So how does this extend to our dogs? Honestly, not as well as I'd hoped.
1. Gender-neutral names: It's not like we named them Mickey and Minnie, but gender-neutral names are made pointless by gendered pronouns. When I talk to my coworkers about the dogs, I find myself correcting them if they call Mushroom a "he" or Badger a "she". It's going to be difficult, but I should stop doing this. The dogs don't have any particular attachment to their pronouns, and it doesn't matter if Mushroom the "he"-dog pooped on the carpet or if Mushroom the "she"-dog did it.
|Smallish dogs or enormous mice?|
2. When we praise our dogs, we don't say "good boy" or "good girl". We try to praise the specific task, such as "good sit". This isn't really a gendering choice; I just read somewhere that it helps to be specific. When both of them are in the same area, though, we say "good sit, Mushroom" or more rarely, "good sit, Badger".
3. The Rubit incident: When I ordered Rubit clips for the dogs' tags, I didn't specify color. We received a black one and a pink one. "Which one should we give Badger?" I asked Llamaentity, who was engrossed in a video game. "The black one," replied Llamaentity matter-of-factly. So I put Badger's tags on the black Rubit, even though I thought it was uncharacteristic of Llamaentity to pass up an opportunity to switch up gender norms. Later that night, I asked what Llamaentity's reasoning was for giving Badger the black Rubit as opposed to the pink one. "Oh, you were talking about Rubits? I thought you were talking about Kongs!" Fail.
|Only one of these Kongs will fit in Mushroom's tiny mouth|
4. Flowers and/or bowties: The dogs currently have neither because we're a little on the broke side after buying all of Mushroom's necessities. To be fair and non-gendered, we decided that either both dogs would wear bowties or both dogs would wear flowers. Llamaentity prefers flowers and loves elephants, so we've been eyeing these. I'll just have to bite my tongue every time someone calls Badger a "pretty girl". (Or be prepared to explain that Badger is a "pretty boy" who believes that flowers aren't only for girls.)
|This is Flipperphant and O'Gator. The dogs are not allowed to play with them, by decree of Llamaentity|
How about you?
Do you correct people when they refer to your male dog as "she" or vice versa?
Do you deck your dog(s) out in gendered items? Why or why not?