Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "Just a Little Taste…?" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

Just a Little Taste…?

By Charlotte Peltz

Scene one: "Isn't she cute? See how she watches my every move? What a clever girl she is. She somehow knows just when a tidbit falls to the floor when I am cooking and she snatches it up so fast you can't even see it happen!"

Scene two: "Do you realize what she has done? That pâté was for the Christmas buffet! And -- not only is it impossible to get another order of goose liver, but -- do you have any idea what it cost me in vet bills? She was really sick. And -- oh, the mess!"

So -- what is the problem?

If one allows the canine member of the household to snatch up tasty goodies that happen to fall on the floor, it is perfect canine logic to help things along by taking it off of the counter top! Add to that, the oh- so-clever owners who toss treats while cooking, and (this really gets to me!) while eating, and then wonder why Twinkletoes makes a total nuisance of herself whenever there is food being served, being prepared or even simply being transported from the shopping bag to the refrigerator.

That dogs will learn such bothersome behavior is not so surprising. What IS surprising is that people will teach their dogs these behaviors, and then punish them for "stealing" the pâté.

While gastro-intestinal upsets may result in simply a vet bill and the poor dog's discomfort, it could well mean that dog's life. It becomes a lot less trivial then, but the owners crying about their loss is one thing. The other part of this equation is the dog suffered and died because the owner did not teach proper manners.

And, if the dog doesn't die from eating things it shouldn't, such dogs often find themselves being "re-homed." What a detached way to say - "Hey -- he has a home in the country!" The "country" may well mean no home, no bed at night, no one at all to give the dog the attention he deserves and to which he has been accustomed. It also offers a high risk of getting lost, being killed for chasing livestock or suffering from the diseases the "country" dogs so willingly bring when visiting his site.

Dogs so easily learn priorities. What is not given to them is not theirs! There is no hardship involved. It is very "canine." IF you, the dog's caretaker, do not give those tidbits and don't act silly about it and think you are depriving your dog of something s/he really needs, The Canine Kid won't ever give it a thought.

Think about it. Wouldn't it be nice to place the cheese and crackers on the coffee table, and find them there when you return from answering the phone? It is your decision.
[Please see Charlotte's Recommended Reading.]

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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