In the first of this three part series, I talked about choosing the right dog for your family and your life stage. In the second, I talked about why your dog hates being alone and what you can do to help. Today, I want to talk about training.
Dogs need direction both when they’re with you and when you’re not there. There was a time when I shied away from training our family pet. He was a member of the family and didn’t need to know tricks or how to behave like a show dog. A sit and a stay were all we really needed, or so I thought.
Then, along came Rosa. Rosa was the result of an accidental breeding. She was the last of her litter, being given away for free in the Walmart parking lot. My soft-hearted husband brought her home for the kids. From the very being, she was very fearful, which later developed into aggression. Knowing what would happen if our dog bit someone, we went out in search of training, which really changed my perspective on dog training.
In my last post, I talked about the importance of selecting the right dog for you, your family, and your lifestyle, which can go a long way in ensuring a happy relationship between you and your dog. This week, I want to talk some about why dogs so often destroy their owners’ homes when left at home during work or family outing.
Dogs need two things. Direction and company. This week, we’re going to address the issue of company.
Dogs are pack animals. They HATE being alone. Seriously, they HATE being alone. Everyone heads off to work and school, and the poor dog is left alone. They hate that. If you don’t believe me, install a camera in your house. See what you dog does when you leave. Even if he isn’t tearing apart the house, your dog’s face will break your heart. You have work and friends. Your dog has only his family. You’re his everything. If your dog is tearing apart the house, he’s telling you he’s bored, and he’s lonely.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people complain or post on Facebook how their beloved family dog ate their shoes, couch, children’s toys, etc. People are always amazed that their darling pets could be so destructive when they leave the house. The dogs are, after all, supposed to be defending the house not tearing it to pieces.
I encounter this so often that what I planned to be a single post turned into three. Many times, it becomes such a problem that the owners end up rehoming the dog, which despite good intentions often goes terribly wrong. Many people don’t realize that their untrained house pet will be euthanized at the county shelter or that the lovely wife and children they interview are actually picking up bait dogs for their dog fighting husband/father.
So… Why does this happen? Why do people end up getting rid of the dog they dreamed of having and just couldn’t wait to get home?
I recently had a conversation with a woman at church, who said that we couldn’t find God in the material world. I think that’s a big part of our problem in America. We don’t make the distinction between the man-made material world and the God-made material world. God is everywhere in the material world, because God made the material world and revealed God’s self in that world.
For so many years, theology has separated the spiritual world from the physical world, but how do we know God? As Christians, we know God through Christ–the physical manifestation of God. If God meets us in the physical world, why would we try so hard NOT to meet God in the physical world? Doesn’t it only make sense that we try to meet God in the world God created, especially this time of year when we’re walking with Christ as he approaches death and resurrection?
A few months ago, I was named the USA Representative for the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (AWSA), whose purpose is getting animals on the agenda of the Christian Church. Founded over 30 years ago, the organization is called to make Christians and others aware of the need to care for the whole of creation, and in particular God’s creatures, and believes that God has given us a responsibility towards sentient beings with whom we share God’s world. Their activities include the following:
- Encouraging churches to include animal welfare concerns in their prayers.
- Encouraging and helping churches to hold animal blessing services and to be aware of the need to care for God’s creation.
- Through education and lawful action, advancing the conservation and well-being of animals.
- Co-operating with other organizations, religious and secular, that have similar aims.
- Production of Animalwatch (free to members) containing articles and information about animal welfare issues, interests, and events and providing a means by which the members can share ideas, stories, and concerns.
- Publishing a series of pamphlets about animal issues, ensuring that materials are balanced and theologically and scientifically sound.
- Helping to arrange major services and events focusing on animal care.
- Promoting awareness through exhibitions, meetings, talks and preaching.
With all of the pet food recalls lately, many of us who adore our canines are looking into making our own food and treats, which can be cheaper and healthier. Let’s face it. The only way to know for sure what your feeding your dog is to make it yourself out of whole foods.
Before you get started, make sure understand your dog’s dietary needs. Dogs are omnivorous and need both meat and plants. Also, consult with your vet to be sure you understand and needs specific to your dog. Remember that if you do switch to homemade dog food, do so slowly, since quick diet changes can cause digestive issues. Research the effect ingredients have on your dog’s health as you develop your recipe. Whole Dog Journal offers a great article with all the basics you need to get started. Continue reading
Very few people know just how much I’ve struggled with depression and low self-esteem. Some have seen my success and just assumed I was happy. Others have seen the positivity in my outward interactions with others and again have just assumed I was happy.
Sadly, many Americans achieve in an effort to escape their unhappiness and low self-esteem, hoping that just one more win will make it better. Not all, but many. In addition, many people struggling with depression make a serious effort to be positive, because they don’t want to burden others. Both have been the case with me.