TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › Offensive Opinion?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Offensive Opinion?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I had a conversation with my friend today where I mentioned helping her find a dog (she wants to get another). While I was doing so I managed to add in "not from a pet store" too because said friend has one other dog from a pet store already. I've voiced my opinion on pet stores with her already and have really tried to not be too...pushy with it, but apparently the mention of it made her feel a bit offended because she replied that she would find it "annoying." I can see why she might have found that offensive, but we're very close and I would have never thought that she would have said that so straight out like that and was a bit offended (that's not the right word for it, but I'm not sure what else to call it). Now that I think of it I think we both stuck out feet in our mouths.

Anyway, I asked my mom about it, and she gave me some good advice about how to handle the situation. However, I was wondering if you all would find that offensive. Did I completely mess up here by mentioning the pet store issue? I have a problem sometimes with being "pushy" (or having an intense expression - I tend to raise my eyebrows and open my eyes wider when I get into a subject). This was over the phone though, so it couldn't hve been my expression.

Lastly, if you have any idea how to "fix" the situation it would be appreciated. I'm a bit nervous to approach her about it or even bring up the subject of dogs again for fear of sticking my foot in my mouth again. The last thing I want to be known for is shoving my opinions on things like that on people!

Edit: Not sure if I posted this in here, but I meant to post it in the Cat Lounge. If the mods could move it there that's be great! Of course, if it was moved here, I have no qualms about that either.
post #2 of 10
No. I don't think it was wrong for you to mention that pet stores are the bane of our cats' and dogs' existence.

That, of course, is contingent on how you addressed it. Did you mention it politely, did you just tell her that you refuse to help her if she wants to go to a pet store, etc?

It is important for all of us responsible pet owners to 'convert' the owners who get their pets from mills and pet shops, but we will have the most success if it's done gently, even subtly.

I can't fault you for being passionate about our pets being treated with respect. Maybe your best course would be to be the bigger person and just apologize for what you said, and honestly explain why-- all the things you know about puppy mills, the horror stories you have seen, why it is such a personal issue to you. Even if she should be apologizing to you, what matters here is the dogs' lives, yea?

To a certain extent, we shouldn't have to apologize for being vehemently anti-de-clawing, to refuse to patronize puppy mills and pet shops who support them, to treat our pets humanely... but unfortunately we are the minority. Being too vocal gets us labeled as extremists, being convincing without being overbearing gets us labeled as 'ahead of our time'.
post #3 of 10
I'd print out some articles from the net on why its so wrong to get any animal (especially the pups/kittens) from a pet shop and then have another talk with her.

Start out with something like "I'm sorry that you feel I was offending you regarding the pet shops, but thought you might want to look into the reasons why its so wrong to do so". Then discuss the articles.

While DH was getting his hair cut they had a pet shop right next store. I know I should avoid them cause I won't buy anything in those little pet shops. They had 3 cages in the back with 2-3 puppies in them - mixes and pedigree.............ALL of them "registered" with the CKC which is a puppy mill registry. I just shook my head on the way out - on top of that at the front door were "breed" books; and 3 of them were Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, and another designer breed. I know you can't stop someone from printing a book, but to make a book from mixed breed dogs and treat it as if it was a purebred is just plain wrong!
post #4 of 10
I dont know but I think maybe she felt like you were attacking her. Although getting animals at stores are not the best place to get an animal they are still animals and they still deserve to be adopted by good people. Maybe it would have been better if you just said that you feel it is better to adopt from a shelter because this this and this. But of course it is her choice in the long run.
I think it is better to go to a shelter and save an animal adopting any animal at all is a good thing and is very rewarding. I got two of my dogs at a shelter and one at a pet store myself. In fact I wasn't even planing on getting a dog when I got it at the pet store. I would just go in there all the time and look and I fell in love. Someone brought in some healer aussie mixes cause they didn't want them and the lady said she would try to sell them for the people. She actually seemed like a nice lady and I think she took in the pups more so they wouldn't end up at the shelter. Either way I am so Glad that I got my dog. She is the best dog ever. My dogs from the shelter are the best to.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
No. I don't think it was wrong for you to mention that pet stores are the bane of our cats' and dogs' existence.

That, of course, is contingent on how you addressed it. Did you mention it politely, did you just tell her that you refuse to help her if she wants to go to a pet store, etc?
I didn't refuse to help her at all. I said something along the lines of this (can't remember the exact wording, but it was close): "Would you mind if I helped you find as dog if you dad says you can get one? Then you can get a better deal and won't have to buy an expensive one from a pet store."

Her reply was "Well, that would be kind of irritating. Wouldn't you feel like that if someone was trying to help you find a dog?"

Me: "Um...not really. I'd actually be kind of happy that they wanted to help me."

