Sharing is caring

Quite an overused phrase, I know. Still, every time I meet someone, who needs a quick fix for their dog because they ‘don’t have time to train’, I keep thinking about the moments we share with the ones we love, the time that nothing else can replace. Time that is used to create memories of places, things, adventures -as, perhaps, the time will come when we might wish to turn back the time and have all the time we’ve wasted.

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Brian changes quickly and even now I can smile and say: ‘I remember when…’ We train a bit every day, he’s clever and clumsy. I can detect a feral dog in him, he always spots the slightest changes in his environment, he’s weary of sounds, smells and objects that he’s not familiar with. He can easily remember animals he’s met (all the cats in the neighbourhood) even if to me they look the same. But he doesn’t recognise human faces, even small changes in the appearance of people he knows make him confused. So, a hat or sunglasses still make our friends a ‘different’ human.

Our morning walks are for socialising and playing with dogs. Brian’s manners are much better, so he makes new friends every day. We use games to practise recall and getting relaxed after the play (‘settle down’). And we share all that, me and him-along with sloppy kisses, clumsy climbing on my lap and falling asleep in my arms. How could I not want all that?

Training takes a few minutes here and a few there. Boredom is to be avoided at all costs-so lack of time really is a poor excuse.

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5 thoughts on “Sharing is caring

  1. That’s because for you, your dogs are loved and cherished family members, whereas for those who want “a quick fix,” they are toys.
    Funny you should mention that Brian does not recognize people when they change appearance. I thought dogs recognized people by smells, not by looks. I guess I was wrong.

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    1. Even a toy needs some emotional attachment to make it special. But dogs should not be toys-nor should they be easily disposable. As humans we do have responsibilities and our attitude to pets is just one way of accepting the duties as well as the privileges of our species.
      And no, you’re not wrong, dogs depend mostly on their sense of smell to sort out their world 😉 But, within the last decade or so, there’s a trend to distinguish canis familiaris (I use the latin name to stress the ‘domesticated’ part) from any other domesticated animal and there’s lots of research into how dogs can recognise human emotions by looking at the slightes changes in our faces. What’s even more fascinating: whereas dogs are just born with the marvellous sense of smell, the skill of reading human faces is actually learnt, not unlike learning a foreign language by a human thrown into an unfamiliar environment. Dogs can also recognise some sounds of the human language, so they actually ‘speak’ English or French or whatever language they are surrounded with. I used to be pretty obsessed with it, so I still use a different language for a different purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am flying on a high emotional wave (mixed metaphor). Last night I did a workshop fro teenagers who volunteer to work with special needs children. One of those volunteers was a former student of my school who had such a bouquet of issues, both emotional and physical, that even at my school she was a challenge. She is gorgeous (that took some surgeries), intelligent, well-spoken, a talented artist; she is graduating from high school and has already been admitted to college, majoring in art and design . I think her adoptive father deserves a medal for taking his responsibility for another human being more seriously than many biological parents do. Unfortunately, what you are saying about pet owners very much applies to many parents. Their emotional attachment is self-centered and their responsibility begins and ends with money spent on those kids and/or pets.
        Your explanation of dogs “reading” facial expressions and understanding human languages is fascinating – thank you!

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  2. People need to think before they buy or adopt a dog and see if they have the “time” needed to spend with them. If they don’t, leave the dog there so someone who does have the time can take care of it. Glad Brian is doing so good.

    Liked by 1 person

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