Fern in a box

January 2013 I was called to help a couple with a small dog that the girlfriend/wife inherited from her aging parents after they failed miserably in it’s early puppyhood. The end result was when this couple got it they began perpetuating the same behavior as the woman’s parents, once again entrenching this dog in stunted growth and development. I don’t get it maybe it’s a genetic thing that if you come from self-centered failure oriented households you’re doomed to produce failures.
When I arrived at the condominium and met the mouthy, cynical, blaming male and his timid, overeating, passive/aggressive female partner I should’ve tazed them, taken the dog to my home, trained it, and found a good home for it but instead the eternal optimist personality I carry around inside me took charge and within twenty minutes I had this cute miniature poodle/lhasa apso mix, weighing 9 lbs. performing heel, sit, stay, and come for me like a trained professional on the circus circuit. I assumed the couple was paying attention and would follow my lead but when I arrived the following week their kvetching, blaming, and chronic negativity began wearing me down. Speaking of which on the second session I added down and downstay to the mix and once again Fern performed admirably while the couple failed like they were deaf and spoke a different language than myself. Maybe their vision was impaired as well because they did everything bass-ackward to what I was doing and when mildly chastised, they quit and sulked. Once again a fun time was had by all. When I drive away from sessions like this I used to agonize over what I could’ve done differently with my show and tell routines but now I get angry and I begrudge these folks the air I share with them.
To make a long story short her parents kept this dog in a tiny crate actually more like a box(shoebox) from day one in the garage by itself for 2 months then shuffled it to the daughter. Then my students, this middle-aged couple kept it in the same box downstairs in the kitchen or outside on the patio in the same shoebox. The patio yard was covered in feces which they gave some lame excuse for not piking up and disposing of on a daily basis. When I told them they needed a larger crate, also they needed to stop free-feeding the dog and feed her twice daily, immediately followed by walks and training in their gated enclave they looked at me like I was insane and began spouting lame excuses why that would not be possible. Being a professional I bit my tongue and scheduled another session. They called later in the week to cancel and the pissant of a man told me they were going to sell her on Craig’s list and that’s why I don’t go to craig’s list.
Puppies need consistency not compartmentalization. They only learn when they’re with the pack, when separated their growth, maturation, and development is frozen in time thus stunting them. The dog these people need is a stuffed animal on the shelf at Toys-r-us and quite frankly they’d probably set that on fire with their E-cigarettes. All I could do about this situation is pray which I do daily for most dogs that end up with half-assed couples that couldn’t raise weeds in a backyard filled with fertilizer.
Recently I worked with a beautiful female Doberman Pinscher named Julia. A 55 to 65 year old transplant from New Jersey called me saying it was her son’s dog and they needed help. I met the 30 to 40 year old gentleman briefly, worked with his mom who was attentive and adept but once again when the session was over the dog went into a crate in the cabana. I assume the sweet dog will become an outside or compartmentalized dog as was Fern and as I drive away I wonder why these self-centered idiots keep getting live social pack animals when they are quite the opposite. Once again I still pray for Julia, Fern, and all the other ignored, untended, and lonely dogs that belong to selfish, lazy, excuse riddled caricatures of humans.
All I can say is if you know of any please put a verbal boot in their ass for me. If you are not going to walk it, work it, and blend it into your home and lifestyle then get rid of it, take it to the pound, put an ad in the paper and get a stuffed animal.
Last year we adopted over 100 dogs a day in Arizona and for the first time our adoption rate surpassed the number of unwanted animals euthanized daily. We’ve come a long way baby but a lot of people haven’t so help me point them out and ostracize until they change or move somewhere else.
I firmly believe cats and dogs are put here on earth to love us blindly whether we have good days or bad. They’re angels dispatched from a higher power to show us how to love no matter what. Some of us are so damaged during childhood we need dispatched angels to show us how. If we spurn their attentions, don’t reciprocate, we deserve the hell we end up in. If you can’t feed it in a timely manner, walk it daily even if just around the house or yard, train it so it understands right from wrong, and lastly praise it when it’s right, then get rid of it and let someone else reap the dog’s love and affection. Lastly for those that can’t love dogs and only yell at them, trade them in for those fake parrots that have recording devices that repeat your muttered curses back to you because if that’s who you are that’s all you deserve. Dogs are love and we all grow and evolve into better people when in love but if you can’t grow and evolve then move back to whatever hell your from and stop sharing my oxygen.
I used to walk my earlier dogs, Aiko and Midnight in the summer at the crack of dawn in the early “90”s at Los Olivos park, 28th st. and Glenrosa. We were often joined by 10 to 20 other dog owners and their dogs and back then all the dogs would be off leash. It was beautiful watching puppies trying to emulate adult dogs while romping and playing as the sun peeked over the horizon, stretched and began it’s ascension. An older couple, John and Ina walked their German shorthair with us smiling at the beckoning sunrise. Six months ago on my daily constitutional with my dog, Romeo we met John now in his “80”s and when I asked how he was doing-he responded “we’re waitng to die”. His wife who had great wheels(legs) was bedridden and tended daily by a day nurse(caretaker). John expressed sorrow over the passing of their last dog, Misty and after I commiserated with him I asked him why they didn’t get a rescue dog to enliven, invigorate, and love them in the latter stages of their life since they were obviously dog lovers. Shortly afterward on my daily walk he stopped me and enthusiastically told me they had acquired a small female rescue and it was joined at the hip with his wife, Ina. Since then Ina has been inspired to walk around their pool 4 circuits daily with the dog by her side while she pushed her walker. John was beaming like the sunrise of yesteryear as he was regaling this story.
Everyday as we arise we have the choice to set our minds to a “half full glass or a half empty glass” mindset whether we are rich or poor. I choose the former mostly because my dog, Romeo lifts my spirits on daily walks to smile, laugh, and love via his leaps, bounds, and beaming smiles. It’s your choice but if you want to be miserable don’t get a dog and condemn it to hell because you’re entrenched in misery and if you have one and constantly yell at it please get rid of it because you’re wasting one of life’s precious riches.

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *