Friday, July 31, 2009

On My Soap Box...

...well, if you've come for knitting or spinning content--you won't find it this post either! Gee, it seems as this blog has evolved~~this is sort of Dogs on Thursday--on Friday!

No, I have something "stuck in my craw" and I'm about to let it out. Just warnin' ya!

I did something today that I've never done before...not sure I'll do it again either. Oh I'll probably watch it on TV.

There's a Dog Show in town, my Mom calls, me because she had my niece there, and told me that I needed to check it out. So, of course, Rudy and I head on to the Civic Center. I also thought I could find some Shih Tzu goodies and Rudy wanted to shop for a toy...not like he doesn't have enough already. He did get a new one...he's not spoiled!
I just so happened that the Shih Tzu's were showing in the ring just as we got there. So...we watched--There was one handler there who was showing multiple dogs, came out of the ring changed armband #'s and picked the next dog to show. I'm assuming it was a little girl dog by the color of her bow, with all that hair you can't tell. She lead her on her initial trip around the ring when the dog started to sit...the handler yanked her up, scolded her and yanked her again. Pulled her up by her tail only to realize the poor dog had to go poo (she'd been waiting for her turn in the ring for who knows how long) yanked her by the tail again only to look up and see ME staring her down, yes-we made eye contact and the fury in her eyes was evident. Flipped the poo with the dogs hairbrush towards the spectators behind her and went on about the show. THIS PISSES ME OFF!
I told Mom I was done watching, and gave Rudy a big hug & a kiss for being the best little boy!
I'm THANKFUL for the connection that Rudy and I have, I know what he needs when he needs it..and he give me nothing but love right back. I've learned that the best way to get everything good from our "furbabies" is by positive reinforcement. You all know that Rudy achieved his S.T.A.R Puppy status and we're beginning our next class on Thursday headed towards his C.G.C (Canine Good Citizen) certification. I'm not doing this for the recognition...I am doing it for Rudy and the possibility of being a Therapy dog. Though I think he has other plans, he discovered, as I did, that he LOVES the AGILITY course! These classes are a way for us to connect.
There are behaviors I don't want Rudy to pick up or learn, so we work on all the behaviors that we want. After all, pets are our kids covered with fur...I wouldn't want my kids doing things in public that were destructive or bothersome to others. I have read posts from people who talk about seeing a dog that acted like a robot instead of a dog because all it's "training and obedience classes" -- would you really want a dog that jumped on you, grabbed food off your plate or nipped at your heels when you moved?
I don't...I think about when my kids were little, maybe they didn't act like little angels at home but at least in public they were polite, behaved and helpful. I learned this from a lady in the grocery store one day, she came up to me and told me "how wonderful my boys were when they played with her son" -- of course, I'm standing there with my mouth hanging open wondering if she had the right mother! Then there's the other side of that coin when you see the kids that come in the library and act like little heathens!

This brings me to my next issue with dog shows...I know MANY, MANY of these dogs are family pets like Rudy, but there are plenty that are simply show dogs. I remember the movie Big Red (I had an Irish Setter at that time) and how that dog was kenneled. One of my co-workers has just that...her previous show dog passed a year ago, so she has another. He's young, the handlers do all the "training" as far as I know she doesn't work with him. When she leaves to go out of town she kennels the dog at the vet's office (yes, in a wire cage for who knows how long...okay, maybe just my issue) then has the nerve to come into work complaining about him smelling like urine when she picked him up?! Uh...that should tell you something right there!! CHANGE FREAKIN' BOARDING SERVICES--YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET!!! "Oh, but others are too expensive"...this response totally puzzles me??!!!!!
When she is home he is kenneled in a pen out back of the house...what? Where's the love & connection between them? Today she comes in complaining that her handler called to tell her that she wouldn't show the dog because he'd be an embarrassment?! Uh...OH PLEASE!! My first question is - because he's untrained? or because the handler (like the one I mentioned in the beginning) wants to look good??

These smaller dog shows are people trying to get certified to go on to "The Big Show" now I LOVE watching the AKC Dog Show on TV, I certainly hope that they are "weeding" out the handlers who act like the one I saw today. I know they are looking at the best dog...but to get the best out of your dog, you've got to put the best into them.



...okay, I think I'm done now.


1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8.. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

~ Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them.

Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience without God's critters


Bubblesknits said...

How awful! Reminds me, there's a couple that lives adjacent to my parents. They've got 3 Shih Tzu dogs that have a doggie door that leads to the back yard. Well, the youngest is still a puppy and can wiggle through the slats of the fence and get loose. Yet, they *knowingly* leave her in the backyard unsupervised and go off to dinner for hours, yet act surprised when she's found several streets away. Grrr. The poor little thing is going to end up getting hit.

momsue84 said...

Amen! Wonderful post! You are so, so right on! Tears are running down the ol' cheeks as I read the doggie commandments. We have idiot owners out here, too. Seems they are all over the place. I'll go hug Milo. That will make me feel so much better.

Sue said...

Hmmm... reminds me of my neighbor across the street that breeds two Rudy-dogs (can't spell it!) and it irks me that they're not family pets; just little incubators.

Becky said...

Wonderful post, Robin! Too many people seem to forget that dogs (cats, too) are living things, not just a furry lawn ornament or a stuffed animal. If they aren't going to meet the animal's needs, then they shouldn't get one!

Channon said...

Well-said, Robin. Kiss Rudy on the nose for me.

Sue said...

You certainly got it right. When I started showing Samba, she obviously didn't enjoy it, so we stopped. Fudge loves showing off, so we show occasionally. I hate the way the so called professional handlers jerk the dogs around and park them in a crate and leave them. Fudge and I walk around together and sit in the bleachers and watch the other dogs. He's my partner. We'll never win big or be in the 'big' shows because I won't treat him like a job.