't specifically intended to increase his well-being, because I am the responsible party, and that would be wrong in every way.

In short, there's just so much wrong with this. I would equate this with the dog owners who crop tails and ears for appearance's sake, or the cat owners who have their kitties declawed because they don't want to have to bother with nail clipping. It's not right. It just isn't. Your personal desires and convenience should never come before that of your pet or child (to me, they're one and the same), and that's just where I stand on this. I'm sure some will disagree with me, and that's fine. I know many people who insist that declawing is humane and kind, and they say that if it's the difference between a cat having a home or being dropped off at the shelter for destroying furniture then it's what was best for the cat. It's not. I will never agree with that. If you have an animal or a child, you must change your world to adapt to them, not require them to adapt to your wishes. Animals will love and trust you unconditionally. Do not betray that by choosing your own comfort before theirs. And if you cannot put them first, do them the kindness of waiting until you can before you bring home a little one to be your furry, feathered, or scaled child. It's not like buying a desk. They are not decorations. They are living, feeling, loving beings. And, for the love of God, don't fucking tattoo your dog. What a jackass.

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Last note: spay and neuter your pets, folks! And always adopt from a shelter! You will never know a stronger love than the one you share with a baby you rescue, no matter how muddled their breed history may be.

I guess I'll get off my soapbox now. -steps down- But I'm going to leave it right here, just in case I need to hop back on it any time soon. ;) I'm going to try to post a picture of my little boy. NuKinja hasn't let me do that so far. Let's see if it works now!

ETA: The picture worked!!