I read something upsetting earlier today. A friend of mind posted something on facebook that animal lovers will find hard to read. It is about someone whose friend put down their family dog because he bit her child.
When you adopt a pet into the family, most people do not realize that these animals need our care. And the care that they need are not much different from that of a child. Just like it takes a special person to be a parent to a kid, it takes a special someone to be a care taker of an animal, be it a hamster or a dog. Once they enter you lives, they are part of your family. They might as well take your surname.
From the moment we had our furkid, we unassumingly became parents. We had to wake up many times in the middle of the night when he was just a puppy to clean up his poop to make sure that he doesn’t eat it, as many puppies do. We had to bring him to the vet quite regularly when he was younger, not only for his usual jabs but also all the minor illness that puppies get. Until today, we have to shower him, check his ears, clip his nails, comb his fur, all regularly. And daily, we brush his teeth and walk him twice a day. Then there was the operation on his leg that got us worried sick.
If our furkid misbehaves, he’ll get it. No spanking or hitting. A good stern scolding and some quarantine. But many times animals do things that humans just don’t understand. Sure he’ll bite your prada shoes or your box of tissues if you leave it lying around. But they don’t know the difference between a $2000 shoe and a $20 chew toy unless you teach it to them. If they misbehave, it is your responsibility to correct him.
If you do not know such things, educate yourself. Reading the article I mentioned above on facebook, however upsetting it was, also made me feel a sense of relief to know that there are people out there who understands these things about animals too and that information such as animal behavior and care are freely available, if only we are willing to search for it.
Below are some educational posters from Dr. Sophia Yin’s website on how to interact with dogs. You’d be surprised by how much we misunderstand and how similar they actually are to some human behaviors.
One thing to take away from this is that if you don’t like being treated a certain way, chances are dogs don’t like it too. Please be polite to all creatures, just as we should be polite to each other.