The Business of Dogs

“A big business starts small.” -Richard Branson photo-1504595403659-9088ce801e29 Darwin Dogs.  What is it?   Who am I? Where did I come from? More importantly, what do I represent with my business? Out of those four questions, I would estimate 99% of the time, only the first is ever asked by my potential clients. But let’s remember, businesses are builders of our society.  Like or it or not, businesses and business owners have a great impact on not only services and commodities that are available, but can change laws or lobby against new ones (cough couch *PETLAND* cough). For instance, Darwin Dogs (me, Kerry Stack), well, I’m against animal abuse in general, and puppy mills as an instance (not shocking).  I have plenty of info on how I am using my influence and followers to try to shut down puppy mills, so it’s pretty easy to discover that.  It’s obviously nothing that I’m hiding. But what about other things that I may represent, or lobby for or against?  No two people will ever align 100% with their thoughts and ideas, nor will two political agendas or moral codes.  Hell, my husband and I can’t agree on what restaurant to eat at most of the time, and I love him to pieces!

As responsible consumers, it is our job to know where we are spending our money, and what we are spending it on.  No, I’m not referring to which bottle of shampoo from Target, nor am I referring to what specific burger from McDonalds.  What I’m referring to is the fact that you are giving businesses money: who does Target support? Who does McDonalds lobby against?

It’s a lot easier to just walk into a store, or hire a plumber, without knowing or caring what’s being supported.  For instance, would you feel the same way if the mom and pop bakery that you buy doughnuts from every week sends a check every other week to the NRA? And one to Planned Parenthood every alternate week? For some people, that doesn’t matter,and they’ll buy the doughnuts anyway.  For others, one or the the other check is going to rub them the wrong way enough to find another doughnut shop.

Business owners are in a position unlike any other career:  we have the ability to take your money and apply it to what aligns with our goals and aspirations.  For me, that includes saving for my children’s futures (estimable goal, in my opinion).  Obviously a lot of my income through my business goes towards basic living expenses.  But what else?  Have you ever wondered what you are supporting?  Have you ever asked other businesses who/what they support?  Maybe it’s time. It’s your money, don’t let it be spent against your wishes.

So in the interest of transparency, let me set the record straight about Darwin Dogs as a business, and myself as an individual.  Some of these things you may applaud.  Some of these things may cause you to unfollow Darwin Dogs.  Some may make you furious.  But it’s time for us all to be self-aware enough to know where our money is going after we swipe our credit cards.  Here we go:

1) I believe that every animal deserves a chance at having a good home, and having the best life they possibly can. Therefore,  I support Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, City Dogs,  and numerous shelters and local rescues, as well as the Animal Welfare Institute.

2) I think that people are the greatest resource to enriching and bettering the lives of all animals (including other humans).  Healthier, happier humans make more healthy, happy humans. Therefore I heavily support the efforts of Heifer International.

3) I believe that Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version of Little Wing is better than the Jimmi Hendrix version.  (I know I lost a few of you there.)

4) I believe that we are all created equal, and we should all have the same certain, unalienable rights regardless of age, race, gender or country of origin.  Therefore I am a proud supporter of the ACLU, and The Innocence Project.

5) I believe in caring for our sick, and sustaining our health so I support Planned Parenthood Federation of AmericaElizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the Trevor Project.

6) I believe that the 10th Doctor will always be the best.

7) I believe humans are capable of great things when we stop finding our differences to be scary, but something to cherish and learn from, a melting pot.

8) I think Trump plays to the basest among us, and it makes me ashamed, because I know we are better than that. Therefore I attend rallies against caging children, ICE, limiting women’s rights, and (especially) hate groups.

9) I think PETA is bullying and extremism disguised as animal welfare.

10) I think we’re all so much more amazing than we give ourselves credit for.

11)  Picard.  Always Picard.  No contest.

So yeah, perhaps I’m a little Liberal.  Perhaps we don’t mesh 100%.  But I want you to know who I am, what supporting small businesses actually does for our economy.  I mostly wanted to write this because a past client sent me a PM a few weeks ago stating that he never would have hired me if he knew I was against Trump.  Never mind the fact that in two hours I worked miracles with his dog.  Never mind that he had referred me to six other clients.  He took it all back based on my moral abhorrence of Trump’s policies.

And he was right.

