it ain't complicated..it ain't rocket science...
Carol · Apr. 17, 2011
and i think we ain't all that brilliant either.
somewhere along the line we lost good old fashioned common sense. we have made living with pets so complex and difficult..it is no wonder so many families fail at the end of the day.
when i was driving into maple ridge today, i saw someone walking their dog...and it looked like she was decked out for a covert operation...the outfit, the trappings, the intense-on-an important-mission of doing it "right."
sigh..it didn't look like much fun for either of them...not her nor the dog.
it used to be walking the dog was sort of relaxing...the dog got to sniff around and pee on every blade of grass and the person got some peace and quiet and a chance to breathe in fresh air, look up at the sky and see what spring flowers the neighbors just planted.
now there are puppy classes to graduate from, basic obedience to overcome, books of canine philosophy by whisperers, trainers and experts, dog birthday parties, playdates, and doggy daycares cuz heaven forbid the dog should ever be left home alone.
we made it so much work and study and running around to do it right...that we freaking well sucked out all of the fun.
my sister and i did our first dog obedience classes with our white shepherds when i was about 13 and she would have been a couple of years older. i remember 2 things...practicing in the driveway religiously 20 minutes each day and fritz (my sister's dog) reaching over and picking up the instructers poodle by the head during a sit stay.
back then you had to have a 6 foot leather leash and a training collar (choke chain)..that was the equipment back in the seventies to prove to the rest of the world that you were intelligent and in control of your dog. i got kicked out of one obedience group with tyra 15 years ago because i dared to insist on using a flat leather collar. i had finally learned by then that it wasn`t nice to close off the airway on your beloved dog.
now we have prong collars, martingales, halties, no pull harnasses, flat collars and quick release collars. you can buy pee pads, dog diapers, and belly bands...yesterdays newspaper used to work fine. you can even get airine approved, plastic indoor confinement crates that double as some kind of prehistoric comfort den. except...domestic dogs haven`t denned in more than a thousand years..at least until now in this new age of knowledge. of course we ignore the fact tht even the denning dogs from a couple of thousand years ago..didn`t have locking doors to make them stay inside that den..it is a pertinent but inconvenient fact that we like to ignore.
and you can find a trainer anywhere who swears by any one of these. we use positive reinforcement, behavior modification, flooding, bonding, de-sensitization, telepathy, visualization, clicker training..you could fill an entire public library with just books on the right way to teach and live with dogs in your family...or you can watch tv, rent a video, pull it up on the computer and learn it all that way.
and tell me...what has all of this research and effort actually brought to the dog....cuz what i see is a bunch of folks strutting around blithely speaking the current and politically correct `dog`talk...but inside that furry body, the dog`s are a freaking emotional mess.
we think we know so much about them that we twist and bend them into our personal pretzels to be what we say they are and do what we say they need.
they just need to be dogs...not little soldiers in our quest to have the perfect pets.
if you ask me..perfect pets with perfect people are perfectly stepford big time scary.