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December 17th, 2011:

An example of how things can get outta hand…

… on the Interweb thingy…

An innocent post by a fellow Ottawa blogger – and pretty cool person – has caused a storm of sentences! A cacophony of curses! A maelström of meanness! And an onslaught of overreactions!

Seems Zoom (The Knitnut) put up an innocent post soliciting opinions about whether or not they should adopt a certain type of dog from a rescue organization. She said the following: We’re not crazy about the look of poodles. She’s not ugly, but she’s not drop-to-your-knees heart-meltingly cute either. I think we’re both feeling guilty about this. Is it terribly shallow of us to reject a sweet little dog on the basis of her looks?

Um. No. I don’t think so.

Well, some self-proclaimed do-gooder forwarded this on to the owner of the rescue group and the group immediately disqualified Zoom and her family from adopting the varmint… judging their suitability as pet-owners solely based on these couple of lines from a blog post. That’s it. Here’s how Zoom put it:

Yesterday’s blog post, Should we adopt this puppy? has had some completely unexpected and bizarre repercussions.

Someone forwarded the post to Kim Knapp, founder of Friendly Giants Dog Rescue, and she hated it. I don’t understand what her problem with it is, as she doesn’t seem to be able to articulate it, but she really hates the post.

Not only is she not allowing us to adopt the puppy in question, and barring us from adopting any dog from FGDR, but she claims to have contacted all the other dog rescues in the Ottawa area. She says we should not be allowed to adopt a dog. She says “The rescue community is a very tight-knit family and stuff like this travels like wildfire.”

What I want to know is, STUFF LIKE WHAT? What have we said that would make anyone think we’re unfit to adopt a dog?

She’s also threatening to sue me.

Personally – I don’t see the big deal. So what? You make a throwaway comment about the looks of a dog. Don’t we all make comments of the appearance of one thing or another? But it’s a dog, you say – looks shouldn’t matter. The hell it shouldn’t! I’m sorry people, but it is human nature to use attractiveness – whatever the criteria may be – as one element of decision-making! If you don’t recognise that then you are being incredibly naïve.

Anyways – lots of comments on the post. The rescue org is threatening lawsuits if Zoom does not take down the reference to the organization – which is total BS. There is nothing libelous in this post. In fact, FGDR posted several times on its FB site about this whole travesty using terms that COULD be considered actionable (since taken down after they were reported to the FB gurus). Eight-two comments on her blog later (she has had some primo traffic lately) and the morons at the FGDR have been trolling and have adopted different aliases (same IP address – newbies!) to post defamatory comments, and have claimed to have banned Zoom from the animal rescue community and managed to get much of the Ottawa blogosphere into a titter. All over an innocent blog post.

Two things to conclude.

  1. The peeps – as least some – who run that organization are extremely judgmental, thin-skinned, extremist and shallow.
  2. They are bullies, pure and simple. As one commenter pointed out: This is how the values of an entire country are being corrupted. Bullying is the pith and substance of the present government. From there it’s been seeping downwards, into the media and to the grassroots. What you’re experiencing is bullying, pure and simple, and I’m glad you’re standing up to it.

I’m not a dog person, and never will be and will never understand why some people are so attached to animals… but, Zoom, I hope you and your family can find a pet without ever, ever having to go through the bullshit that you have had to endure because of this incredibly cowardly bully.

Happy Christmas!