I wish the media, or those who play with it, would realize the effect it has on others and consider what they say before they say it. When the media constantly links Pit Bulls to violent, fighting, danger-beasts by using language like “Pit Bull tough” – it perpetuates the thought in society that Pits are not wonderful family pets. It is saying that instead, they are animals who deserve to participate in the barbaric dog fighting ring. It’s the little sayings that slip by us every day unnoticed that make me crazy. It’s those little things that help build a foundation of our lexicon.
Which brings me to Dave Ramsey and his comments on Good Morning America today. Dave was raving, in his usual style, about trimming the fat from your life to pay off debt (good idea). He commented that he has white collar workers parking cars to pay off debt (you’re supposed to pay off your debt) and that people need to get rid of things: the boat! the credit cards! the cat! the dog!
WHOA. Settle down, Mr. Ramsey.
Please. Before giving people the o.k. to get rid of their family pets, how about suggesting they get rid of their cell phone, cable television, dvrs, rims, jewelry, home internet access, flat screen televisions and Playstations? All of that can be replaced, when the time is right. But the family pet can’t. In fact, surrendering your pet to a shelter right now is playing roulette with their lives. Shelters all over the country are overflowing with pets people can no longer afford to feed and care for. Our local shelters in Baltimore are packed to the brim with unwanted pets and, I can only assume, that euthanasia rates are higher than usual. People are not adopting. There is a shortage of available homes.
These are trying times. Resources are growing scant and Dave Ramsey has tons of great ideas. I just ask you, Mr. Ramsey, think about the language you use before going on television and telling people to surrender their pets. I know you get carried away, but please, think a little bit about the lives of those you suggest we throw away to save a few bucks a month. People are obviously listening to you, so please do your part.