Friday, April 18, 2008

The Dog Whisperer

     Due to the crippling lack of entertaining weekday daytime TV, and my messed up work schedule, I have been watching The Dog Whisperer, featuring Caesar Milan a lot as of late.  And I have to admit that I am hooked.  I like dogs, and I really respect what he has been able to do.  He has been around dogs all his life and he has figured out how to control them by simply observing and thinking about dog training from a different angle.  From the angle of the dog.  It's amazing.  His ideas for dealing with canines have even allowed people to change their own lives.  The things he does are absolutely amazing.  And after watching many episodes I still like dogs, but I don't like many of their owners.
     Okay, dogs are dogs.  They can do some amazing things.  They can be service animals, leading the blind or handicapped through their daily lives.  They can herd sheep or cattle across the Australian Outback.  Hell, Lassie saved that dumb kid Timmy out of that well like 37 times. Come to think of it, what the hell was wrong with Timmy's parents?  You think they would have capped the well, or put a fence around it after the first or second time.  Why let your child keep falling in there?  I guess it was just easier in the end because if he couldn't fall in the well the retard probably would have found a mine shaft or bear's den to fall into instead.  At least with the well they knew what they were dealing
with and Lassie would always save him.  All I know is that after the third time he fell into the well that kid would have been on a tether.  Or I would have set it up so he could fall into a combine instead. Anyway, dogs can do some amazing things, they can be intelligent and compassionate and industrious.  And they of course have emotions and whatnot.  But they are still dogs.  They are not people.  And they should not be treated as such.
     First of all, if you have a little yippy dog, you suck.  Those dogs are not cute, they are not peppy, they are annoying.  They are nothing more than dust mops that you have to feed and clean up after.  Get a dog that you can step on and it won't get hurt.  Get a dog that will scare an intruder.  And don't put clothes on it.  No matter what kind of dog you have.  Your dog already has its own clothes.  It's called fur.  And it changes them every season.  They don't need a lame sweater or some booties to make them warm or good looking.  If you think that you probably need a helmet.  And you should get yourself a doll if you want to play dress up.  I will even spring for the little doll carriage.
     And you need to learn that your dog is not your child, and it doesn't need to be protected from everything.  Let it sniff other dogs.  Let it chase rabbits.  Do not give it its own bedroom.  Do not let it climb in under the covers with you.  Do not set it a place at the table.  Do not let it control your life.  I hate to break it to you, but your dog will be just as comfortable lying on the floor as it will be lying on top of you in your bed.  So make it lie on the floor.  You are the human and you come first.  So the dog should not run your life.
      That being said, there is another kind of owner I don't like.  You dog might be a dog and not a person, but it is still a responsibility.  It needs to be walked every day.  It needs to be cleaned up after.  It needs to have discipline and then affection.  It needs to be taken care of.  You cannot chain your dog to a pole and let it run around doing nothing.  You can't give it a doghouse and a fenced in yard with no grass and just let it be.  It's okay to bring in the dog when there is a blizzard.  It's okay to give it a treat every so often.  It's essential to play with it.  Neglect is just as bad as too much attention.  It's worse because neglect is not socially acceptable.  If spoiling is getting drunk on whiskey, then neglect is getting drunk on rubbing alcohol.  Rubbing alcohol is just not socially acceptable.  Not even in college.   And don't ever beat your pet.  Or I will come beat your ass.  I will kick you until you start shaking then I will kick you until you stop.
     So the bottom line is this: if you want your dog to be man's best friend you have to be it's best friend.  Dogs want to be dogs, so treat them as such.  If you always do what is in their best interest they will always return the favor.  Trust me.  Walk the dog because it is good for them, and they will not rip up your furniture.  Give your dog a good home and it will protect it.  Give affection and discipline and you will get respect and affection back.  And what more could you ask for?  Then I won't have to see you on The Dog Whisperer and get all pissed off.  Plus, Caesar Milan doesn't come cheap.