Maybe “Pookie” may look very cute in a wedding dress, but what a hideus distortion of nature. Reindeer antlers, bumble bee costumes, tuxedos, what has happened to us? I tell my clients, somewhat jokingly, that if I ever see one of my beautiful, natural, goreous coated German shepherd puppies denegrated by clothing, I will rescue it from its humiliation. Treat them like a dog.
I talked to a manager of PetsMart who told me not to worry that the meat ingredients in a popular pet food were higher than human grade quality. I listened to a lecture from a prominent expert on healthcare entitled “please treat me like a dog”. His premise was that our human healthcare is not as high quality, less responsive, that that for a dog at a veterinian. My goodness, maybe I would rather be treated like a dog.
I have look in awe at the amazing culinary fare in specialized dog pastry shops, eye-popping masterpieces created for our dogs….or for us I think. A number of my students at the university have researched the incredible world of designer dog clothing with human designer price tags. I have lived to see PetsMart build doggy hotels with premium rooms with TV. I have supped on dog frozen yoghurt (with of course better than human grade ingredients, lactose free, etc. etc.). I have been seen people shell out a pretty penny for a birthday party at PetsMart for their dogs, spent money for Christmas pictures for their dogs with Santa. I had one client who told me, in front of her child, that she loved her dog more than she did her children, and her daughter verified it. Doggy weddings, pet limos with chaffeurs, jewelry….what are we doing? The pet industry in the United States is over 40 billiion a year. What a mess we are. Treat them like a dog.
A dog needs to be treated as a dog. Do you really think dogs can distinguish between a dirty old rage or a designer dress (they probably would like the rag better), or the difference between table scraps and haute cuisine? We do this to please our own vanity. And, in the process of not treating dogs as dogs, we distort who they are, confuse them, hide their natural beauty, keep them from doing what they do naturally, feed our own need for affection and control. Treat them like a dog.
And please, get your priorities right, humans first, animals somewhere after. Please don’t get me wrong, we have a responsibility from God to be trustees over this earth and all his creation. I go to great lengths to protect my dogs, watch after their health, feed them the best food, get them good exercise, find them a purpose, and give them the pack leader approval they crave. My dogs appear content and respectful and have a sense of purpose. So many of the aberrant behaviors we see are the result of treating dogs as humans, thinking they have the same emotions, fulfilling our own needs in them. For us they are substitutes for human emotions that we should give to our children, to family and to other human beings. We refuse to discipline them as we also will not our children. We might want to guard against being duped by the pet industry into carelessly wasting our financial resources on things that really are for us, every new fad catering to our emotions. We need to help these animals fulfill their natural purpose and we should enjoy them for what they are in their natural state, dogs.
These animals are majestic and beautiful creations. But, even if you won’t be, they will be happier if you TREAT THEM LIKE A DOG. I hope these blog posts help you enjoy you German Shepherd puppy or dog to its fullest. They are truly amazing ANIMALS and more easily remain so if treated as such. Please visit our K 9 University for more useful articles and links.