Her: "Oh, well..." Cue the awkward pause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
It is important for all of us responsible pet owners to 'convert' the owners who get their pets from mills and pet shops, but we will have the most success if it's done gently, even subtly.

I can't fault you for being passionate about our pets being treated with respect. Maybe your best course would be to be the bigger person and just apologize for what you said, and honestly explain why-- all the things you know about puppy mills, the horror stories you have seen, why it is such a personal issue to you. Even if she should be apologizing to you, what matters here is the dogs' lives, yea?
Well, I can see how I wasn't really subtle. I was also thinking of apologizing to her, but I didn't want to make her more offended by going down that path again. However, I don't want the issue to just sit, either. I know she knows about puppy mills - we've had conversations about them several times. She's seen evidence that they are there, but I think she's just offended (I may be wrong here) because she feels like I'm accusing her of doing a bad thing by buying her dog from a pet store and think that she doesn't know how to look for a dog herself. That's completely untrue, but I'm not sure how to tell her that without sounding like I'm accusing her of it. Also, while she shouldn't have bought a pet store puppy, neither of us knew any better at the time. All I want is for her to realize that maybe next time she should look elsewhere for a dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
To a certain extent, we shouldn't have to apologize for being vehemently anti-de-clawing, to refuse to patronize puppy mills and pet shops who support them, to treat our pets humanely... but unfortunately we are the minority. Being too vocal gets us labeled as extremists, being convincing without being overbearing gets us labeled as 'ahead of our time'.
I know. It's stupid that we have to worry about being labeled as extremists - it seems like it should be the people who don't care enough about the animals being labeled badly. It's just too bad that the world doesn't work that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I'd print out some articles from the net on why its so wrong to get any animal (especially the pups/kittens) from a pet shop and then have another talk with her.

Start out with something like "I'm sorry that you feel I was offending you regarding the pet shops, but thought you might want to look into the reasons why its so wrong to do so". Then discuss the articles.
I'd like to print out articles, but I don't think that would help. She is educated on puppy mills - I made sure of that. I think the problem here is her not wanting to take advice from me because it'll make her feel stupid, whether it's thought consciously or not. This makes the whole situation ten times worse because of the fact that it's not the lack of education that's the problem, it's the fact that she's shutting her ears to any advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
While DH was getting his hair cut they had a pet shop right next store. I know I should avoid them cause I won't buy anything in those little pet shops. They had 3 cages in the back with 2-3 puppies in them - mixes and pedigree.............ALL of them "registered" with the CKC which is a puppy mill registry. I just shook my head on the way out - on top of that at the front door were "breed" books; and 3 of them were Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, and another designer breed. I know you can't stop someone from printing a book, but to make a book from mixed breed dogs and treat it as if it was a purebred is just plain wrong!
Isn't it just sad? I've actually started wanting to avoid going to the mall with my friend because we always have to go into the pet store, and she looks at me weird every time I don't want to go in. Then I have to go through the wole "It's not the animals that I dislike, it's the fact that they come from irresponsible people and most likely are not worth what they're being sold as that bothers me" along with the fact that I have to say it super nicely so she doesn't get offended by the fact that I'm saying that after she bought a dog from there.

Designer dogs themselves don't bother me. I have a poodle x, and my mom specifically looks for crosses with nonshedding dogs when she's searching for a dog because she doesn't like shedding. It's when they're pawned off as being better than other dogs, more expensive, and are called purebreds that bothers me. They're mixed breeds, and no matter how much anyone wants to call them a purebred just because they're a "Yorkipoo" or a "Teddybear", they never will be.
post #6 of 10
One of my dogs was a rescue from a puppymill. She was used to breed puppies that go to pet stores. So I feel very strongly about this. Sophia was a complete basket case when we first got her. She did not know how to go up and down stairs or through doorways, she had never seen a toy and she did not know what to do with a BONE when we gave her one.

I honestly think that anyone who really loves animals who has seen one of these dogs who has been rescued from a puppymill (I mean right when they got out, not a couple of years later, after they have learned to be a beloved pet) would never dream of getting a puppy from a pet store. Behind those cute puppies are adult dogs that are condemned to live in hell.

And those that come from BYBs are being brd by people who don't care what happens to the puppies they bring into the world as long as someone has the money.

