Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend tidbits

I talk to a lot of people in the course of my day. That's okay, though. Talking to people with different thoughts and ideas helps broaden my scope of the world and sometimes, though very seldom, changes my mind.
I spoke to a family who was considering adopting a dog. A family dog and although we have many family dogs, they were looking for smaller than the dogs we had available. Then they walked past Dynamite, who is a Catahoula Leopard Hound puppy. (I call him chocolate chip because of his coloring.) He is a great puppy with lots of energy and striking good looks. Catahoulas are the Louisiana state dog and were originally bred in the 1800's to round up cattle in the swamps. They have webbed feet, much like a Labrador and are great working dogs.
The family was nice and after meeting Dynamite the gentleman ask me the question, "Are your dogs spayed and neutered? I don't want an animal like that. It ruins their personality." When I tried to explain this was not a true fact, nicely of course, he didn't want to hear it.
Although they may be back to adopt the dog after the children meet him, I wonder if our educational programs to teach people about the benefits of spay/neuter are working fast enough.
The next family I came in contact with were the exact opposite. Mom and Dad were very dog savvy, knew exactly the kind of family dog they were looking for. They met several older, housebroken dogs available and chose the one they like the best. Because of the time, the animal went on hold and they will also, hopefully be back today to adopt.
I like to wonder how each came to the understanding they have of animals, especially since I am sending them home together.
I then got to see a dog being put through some behavior modification. Her new owner realizes she is a great dog, and simply has some issues when someone walks in his front door. She has to be taught it is okay for him to have company and it is not appropriate to lunge or growl when guests come calling. Within 15 minutes she had changed her behavior and although she is far from perfect, her new owner is willing to continue to work with her to help her overcome this issue.
You know, dogs are dogs, not people. The communication process with dogs is different and sometimes what we expect out of our pets is perfection. Of course, none of us are perfect as much as we would like to think we are. Then when pets fail at that perfection, people toss them away and make them someone else's problem. We need to work on changing that.

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