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A Dog Is A Dog Is A Dog
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It goes without saying that we become attached to our pets, and in particular our dogs. Dogs have personalities; they can be funny, irritating, loving, lovable, irascible, and more, but they aren’t boring. That’s why we love them. Most dog owners will have looked into their dog’s eyes as he or she stared back at them with complete devotion, and wondered what they were thinking. What is it that makes them love you no matter what? They don’t care whether you are attractive or ugly, fat or thin, black or white, they just want to be around you and to please you.

So the least we can do is treat them with respect, but treat them as a DOG. They are not human; they don’t speak human, they don’t read human’s minds, they don’t run like humans, and they were not designed to eat like a human.

Stating the obvious I know, but let’s look at these things one at a time.

Speaking. It can be quite comical to watch dog owners remonstrating with their dogs; Pleading with them, asking questions of them, giving detailed accounts of what is expected of them. All the while Fido is looking up at his master, his head tilting this way and that as he tries to figure out what the hell he wants. And woe betides if the poor pooch gets the instructions wrong, because then he gets the inquisition. “Why did you do that? Didn’t I tell you not to do that? How many times do I have to say it? Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself.” Here’s a tip; you are.

I know, I know, you are convinced that Fido understands every word that you utter, because it’s comforting to think you have this wonderful relationship your pooch. But be real. Enjoy the fact that you can babble away at Fido and not get an argument, but don’t expect him to understand much of what you are waffling about unless it involves walkies or sitting and staying.

Running. It’s a common sight. The fitness junkie out running with the pet dog trundling along beside them. Great; they are both getting fit and staying healthy. But are they? With no humans around, do you think that dog would set off at a gallop and keep going for the next hour only to end up back where he started? I don’t think so. A lot of dogs were not designed for long distance running. Of course they are fast, but that doesn’t mean they want to run ten miles for no reason at all. There are of course breeds like sled dogs and the like that can run for mile after mile, but I regularly see adults (who can cover quite a distance with one running stride) out jogging in their trendy running gear, ipods plugged firmly in their ears, looking very cool while their designer labra doodle is racing along beside them, his little legs going like the clappers as he tries to keep up with his long legged master. . Don’t forget, Fido will keep going even if his little footpads are wearing raw, just to be with you.

The type of dog, its age, it’s physical condition, should all be taken into account before you head off to pound the pavement. And try not to forget that if you are getting thirsty and decide to take a swig from your designer water bottle tucked into your designer water bottle belt holder, maybe Fido would like some too.

The Beach. This is the one that irritates me the most. I live close to the beach and enjoy nothing more than heading down there for a bit of a swim or sunbathe, but sometimes the sun gets so hot that the sand feels like hot coals on your feet, and when the wind gets up, it can feel like a sand blaster on your face. But I still love it. I just put on a pair of beach sandals and a hat and I’m good to go. But what about Fido? The soles of his feet may be tougher than ours but that sand can be scorching. And you may love to bake yourself in the sun in order to get yourself a nice bit of colour, but Fido is quite happy with his colour and is wearing a fur coat. He needs shade and water, even a bit of sun cream on his sensitive nose.

Food. Fido is your best friend, right? You want the best for him. You like a treat now and then, and you want him to have one too. Its great to have a best friend to share with. But your idea of a treat, be it a cream bun, a sugary donut or a bar of chocolate, may not be what is best for Fido. It may not be that good for you either, but its your choice, and after all, you and Fido have just been out for a ten mile run, so you can afford to indulge yourself with a slab of chocolate cake. And of course if you offer some to Fido he will almost bite your fingers of in his haste to get at it. But surely you don’t need to be a vet to understand that chocolate, cream, sugar etc is not good for your dog. There are human biscuits and there are dog biscuits. The ‘dog’ part on the dog biscuit label should give you a hint.

Now just to clarify, I am not for a moment suggesting that anyone who treats their dog in any of the ways mentioned above is cruel, negligent or stupid. Not at all. But perhaps they are just a little misguided, blinded by their affection for their dog.

Be good to your dog. But remember, he or she is a DOG.

Street Talk

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