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Having A Dog Can Be Fun When Raised Properly
Sometimes I hate mornings. You see, I have dogs. There’s a right way to raise and train pets and a wrong way. Go the wrong way and believe me, you’ll pay for it. I’ll give you a typical day in my life and help you find ways to avoid unnecessary puppy mess. Training your pets and spending time with them are extremely important, for you and your pet.
T.J., my mean, ferocious, spiteful miniature poodle (yes, a poodle can be ferocious, you’d be angry too if you were a guy and everybody thought you should wear pink sweaters and a bow) relieves himself on my leg and leaves piles of his contempt for me on the floor. I call him the “Miracle Dumper” because he walks and goes number two at the same time. Nothing like a smart bomb to ruin your nice, clean shoes first thing in the morning.
But is that normal?
Once in a while he has an “accident” in the house. Maybe I should call it an on purpose because I think he does it to spite me. It’s not my fault he’s so cute that people want to stuff him into pink fleece. I think he has some deficiency issues and miracle dumping is his therapy. But that can be fixed with proper attention. In my case, as soon as I see him starting to bend over, I run for a plastic bag, throwing myself into a prostrate position trying to catch his disgusting projectiles like I’m a catcher with a baseball glove snagging a wayward knuckle ball. The problem is, he doesn’t stay still long enough to arrest the process. Not a great way to start the day.
So there I sit, prone, lying on the floor at 4 a.m. with an empty bag in my hand and my face only a couple of inches away from the lovely present he left for me. Maybe I will make him wear a pink sweater from now on.
Geez… it’s not even sunrise, let me get a cup of coffee at least. Why can’t you be like Buddy, my good dog? For Pete’s sake, it’s pouring outside too, now what do I do? The designated dog walking area is all the way across the street, that’s where every one is supposed to go, but for today, since no one is around and it’s pouring, Fugheddaboudit!
Good thing my apartment is on the ground floor with a large grassy area in front. Hell, I’m not going to go out there in my nightgown, holding an umbrella with a flashlight and a poop-scooper in my hand. I might get arrested, even in New York. It’s bad enough that I have to follow the little bugger around the house with a bag like a deranged baseball catcher chasing a bunt. I’d be drenched while I waited, and my shoes would get water-logged. Who’s going to know, anyway? There’s my neighbor, Fred, who has the habit of walking across the lawn on the way to his car. But he’s a mild-mannered guy. I’ll take my chances.
I can’t help but love my dogs. Maybe that’s the problem, maybe I love them too much. The rule of thumb is that you have to take responsibility for your pet and his mischievous behavior, even the wayward piles that he leaves. “Responsible dog ownership means more than just adoring your dog. It is a serious lifelong commitment that requires time and close attention. Don’t forget — when Fido misbehaves, you are the one who will have to take the blame.”
The first step to properly training your dog or any pet is to take responsibility for him or her. Even though we adore them, we must teach them and maintain discipline so that they do what they are supposed to. It doesn’t mean they won’t love you. In fact, it means the exact opposite. A dog or pet that respects you and your discipline will likely adore you. And he won’t leave you early birthday presents in smelly piles on the floor.
My pets aren’t that bad. I love them dearly, but any pet’s life and behavior can be improved. Sometimes I call T.J. Slippery Louie because he is so fast. He’s insecure, and every so often he shows aggressive behavior to both me and Buddy, my beloved Cocker Spaniel, even though T.J has been neutered. Spaying and neutering animals is important if you’re not going to breed them. It not only helps control animal population, it’s good for your pet. The last thing anyone needs is a super frisky pet assaulting your visitors knees every chance he gets.
T.J. is usually very gentle, he’ll lick the skin off your face, but he can be quite unpredictable, so I handle him with kid gloves. While Buddy is low-keyed and easy-going, T.J. is hyper. He’s eight years old. Hyper is common for poodles, mellow is common for Cocker Spaniels. Though T.J. Loves Buddy, he also intimidates him. He’s a bully. If Buddy gets anywhere near him while he’s eating, he’ll bite, so I always keep them apart at mealtime. Again, it’s important to set boundaries with your animals. It’s instinctive for a dog to protect his food, so I take the precaution of keeping them apart at meal time. That’s another key part of animal rearing, spending time with your pets. That’s how you learn about them so you can train them properly. Ignoring your pet or not spending time with them is a bad habit. If you’re always traveling or on the go, then you shouldn’t have a pet.
My dogs are inseparable. I call them my bookends. T.J. sleeps on one side of the sofa while Buddy sleeps on the other side. Buddy and T.J. both bring joy to my life. Dogs are smart and they have their own personalities. If I tell T.J. he is going to take a bath, the little shrimp starts howling up a storm like I’m torturing him. Buddy does the Saint Vitus dance instead, jerking around like a break dancer with a bad case of Poison Ivy. For all of us who have pets, whether they be dogs, cats, or any other type of pet, they are tremendously valuable to our lives. You are valuable to their lives too, and you must remember this. Pets give us an inner sense of joy and happiness. Pets make their owners laugh, which not only loosens your face muscles, it also helps lower your blood pressure. This contributes to a healthier, longer existence for both of you. So I appreciate T.J.’s annoying interruptions even when I am writing.
Simply put, pets can help you live longer, so you have to take care of them. You have to give them exercise, but exercise is good for you as well. Walking them, taking them swimming, even taking them for a ride is awesome exercise. Of course, proper training can fix bathroom surprises in a much more efficient way.
“Every time you take your pet out say over and over “go potty”. Praise her when she does. Soon you will notice that when you say “go potty” she will get right down to business. After she will go on command, take her out and “empty” her often so she can’t mess in the house.”
The most important way to train your pet, and to keep them happy and healthy, is to spend time with them. Believe it or not, dogs suffer from separation anxiety. They can have panic attacks, and this causes bad behavior, both when you are away and after you come home. Pets will act out to make you pay for leaving them alone. They’re smart that way. Not only will they leave you sporty piles to clean up, but they’ll destroy your house, tearing up books and paper, clawing away at doors, and damaging furniture.
Ultimately, you’ll find that your beloved pets will reward you more than you can possibly imagine, not just with a little pile of poo in the middle of the living room either! You have to learn their personalities, conform to their needs, and convince them to conform to acceptable behavior too. This process isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be standing outside your home at 4 a.m. in the rain letting your dog do his business, it means you’ll be happy you won’t have to clean the floor later, and you’ll have moments and memories that will last you a life time. Moments a pet owner wouldn’t trade for anything. Even a tiny poodle can carve a huge place in your heart. We should all give them the time and attention their love and affection deserves.
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