Congratulations! You’ve made it all the way past the headline of this story, which very likely made you livid. Now, bear with me while I try to explain.
Fact: Seeing a dog in a stroller is almost always a hilarious sight. But not all dogs deserve your mockery. Nor do their owners. Some dogs genuinely needs to sit in a stroller (wait before you comment) and might require something else — your empathy.
Like many of you, there was once a period in my life where nothing made me laugh harder than seeing a dog in its own stroller. Clearly, strollers were made for human babies, not pampered dogs. I felt justifiably so superior to these privileged dog owners and their waifish, terrible dogs. My family dog came from the school of hard knocks, and was forced to walk the streets using her own goddamn paws. She didn’t wear booties in the winter. She just did it raw.
At the age of 14, however, my family dog developed a pretty bad case of arthritis, making it challenging for her to mover around. She loves walks, as good doggos do, and it made my family super upset to see her confined to the ten feet behind her house. So they purchased her a dog stroller, a hot pink visor for her eyes (yes, that was too much), and started taking her on strolls around the neighborhood.
She loves it. In the past few days, I’ve been pushing her around my parents’ neighborhood, and she’s done nothing but wag her tail and bark at butterflies. But apparently, her happiness is a little too much for drivers passing by, who feel compelled to roll down their windows and laugh and laugh as we walk past.
‘SHE’S A SENIOR. SHE CAN’T WALK.’
“SHE’S A SENIOR,” I’ll scream, always at the top of my lungs, pulling the sun shield on her stroller closed. “SHE CAN’T WALK.”
Sometimes, if I’ve had too much pinot grigio at dinner, I’ll pull a “IS THIS FUNNY TO YOU?” and guilt them into either apologizing or speeding away very fast.
In these moments, I feel like an exceptionally judicious middle school principal casting judgement. The Erin Brockovich of the dog babysitter world.
Senior dogs and dogs with disabilities should be able to move around in their strollers without your snark. At just $40 a pop, doggie strollers barely touch the bank. These animals aren’t being spoiled, insomuch as given the opportunity to move.
My dog is a perfectly healthy creature who just needs an extra push. If that push comes in the form a stroller, so be it. Be honest with yourself, humans. You hate standing. You’ll always go for that seat on a bus, too.
And I’ll go there: If younger, healthier dogs want to be pushed around in a stroller, all the better. Especially if they live in a city. All doggos should get their daily exercise. But if they want to hop a ride in a stroller and cruise control it to the park, more power to em. Screw the haters.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked my friend’s dogs in New York to look down and discover they were gnawing on: a chicken bone from the gutter, another dog’s vomit human shit, a dehydrated Yankee Stadium hot dog. Do you know what it’s like to pull rat remnants out of a young dog’s mouth? No?
Well, then don’t judge me if you find me in the park with a dog and a doggie stroller, breathing in the beautiful, rat-free air.
I dream of a world with doggie strollers can exist without judgment, yours and mine. The next time you see a doggo in a stroller, give them a cookie — not your useless piece of mind.
Read more: http://mashable.com/