By Raischa P. Guilloty Soto.
As a dog owner, I treat my little pup as if he were another person, which often means bringing him to campus with me. We could never get tired of seeing dogs around campus, but having these little guys around with us can bring a lot of people’s attention towards you and can sometimes be annoying. Here are some things all dog owners have always wanted to say but prefer not to:
#1: Do NOT give my dog food without my consent.
Some dogs eat a little bit of everything, some eat only some kinds of human food, and some eat strictly dog food. If you DO NOT know what my dog’s diet is, please don’t give him/her food without asking me.
#2: If I am in class and my dog is sitting next to me, DO NOT whistle at him/her to move towards you.
Not all professors allow dogs to be in a classroom and when they do, it’s with the condition that the dog doesn’t disrupt the class. So, if everybody starts whistling and calling my dog, I will be obligued to not bring him/her back to class (and we all know we want to keep seeing that cute face in class).
Naysha Lee’s dog Blue showing her Sangre Verde pride.
#3: Careful with the initial contact with any dog you meet.
Some dogs are extremely friendly and will not mind at all if you just start petting them, but some dogs need you to take it slow or they could get aggressive. So, next time you’re going to pet a dog on campus you just met, please ask the owner what the proper procedure is; it will help the dog be less scared of people and allow you to be friendlier with the pup.
#4: If you want to pick him/her up, please ask first.
I do not mind at all that people want to pet my dog and play with him/her, but if you’re going to pick him/her up, please ask first. Some dogs don’t like it or they can get aggressive.
My own puppy Kenai enjoying his favorite spot at the Business Administration Building.
#5: Do NOT yell at him/her.
If you see that my dog is misbehaving, please tell me, but do not yell at him/her for whatever they are doing. You have no power over him/her and you may be putting my dog under some serious stress because he/she doesn’t know what is going on.
#6: Do NOT interrupt me just to tell me my dog is cute.
I love it when people compliment my dog, especially when they stop me and talk to me for a while about my pup, but if you see that I am in the middle of a conversation with another person do not just interrupt us to say “Your dog is cute” without saying a polite “Excuse me” first. Basic manners, people.
Crystal Avilés’ dogs Coco and Mia waiting for a parking space in Área Blanca. (We all are girls).
#7: Please give me tips on better dog care but don’t criticize me.
Just like when we have kids, we want people to give us advice on how to properly care for our children. However, nobody likes getting orders. I deeply appreciate when people give me advice about how to train or educate my dog, and I especially love dog-care tips that I can incorporate in my life, but please don’t criticize how I take care of my puppy. There is nothing more annoying than being excited about having your dog with you and having some stranger tell you: “You’re giving him/her the wrong food,” “Oh, he/she doesn’t know how to behave,” “Is he/she even potty trained?”
#8: Stop trying to guess my dogs breed, just ask.
It has become a delicate topic and it’s kind of uncomfortable when people start debating about my dog’s breed. Also, it’s really annoying when I tell them the breed and they still go “Oh…really? Are you sure? He/She doesn’t look like it.” Please, no. Just don’t. It’s even worse when you tell someone your dog has no breed or that they are rescued because some people just stare at you like “Oh… that’s nice,” or worse so, “¡Ah! ¿Un chinguito?” Excuse me? STOP! My dog is beautiful, it doesn’t matter what his/her breed is.
Fabiola Davilás’ dog Maya taking a break at our Piñero Building.
#9: If you’re going to hype him/her up, you better play with him/her!
I personally don’t mind when people want to play with my dog, but please don’t get him/her all excited to play if you’re going to leave. Not only does it upset me, but it also upsets the dog and, believe me, it’s sad seeing your dog get all excited to play and then just having them get stood up.
#10: If you see a dog on campus, keep in mind that every dog has a different way to be treated.
Just like people, every little dog is different. Each one has a different personality and nobody knows it better than the owner. Do not be afraid to ask them what their dog’s preference is.
Now that you know all these little tips, go out and enjoy of all the dogs we see in UPRM!