I like most people. I like most children (I know they are technically people). I like most dogs. I find it slightly amusing when someone assumes I help dogs because I’m heartless, selfish and weird. I find it slightly upsetting when someone assumes I don’t help children instead because I’m a people-hater. The final argument condemning me as a worthless, useless human being is usually that I have no children of my own. Out of choice.
Funnily enough, people who spend their time and money supporting a charitable cause are too busy to criticise anyone supporting another charitable cause-no matter how different from their chosen one.
I’m more than slightly amused when people seeing my dogs assume I can’t afford a ‘proper’ one. For some, dogs have always been a status symbol. There are breeds that are fashionable for a season and breeds that due to stereotypes or preconceived and oversimplified image people have of them are often bought to project a certain image. In a way the dog we own reflects our personality. Even if it only shows we got the fashionable breed because we want to impress others.
The dogs I have can tell you a lot about me, but very little about my social position or financial circumstances. They can tell you I like a challenge, I am happy to make a fool of myself in public, that I’m hyperactive and easy to please, that I don’t have overly ambitious expectations and that I’m a keen learner. That I’m skeptical, inquisitive and I hold a grudge. And that perhaps I’m selfish and weird, though not in a way people who don’t know me would think I am.
My false beliefs get in the way, too. I often assume other people reason in the same way as me. Though I don’t assume they love my dogs only because I do.