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Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”

- Winnie the Pooh

We all try our best. I know I do. We try to give our dogs a good life, make them happy, and help them feel safe and secure. We work through behavioral issues as best we can. We read books. We watch videos and tv shows about dog trainers and behaviorists, each vilifying the others, everyone contradicting each other. So who’s right?

Your dog.

Your dog is constantly communicating with you. You need only to be sensitive enough to notice what they are trying to tell you.

Then suddenly it becomes crystal clear. Take away the background noise, turn off the tv, put down the book, and pay attention to who has the best information on what your dog needs: your dog.

Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew

1) We are simple. We don’t apologize for being simple, just as we don’t apologize for being dogs. We will never understand your human need to over-complicate the most simplest issues. We are not stupid, but we do prefer being in the moment. We don’t worry about what may happen tomorrow. We are your best friend. We mean you best friend…you know, the kind that will tell your that the outfit your wearing does indeed make your butt HUGE. We don’t worry about giving offense because we never take offense. We love you enough to never be anything but sincere. Now please go change your outfit.

2) We are always trying our hardest. I know I sometimes get anxious and nervous when I see another predator dog while we’re out on a walk. I don’t mean to be a jerk, I’m really just afraid that vicious creature puppy might try to kill you. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that you’ll protect both of us.

I’m not trying to be bad, I’m actually trying my hardest to be the best body guard/friend I can be.

3) I ask a lot of questions. Please answer them. You may think they’re stupid, but they mean the world to me. So seriously, now, is the mailman trying to kill us? If you’d just answer the question, I could stop barking.

4) We don’t understand punishment. We understand “yes” and “no”. When I understand that the answer to my question about chewing on your shoes was “no”, please let it go. We don’t understand punishment or discipline.

If it makes you feel better to punish me, though, then I love you enough to let you. But it confuses and frightens me. I’d feel much better if you’d just answer my questions and move on.

5) Give me what I need, and I’ll do anything you want. All I need from you is the basics for life, and some Piloting, Activity and Work. Don’t pick and choose when giving me what I need. Give me all those things I need, and I’ll do anything you want, like, stop chewing on your shoes, for instance. If nobody Pilots me, then I guess I have to do the job myself. I really don’t want to be a leader and Pilot everyone, though. Please don’t make me.

6) Keep me forever. I’ve only got a short time to live compared to you, please let me live it with you. I can’t help that I shed, or that the new apartment you want won’t let me in. It frightens me not to have a home, and it takes a toll on me each time I’m bounced from home to home. I would give me life for you. I ask only that you never turn me away, and keep me always by you.

7) And then let me go. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I tried not to get old, but it’s hard for me to walk well, and it’s too much for me to come bounding up to greet you like I used to when I was younger. I know you tried your hardest as well. You took me to the vet’s office regularly, and made sure I had a good diet and exercise, but now it’s time for me to go. Who thought we’d have this long together? I’ll be okay. I promise you.

Kerry Stack

Darwin Dogs

Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio

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