Jun 27, 2009

On the "Re-Homing" of Pets and Crass Euphemisms

Left: give me a house full of shedding dogs any day of the week, and I'll worry about the carpet later

I came across a post on a local discussion board regarding what the poster described as the "re-homing" of pets. This is a euphemism that has emerged in the last few years for giving away a dog, cat, or other pet that is no longer wanted or for which the owners can no longer provide responsible care.

The person who started the thread faced a dilemma: should she get new carpeting and get rid of the shedding dogs, or should she suffer with the old carpeting and keep the dogs?

As you might suspect, few respondents supported what came across as a heartless post, and all but a few roundly condemned the poster. Several tried to find a middle ground, suggesting that a product like the FURminator might mean that she could have a new carpet AND keep the dogs.

As a pet owner and volunteer with Planned Pethood, I of course am of the belief that you make a lifelong commitment to a pet when you adopt or purchase said animal. I am also the kind of person that would rather give up human luxuries before I would make my dogs do without their necessities, and we once spent over $1800 restoring the health of one of our dogs when she was accidentally burned by hot chicken soup.

Moreover, each of my dogs becomes part of our family, and the idea of giving up on a family member is anathema to me. They provide unconditional love, 24-hour security services, and lifelong companionship all for the price of 40 cents worth of food a day and perhaps a bit more than that in regular vet bills.

So let's call "re-homing" what it really is: giving away your dog or cat. Sometimes the reasons for doing so are valid - such as an elderly person who can no longer take care of a pet, or a financially-strapped family who must move into smaller quarters where pets are not allowed - but using a feel-good term like "re-homing" fools no one but the ex-owner.

Oh: and also the dog or cat you give away, since they know the real score.


Anonymous said...

Ugh - she be ALL wack, maybe she could make a fur coat outta da dogies!

Carol said...

Mike - I responded to that post and tried to be civil. But I truly don't understand 're-homing' a pet because of carpet. It's ludicrous!

If I had the room I would have a whole barnyard full of critters - of all types. But then again ... that's just me.

Mr. Puggle said...

what an adorable picture.