Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thursday training tips: Crazy dog people!

I recently saw a post on Facebook, asking if people “spoiled” their dogs. It listed a number of ways you could tell. For instance, your dog may be spoiled, the post said, if you cancelled plans because of your dog. I may be hanging out with a bunch of crazy dog people, because all of my friends have cancelled plans at one time or another because of their dog. Accidents, upset tummies, medication schedules, or even thunderstorms are all more important than a lot of the plans I make.

The list got me thinking about the little things we do to make our dogs’ lives more comfortable or fun. I guess people without dogs might think we’re crazy dog people for doing these things (but that’s probably saying more about them than about us).

Those of us of a “certain age” remember buying a puppy from a kid with a cardboard box on a street corner, and then letting that dog run free in the neighborhood, following us kids as we banged screen doors going in and out of the house. Ah, those were the days! They were also the days of dogs getting hit by cars, or dad taking them to the “farm” (ahem) because they were too much to handle. We want our dogs to live longer, healthier, and happier in a more complicated time and in more crowded areas; so, as non-owners look askance, we are doing some crazy (good) things.

How are you doing on the “crazy” scale?

Give yourself a point for taking your dog to puppy kindergarten, and another point for basic manners classes. We know that many cairn terriers are “earth dogs” or love to do tricks, so give yourself a bonus five points for driving through snow storms to take your dog to advanced training classes.

Cooking your dog’s meals from scratch, while you eat some boxed pizza, is worth three points. Don’t worry, though, you can still get points if you use commercial food. Award yourself one point for dehydrating organic meat for a special holiday treat, and another point for baking doggie cookies or biscuits. Organizing a dog cookie swap with like-minded crazy people is worth five points. And it's worth ten points when your dog isn't feeling well so you serve him his dog food and water while he lays on the sofa.

If there isn't enough space on the couch for both you and your dog, you get two points for moving to the floor. Take a bonus point if you don’t dare move a toe in the bed because you don’t want to disturb the dog.

Major points are available to people who design their home improvements with their dog in mind. For instance, if you're redoing your kitchen and you get a textured floor so your dog won't slip on it, give yourself 15 points. If you are building a custom home, and you have included space for a dog washing station and a grooming area, take 50 big points! (These are true, BTW. Do I have crazy-great friends, or what?)

Do you leave your dog at a kennel or with a friend when you go on vacation? That’s good management, but it doesn’t win you any points on the crazy scale. Taking him with you on vacation is worth two points; and taking him to his rescue reunion party every year even though it is six hours away and in another state is worth six points – one point for every hour traveling.

And while we’re on the subject of travel, you are expected to use a harness, tether, car seat, or crate as appropriate for your vehicle, so we award no crazy points for safety. However, we did hear of one man who cut thick foam to fit the back seat of his car and covered it with a quilted comforter so the dog has a cushy seat to lay on instead of cup holders and seat belts. Bonus ten points!

You can win extra crazy points in the sweltering summer, you know. If you keep your AC turned to 66 so your dog is comfortable (while you wear a sweatshirt), take five points. If you drive around the block a few times so the car will be really cool when they get in, take another five!

Give yourself two points for providing a dog bed that cost more than your mattress set. Give yourself extra points for providing doggy beds in every room he spends time in.

You get points for providing dog beds... even if your new foster pup doesn't quite understand the concept yet.
If you know more about the different pet insurance companies, deductibles, and percentage covered than you do about your own health insurance, give yourself ten points.

Somehow, people have gotten the strange notion that when your pup is scared or feeling poorly, the adult in the room should not comfort the dog as “it will only encourage the dog” to be fearful. If you have that misperception, I really hope your loved ones don’t ignore you when you need a shoulder to cry on, or a helping hand. Give yourself twenty points every time you sit on the floor and cuddle with your dog when he needs you.

How many points did you score? Frankly, if you do anything on this list, you are certified dog-crazy and you deserve the best award there is! Doggie kisses and tailwags...

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I designed my entire house with my boys (2 terriers then, 5 now!) in mind. Dog tub built-in instead of a closet in the craft room, hardwood floors and tile - no carpet - because of dog pee. A fenced yard, two separate secure kennel runs that connects to secure kennels inside the basement. Dog doors everywhere, and a doggy "air lock" at the front door. Night stands that are really fancy wooden dog crates, and a second sofa in the living room because some of my boys don't like to share a sofa with me! LOL!


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