Listen, I’m not here to change his mind about Trump.  I’m free to attend my protests, and he’s free to attend his.  Just as I haven’t eaten at Chick Fil A in years because of my beliefs, he’s allowed to boycott Darwin Dogs because of what I support through my company.  And I know at least a few of you have lost some respect for me based exclusively on my dis of Hendrix (props on Watchtower, though.  Best. Guitar. Ever). But hopefully I’ve made you think a little.


Beard Rank:  Joel >Riker

Most of you are on this page because of animal rights, or you’re animal lovers, or just don’t know WTF is going on with your crazy diva-dog. (Hint:  Try Piloting.) But all of us are capable of learning more and doing better. Because as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”  Let’s all do just a little bit better at making our society a reflection of our morals rather than of just our wallets.

Keep calm and pilot on

Kerry Stack
Darwin Dogs
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio

 

 

The Most Terrifying Day of the Year – Happy 4th of July!

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

- Benjamin Franklin

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When I was a kid, my grandma had a dog named Patches.  He was the sweetest beagle ever.  A bit stoic for a beagle, he wasn’t really into playing much, but he was a solid companion.  He was one of those dogs who never did anything wrong – he was trustworthy both in and out of the house.  He never needed a leash, and he didn’t have a fenced-in yard.  Didn’t matter; he never even thought about leaving the yard.

I’ll never forget Fourth of July when I was 11 years old.  Patches would have been roughly 13 at that point.  A senior most definitely, but a healthy, sprightly old man.  Most of my  mom’s side of the family was spending the holiday at my grandma’s house:  at least 18 of my 22 cousins, plus aunts uncles – it was a kid heaven.  At dusk the adults started to light some fireworks.  We had a great time.  We headed home around 10:00.  Traffic was unusually heavy on the street where my grandma lived.  It took us a while to navigate.  When we got home, we found out why.

Patches had been hit and killed by a car.

The dog who had always been so stoic, truly a Pilot of a dog, had been frightened by the fireworks and run into the street.  Nobody had bothered to check to see where he was because the dog had never left his boundary in his entire life!  Not to chase squirrels (he stopped at the perimeter), not when guests came (he met them at the driveway).  Never.  Of course if we had realized he was terrified, we would have taken measures to ensure his comfort and safety.

Sparta and Orion have a fenced-in yard.  They will be spending the 4th in their crate, with soft music playing (I almost always have music on in my house, so this will seem normal, if not a bit louder, to them).  My pets’ safety is all on me.  It’s my job to make sure they are happy and healthy.  Things that may not seem scary to me may be terrifying to them, so even though they’ve never shown any signs of fear in the past from fireworks or thunderstorms, I’m still going to make sure they are contained.  It’s my job as Pilot.

Fourth of July is the busiest day for animal wardens.  Dogs (and cats) become scared and run off.  Some never return.  Take some precautions to avoid tragedy:

  • Exhaust your dog before nightfall.  Exercise creates a natural state that make your dog want to sleep.  Help them to sleep through the scary parts.
  • Secure your dog in their crate.  For added security, a blanket can be placed over the crate (it will insulate some of the noise).  Just make sure that the dog is comfortable, and not overheated if you add a blanket, and always leave a few inches of the crate uncovered for ventilation.
  • Make sure your dog has their tags on, and consider microchipping. It could be their ticket home.
  • If your dog is terrified, Pilot them.  You can’t soothe them.  They are legitimately frightened, and speaking to them in a high, whiney, “soothing” voice is counterproductive.  They need a Pilot, not another source of stress.  Read how to accomplish this here.
  • If your dog needs to eliminate, take them outside on a leash.
  • Ask your vet about medication if your dog has a history of reacting badly.  I’m against casual medication of dogs because they are “too hyper” or “anxious” during normal situations.  Those dogs need Piloting.  This is not a normal situation.  Before I get on an airplane, I have drink.  A strong one (or two).  I’m terrified of heights, and it takes the edge off.  That’s all you’re looking to do:  take the edge off of a truly terrifying and abnormal situation.  Again, consult your vet.  Do not self-medicate.

I do miss Patches, though it’s 25 years later.  He was a good dog.  Perhaps he would have lived only a few more months before succumbing to old age.  Perhaps he would have lived a few more years.  Regardless, his life was cut short due to ignorance.  I now know better.  I will Pilot my dogs through the Fourth of July.

Keep calm and pilot onKerry Stack
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio