As Dog People, we believe that dogs possess souls that are as infinitely deep and beautiful as any human soul and as such they deserve as much respect and dignity.
However, the uninitiated, those who would never call themselves Dog People, will dismiss us as crackpots, pathetic souls who are afflicted with several egregious personality defects. These accusations include the following:
1. Lacking healthy human interaction, Dog People seek the unconditional love of an animal and as such we live in an unhealthy symbiosis with our dogs.
2. We are guilty of not treating our dogs like dogs. Instead we treat our dogs like a human beings. Treating our dogs like a people is unnatural, selfish, and creates unnecessary neuroses in our poor canines.
3. We are unfulfilled adults who without children are circumventing our parental instincts on a lowly beast.
4. We are misanthropes who giving up on the human race have withdrawn into unnatural “dog love.”
5. We were hurt and rejected by family and former friends. Unable to heal from our psychic wounds, we seek refuge in the reliable affections and acceptance of a dog.
6. Seeking affirmation from a dog rather than allowing ourselves to be challenged by people is a sure sign of narcissism.
7. We have gone down the slippery slope in which commitment for our dog turns into obsession and fanaticism.
8. Our delusions of grandeur compel us to “save” a dog in order that we may redeem ourselves of past sins or worse assert a martyr’s complex.
9. We feel safe to act like children around our dogs and as such can experience the childhood we never had.
10. We’re scared little wimps who’ve withdrawn from the real, gritty world and have become unhealthily attached to a dog world that is sentimental, sugar-coated and cute, colored by our fallacious tendency to anthropomorphize our animals.
11. Our lives are boring and empty and we feebly try to fill the void by turning our dogs into our play toys, an obsession that is mutually detrimental to ourselves and our dogs.
12. We have a sick need to take control over a completely helpless creature and confuse this total control with “love.”
Clearly, these traits would only exist in the most extreme caricature of a Dog Person. However, I’m willing to concede that I may be partly guilty of some of the above charges. But I would argue that my awareness of my defects as a Dog Person redeems me somewhat. I can laugh at some of my excesses and I am aware of how absurd and downright lugubrious it is to be the Dog Man of Grant Avenue.
Nevertheless, a unflinching moral inventory is in order. The question isn’t if I’m guilty or not of the above charges. The question is how guilty I am of harboring these traits. To what degree do I carry these afflictions and how do they compromise my effectiveness at raising my dog and the other dogs in my neighborhood? It is my moral duty to answer these questions as accurately and clearly as possible. My role as the Dog Man of Grant Avenue dictates as much.