Sorry I'm ranting, I'm preaching to the converted. I don't think what you did was offensive. Maybe she doesn't want to hear it, but I don't think that being a friend means you always say what the other one wants to hear. I think if she is really your friend sho could also accept that this is something you believe in enough to speak up.
post #7 of 10
Personally I find it informative, not offensive. BUT I have also been accused of being offensive and pushy when it comes to these matters (Puppy mills, pet nutrition, human nutrition...). My fiance is constantly telling me to "be careful" so I usually just try to bite my tongue and not say anything. It's also possible that she was being defensive so as to not feel guilty. I think pushing the issue, by presenting her with articles or otherwise, could make things worse. You have to feel out the situation because if she doesn't want to hear it or she feels like you're judging or attacking her...who knows where that will lead.
post #8 of 10
I agree with you on the general "badness" of puppymills and how they should all be shut down. That said, over the last year (while working as a HS/MS teacher) I have come to understand that in the general public (i.e. not pet geeks like us folks), people think it's perfectly fine to get a dog from a pet store... and seem to think that anyone that thinks it is wrong is a bit of a ...erm... "nut" so to speak (i.e. they have visions of PETA supporters and screaming folks with signs in their heads). Yes...all this wisdom from high school students...*sigh*

Even my parents (very much not-high school students) also seem to think nothing wrong with buying from a pet store (other than the crazy expensiveness of it).

Okay, all that said... I tend to talk a lot when I get on a "kick"...i.e. when I was big into freshwater aquaria and a mod on an aquaria forum, almost all I talked about was "this cool fish" or "why you don't want to get painted fish", etc. Although I found these topics completely engrossing, my friends, family, etc. were barely able to tolerate my constant talking about it.

I'm not saying that you are that way, btw, that's just my personal tendency.

I try and see both sides of the story, and in this case, I can sorta see how your friend might think it is offensive...

Imagine that you aren't talking about puppymills.... Let's say that you have a "soapbox" about eating only organic food and you've spoken with your friend before about the badness of eating non-organic food, etc....

Even though your friend may like you and be a really close friend, just like my folks, she may not particularly enjoy hearing about the greatness of organic food and the badness of non-organic food...especially if it has come up fairly often or frequently... It's not that you have been rude or pushy, this just isn't a topic that interests her, so to speak.

Now, cut to your conversation the other day... Only, your friend is going to throw a party and cook all the food herself (instead of buying another dog). You offer to help her plan her menu and buy food, so that she can do it more cheaply, buying organic foods, instead of buying non-organic food.

If I was your friend, I might think a couple of "negative" things at this point...
1. The entire time we're shopping all I'm going to hear about is how good organic food is and how bad non-organic food is...
2. She must think that I don't know anything about buying food if she thinks I need her help.

I'm not saying that those particular thoughts crossed her mind, but something similar could have happened.

If I was in your shoes, I'd probably do the following:
1. Apologize for offending her
2. If the conversation allows...something like "I realize that you know how I feel about puppymills, I just wanted to tell you about them to keep you from possibly buying a sick / mentally unstable dog. But, it is your right to get your dog from whereever you want, and I respect that."
3. Then maybe something like: " If you want me to help you pick out a dog, I'll be happy to, but I will understand if you want to look for one yourself."...That way you leave her an "out" if she wants it.

I understand how bad buying dogs from a petstore is, but unfortunately, in our economy, if people will buy it, people will produce it. It is important to remember that generally, if someone will be swayed on an issue, it is by personal experience, or personal experience relayed to them...Not just by "facts", convincing though they may be.... i.e. it would probably do a TON of good if one of my high schoolers bought a crazy expensive puppy from a store, then came in to tell everyone else "man, we got ripped off! That puppy was sick and the vet said he has hip dysplasia and now we're going to have to do surgery or put it down." Rather than me saying "Iis very bad to buy a puppy from a store". . .

Unfortunately, some people only learn by experience...It may take your friend, or someone she knows, getting a "lemon" puppy from the store for her to see that you were right.... Until she decides to ask you about it, or it comes up, I wouldn't bring it up again (other than the apology above).

She might not have been "offended", but just "bored" or "annoyed" by the prospect of hearing about the badness of puppy mills the whole time, or perhaps you are right and she doesn't feel very informed on dogs when you're around (sorta like I'd feel if I was going to buy a house with an architectural engineer...who liked to talk about drainpipes...).

HTH,
Art
post #9 of 10
I work at a pet store.. we don't sell dogs and cats, but we do at times have dogs and cats for adoption. I always, always try and tell people to stay away from puppy stores and places like that. Like, for example, SHAKE A PAW. UGH! Please don't even get me started. I hate that place, for soo many reasons. And people continue to buy their "purebred" dog there... people, please.. these places are no good and are RIPPING YOU OFF. They sell sick, unvaccinated, wet tail dogs. This lady came in our store with a "pitbull." She said she bought it from SHAKE A PAW for $2,000! It was definitely a lab. If you don't even know the difference by the look of the dog, then you have a lot of reading to do! Please always think adoption first...
post #10 of 10
Maybe take her to a shelter, and find statistics that are the result of researching how many 'pet store' pets wind up IN shelters; I know of several people in my own lifetime who have bought pets from pet stores, then brought them to shelters because of health problems, temperment issues, bought the pet when it was young, cute, and presented it as a present...then it grew up, and other reasons; and I know I'm not the only one to know of people who have done this.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cats and Other Animals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › Offensive Opinion?