Will You Help Save a Homeless Pet?

Every time I go to my local pet store and shove my card into the credit card reader, I get this prompt. Every time I gnash my teeth in frustration. It is a terrible question. Let’s break it down. That question is a trap, and I resent it.

It forces you to reply either yes or no to the question before you can move on with your transaction. Let’s try out the responses and see how we feel.

“No. I will not save a homeless pet.”

Feel good?

“Yes. I will save a homeless pet.”

Which one should I choose? Either one is bad. If I say no, I get to feel guilty. Thank you for making me feel bad pet store for driving to your store in twenty below zero weather to get my puppy a hundred bucks of your merchandise. If I click yes, then I feel like I am succumbing to the pressure. Giving in to their extortion. They are betting the odds that I Can’t Say No.

They haven’t met me. I can say no. It’s my favorite word. I’m always amused by articles which pep talk people about using the word more in their lives to reduce stress. Come to me. I’ll say no to your face. No problem.

But as I laid out above, when I say no to this prompt it leaves me feeling bad and angry. Why can’t the prompt ask if you’d donate a dollar to help save a homeless pet? Who is going to say no to that? It’s a set amount. It won’t hurt and I’ll bet the analytics would come back with a 90% yes response rate. That’s a whole lot of one dollars. I’ll bet it would add up and there would be less resentment.

Now let’s look at the word, pet. Dictionary.com defines it as: Any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately. Soo, a homeless pet would mean a domesticated animal that is cared for. But it is homeless. It is not cared for. They contradict one another. The two words together do not make sense, right?

Before you throw out the obvious response, I realize there are lots of tragic scenarios where a former pet was made homeless, but I’m addressing the actual language of the prompt. Maybe they’re just trying to be optimistic. I’m nitpicking here—don’t get in my way while I rant. Or when I’m hungry. Or when my technology breaks. Or when my husband agrees to help dust and does so over the printer buttons, and other electronics, forcing a necessary reset because they are messed up. I could have dusted myself in the time it took to fix the stuff on the desk. Did you do that on purpose so I would never ask you again, George? Was the whining you endured that accompanied the discovery worth it? Was your passive aggressive ploy to undermine my future beg for domestic help worthwhile? Did you feel successful? Was it good for you?

Yes or No!

It’s a trap! I am the pet store. It always comes full circle.

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