Those of you who know me are well aware that I take dog ownership and the responsibilities that go along with it very seriously. After all it was MY choice to share my heart and home with a houseful of the furry little critters, therefore it is my responsibility to see that they do not interfere with the peace and tranquility of others, as a matter of fact I am obligated to do so. I am also committed to my animals for life and their health and well being is completely my responsibility.
I am guardian to many dogs that were discarded by society. There is not a dog in my home that didn’t go through abuse or neglect at the hands of someone who called themselves a dog owner. All my pets are rescued from one fate or another. However, I naively expected my latest addition “Peanut”to come without issues. She didn’t, and her story is perhaps more sad for that because it is so common. Her owner failed to see her suffering, failed to see that the little dog was starving right before her eyes, a victim of bullying by another dog.
“How can such a thing happen?” I hear you ask. Sadly, it happens in many homes around the world. People get a dog, they think dog ownership is easy, you feed the dog you walk the dog and all will be well. Such was not the case for Peanut. Peanut grew up with another dog, one that was larger and more confident than she. As a result when her owner put her food down and left the room Peanut was chased away from her bowl and her food was gobbled up by the older larger dog. Peanut barely survived on the table scraps her owner gave her at dinner time. The other dog soon became overweight and just as unhealthy as his starving pack sister. Their owner never noticed their condition.
“How can you not notice that a dog is starving?” I hear you shout! And I agree with you, I would have noticed but I am one of those strange owners that supervises mealtime and makes sure her entire pack is getting their share. I figure out early on which dogs will bully others and steal their food. At feeding times those dogs are crated and served their portion of food in their crates. Everyone gets a full meal, and everyone is healthy and happy. No one has to scrounge for scraps to survive.
Peanut is safe now and survives on a diet of whole foods which I hand feed her every night at mealtime. It is the only way she will eat, she is terrified of food bowls and approaches them with much nervousness. She will not eat from them instead taking little morsels of the food and trying to hide it for later consumption. She stockpiles food because she fears she will not get any otherwise. She is slowly beginning to learn that I will not let her starve.
Peanut has other issues too. She has no idea what a dog toy is and can not instigate play with another dog because she was what I call a “trophy dog.” We see them all the time, small breed dogs that women dress up and carry around in their purses. Their little feet never touch the ground and their little outfits are always co-ordinated with Mom’s wardrobe. They are living breathing accessories that these women treat like dolls. As a result they never learn to be dogs.
C’mon, you know what I am talking about, we have all seen them, dogs that look like they are pampered and spoiled. Dogs that have the best of everything but have never been allowed to be dogs. Peanut is the product of that kind of lifestyle, and she now must learn what it is to be a dog. She will learn to run and play in the grass with her pack mates, but it will take a while. Peanut has no self confidence, and much fear. That fear will be a difficult thing to overcome, but we will get there.
I guess what I am really saying here is if you want a dressup doll then buy a Barbie! Dogs are a responsibility not an accessory! If you just want something to carry around in your purse and look cute I hear Walmart sells stuffies, if you are not going to treat your dog like a dog, then you have no business owning one!
Until Next Time Remember,
WE ARE THEIR VOICE!