A big boy died today...

A big boy died today. Humans let him down. How many ways do we let our animal friends down? Breeders who breed dogs for looks, size or color, instead of the things that matter like temperament, healthy joints and bones and freedom from inherited diseases. Owners who put a dog in a crate, pen or on a chain, and don't teach them socialization skills, good boundaries with humans and other animals, and things that will make them have a peaceful secure life. Dogs are no more born with the ability to live within human bounds than a horse is born with a saddle on its back. Yet we expect them to be good companions, come when called, protect a little but not too much, and be the perfect animal. All while not investing in their mental, social or emotional health and training them to be good canine citizens all along the way. Then we take them for walks while chatting on our phones, missing out on valuable training and bonding time, making each moment a training opportunity to give them more tools to become better companions. And as imperfect as we are, we expect them to be 100% perfect, 100% of the time, and never defend, never warn, never bite and if they do, they are labeled "aggressive". No responsibility for what the human didn't do, just labeling the animal as defective and a danger to the community. A good boy died today, not because he was anything but who and what humans created. And since the day he was conceived, it's the humans who are responsible for his loss. Heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people at #peterscreekpetboarding for their kindness, compassion and ability to see the best in each dog and give it the care and space it needs to be it's perfect self.

Lessons here?

-DON'T buy any animal for someone as a gift! If something happens to that person, or they don't take care or responsibility for the animal, it will become YOUR responsibility to advocate for its safety, its physical, mental and emotional health and well being, initiate or maintain training and assure they can function with health and well being for the remainder of their life.

-DON'T assume animals are being cared for because someone is "private". Oftentimes we feel we need to stay out of someone's personal affairs, but when animals are involved and there's concern for animals well being, always advocate for the animals in a respectful way.

-Don't let people who are NOT animal people make decisions about animals without knowing the animals history, it's personality, and it's individual needs and requirements.

-PLEASE include all information, history, requirements and any known factors about your animals in your will or directives should you pass away unexpectedly. Appoint either a qualified caretaker, insured adoption/rescue agency, or best of all, future home for your pet should you be unable to care for them or pass away. Allow funds for their care as much as you can afford, and specify any needs or requirements for their long term care once you are gone.

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