Sharing this planet for a moment in time

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“Dogs are loyal, and faithful, and want to please, and they don’t judge you, they love you for who you are …”

When I see this on social media, hear this in conversation, or read it in some article I gag ever so slightly. Okay maybe more than that.

It is a massive reductionist view of an entire species, discounting the individual personalities of each an every individual within the species. It sets dogs up to fail, especially those that fall outside of this fairy-tale bullshit version of canines.

I have never met a dog that wants to please, nor would I want too, how creepy, cast like, and subservient. I want a dog that stands on their own four paws, squarely in this world, and teaches me something about them, takes me on a bit of a journey. Give and take.

I have met dogs that love their owners and want to be with them all of the time, but if I put a rabbit in the front yard, loyalty goes out the window. So are they loyal or do they just love the relationship they have with a human, and also love chasing and eating rabbits?

Faithful? What or whom? Is this some religious ideology we have put on dogs? Again, rabbit, lets test faith, and then lets see if instinct is stronger than human needs.

Dogs judge. They do. So don’t think that if you act like a jerk you will be absolved in the eyes of your dog, they will also think you are a jerk. No skirting around that one.

Dogs think, have ideas, solve concepts, reason, observe the world around them, and have dreams all of their own. This is independent of us. Why? Because they are living beings just like we are, they just happen to be a different species.

To have a dog is to form a relationship, take the good and the bad and work on it together. A relationship is about knowing each other, the true each other.

Pretending your dog is a saint will only set them up to fail, and by default, the species in general.

We are all living beings, sharing this planet for a moment in time. We all do good things, and bad things, and the hope is we do more good things together and learn along the way.

Be honest, it makes things more real, Nancy

8 comments

  1. Thank you for writing this!! I too gag every time I read those reductionist sentiments. It takes much self control to not reply to the people who post them with a dose of reality.

  2. I stand in opposition with your reduction that a dog will not work for us. I saw it time and again with my Search and Rescue dogs. I have had evaluaters or people in the field comment that the dog was working for me. The dog did not shut down under extreme conditions because it knew its job and worked hard to complete the mission. I have had dogs who could hunt with the best of them but when the command “No Hunt” was given, the dog “magically” or “knew” it wasn’t time to participate in that sport. Some how and through training those dogs ignored the distraction and stayed on task. To be a part of a team – the dog and me were the best days of my life.

  3. Ok – I’m just gonna come out and say it … I love you and I missed you. In my (very) humble opinion, the “relationship” thing is vastly overlooked. No matter what level of agility classes I teach, but especially the beginner levels, I always implore people to take the time, invest the time, enjoy the time they spend with their dog. Unfortunately, many really don’t understand just how amazing this dog/human relationship thing can be. My dogs WANT to be with me, and for the most part, I would rather spend time with them than with most people.

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