Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weapon of Choice - Pets

Pets are a uniting vice that many people use with out willingly knowing they are using it to gain attention, interest and communication among other people. I have always been a dog-lover and have had 15 dogs (not all at once). I now live in Baltimore and have a little companion named Maddie. My dog is my weapon of inclusion. I meet countless people on the same 3 streets I walk about four times a day. They ask what breed she is, how old and then make over her. This seems to be the best way to find people with the same underlying interest as mine… dogs. Whether it be the personality, the looks, the opinion of what is right or wrong, pet’s can bring together a group of people because of their beliefs toward them, their love and admiration and their relationships among people, the city and their pets.

Pets are a double edged sword. They can also me a weapon of exclusion. Within the time frame of the day I am forced to come home and let my dog out multiple times. This means more transportation, more moving about and more time spent in the same areas. People who live in the city also have a phobia of some animals. Baltimore is well known for its fear of the pit-bull. Countless shelters in the city have hundreds of pit bulls because of how well they were raised and what traumatic things these dogs could have encountered. No one wants to take them on. Many people use pets as a uniting bond, and for those who dislike animals, those with allergies, “no pet” clauses with in leases, also use this as a way to exclude certain parts of the city. Pets that are protective of owners are also an exclusionary element with behavioral tendencies that may scare people off.

Regardless, the idea of pets in the city can be viewed as a weapon of inclusion amongst those with like situations or exclusion with those who fear or loathe them. They serve a unique purpose and there is no solution. Those who like pets will keep them close by. Those who want protection seek something with instincts. Those who dislike fur, have allergies, don’t have the time or money do not own pets and miss out of other aspects of the city.

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