I took my little Georgie out for a walk today.
During our stroll, a perfect stranger bent down to pet her and ask what breed she was. She was walking a Maltese of her own and I think she was curious. Since Georgie has some tan coloring on her ears, not everyone is certain that she’s a Maltese. No biggie.
But the very next thing this woman said was, “You know you can get rid of her tear stains.” She proceeded to offer some tips: distilled water, boiled water, etc. She proudly noted how it clearly worked on her dog and indeed it looked like it had. Her Maltese’s face was clear of any tear staining.
As I gratefully thanked her for the information, I mentioned that our previous little one had grown out of it. She had staining until she turned one, but then it went away. So I haven’t been too concerned.
THEN she said, “Absolutely, there’s no need for concern. It doesn’t harm them. It just isn’t pretty.” And in a squeaky baby’s voice she spoke to Georgie, “You’re too cute to have your face stained like this. You could be so pretty. Yes, you could. Yes, you could.”
The subtext being, “You could be so pretty if only your mommy would take better care of you. Yes, you could.”
Yes, it was obvious that her Maltese didn’t have tear staining. If I had brought it up and asked, “How do you keep your Maltese’s eyes so clear?” well then sure, I’d be all ears. But I didn’t ask, so perhaps she should have held her tongue. She most definitely should not have insulted my puppy and me, no matter how tear-stained and scruffy Georgie appeared.
Hey lady, I’m sure you meant well. But now I’m the one with the tear stains. And this time, there’s some harm in it.