I met a women in the park a few months ago. She was walking a Finnish Spitz and, as they are not common where I live, I asked her if she had always owned the breed. She replied that it was her first dog. I then asked if she had bought on looks alone and been surprised at the amount of barking and relative difficulty in training, especially recall, that her dog exhibited. Astonished she agreed that all were the case. I then cheerfully informed her about the way that the Finnish spitz was bred to hunt and told her about the annual King of the Barkers competition. Needless to say, she didn’t take up my offer of help with training.
I met her again last night, now accompanied also by her other dog, a nervous Staffie cross that I would guess is a rescue. She is pregnant with twins and was cheerfully talking to another (very sensible) dog owner about it.
I asked if she had a plan in place for accustoming her dogs to the major changes that they are about to undergo.
I explained that I was perfectly serious. She then informed the other dog owner that she intended to breast feed and would hug each dog to either side of her while she accomplished this feat so that they felt included because “they think that they are human”.
My sincere entreaties that this would lead to potential disaster were dismissed.
Sadly I suspect that it is only a matter of time before two dogs are looking for a new home, assuming of course that they have not been put down for biting “out of the blue”.
This is not a good week. A couple of days ago, I found out that my neighbour had re-homed his lovely Australian Shepherd. I first met him with his partner and the then tiny puppy outside a local pub. The dog had not had his second vaccinations but they had carried him round the corner so that he could experience the world going by. They were first time dog owners and I suggested that they might have their hands full with such a breed. Of course, they assured me that he was centre of their world and all would be well. He went through a very nervous adolescence and my doubts grew. Then she got pregnant.
Surprise, surprise, the dog was no longer centre of their world. Last month they sent him back to the breeder because they were too busy to deal with him and he had started stalking their offspring.
They are of course to blame but then so is the breeder for selling them this dog. I hope that he has a fulfilling and happy life with a new owner. I will miss him.
(Image courtesy of Wiki Commons)