How would you like to be led around in public by a leash attached to a collar? And just when you leaned down to smell something your owner yanked your head back up because they were in a rush to move on? Or, when you finally stopped long enough so that you could relieve yourself, they jerked your head back up again before you were finished?

Please, dog owners, you have chosen to be the stewards of these trusting, loving, intelligent and forgiving creatures. Treat them with the understanding, respect, dignity and love they deserve. Take time to get to know your dog, I mean reallllly know them. You’ll see by my precious kitty, Phoebe’s page, that I never cease to learn new things about her and deepen my communication with her. Even though I have had pets all my life she was our first rescue who was very damaged emotionally and psychologically, as well as physically. With years of patience and understanding – and love – she has blossomed into the most amazing pet I have ever known.

So, I guess what I am trying to say here is to please treat your dog with the dignity and respect they deserve and consider getting a harness/leash for your walks instead of a collar/leash.  They would do anything for you – that is the least you can do for them. I don’t have a dog now but we do walk our other cat, who happily wears a soft harness from Puppia.

Take time to get to know your pet. The time you set aside for walks is a great opportunity to do this. Dogs are like people in that some are really interesting, some not, some smart, some not, some funny, some not, etc. etc. – and, like people, they are unique combinations of a multitude of qualities. What is truly wonderful is that,  like children, they give back exponentially what they get.

ps – and for God’s sake please never punish your dog for having an ‘accident’.  Whether they pee, poop or throw up – IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT.  NEVER. There is either a physical or psychological underlying factor. It is your responsibility as their kind and loving steward to figure out what it is – and to do so with gentleness and understanding. Remember, they want to please you, so if you teach them lovingly how to please you they will be eager to oblige.

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