2017.06.10

The Dog Relationship

We all become dog owners one way or another firstly for our own personal reasons. Some of us get a dog for companion, some for protection, some for a healthier lifestyle, others as a replacement to kids. Whatever the reason is, we all got dogs for our own benefits. One of the widely known rule after or even before getting a dog is to be a responsible dog owner. That means to provide the dog with at least the most basic needs, food and shelter and stability. These days, people talk about being responsible dog owner with regards to making choices and plans that include the dogs; never leave a dog behind.

Us too, consider responsible dog ownership one of the top priorities in having a dog. Aside from food and shelter, we owe it to the dogs to give them a stable life. Many of us turn unknowingly turn to our dogs for comfort when we quarrel with our peers, when we need a run in the middle of the night or when we just need a TV-buddy. To us, they are always there 24-7 whether they like it or not. In our opinion, because we choose to bring them into our lives and because we choose to step into the phase of being dog owners, we owe it to them to do what we can, within our means to keep them safe, healthy, happy for the rest of their lives.

We often dislike comparing dogs with children because they are different in so many ways and they have to be raised differently. But in this case, they are more alike than one can imagine. Many people see the heavy responsibility with having kids, but fail to recognise that it is the same with dogs. Whatever we do, whichever decision we make, affects the children in the household directly. When we switch jobs, when we are emotionally unstable, when we move to a new place. Likewise, it affects the dogs directly and indirectly. When you have children, your life isn’t only yours. Similarly, when you have a dog, your life doesn’t just revolves around you. Many dog owners that we met along the way, would raise their hands to agree that their lives have changed because of the dog. Many have become healthier, more structured or have a different passion. Still, there are a minority of people who own dogs, but continue to live their own lifestyle and providing only for the dog when they see fit. Although it is debatable as to whether this is right or wrong, this certainly will not make any dog a good dog, neither will it create a strong relationship with your dog.

There are many dog-business owners and entrepreneurs who started what they are doing all just because of the love and passion they have for their dogs. There are some who moved to a new house, some who took a new job, took on new skills, others who pull themselves out of bed to have healthier and better lives with their dogs. What most of us want out and enjoy the most out of having a dog is the relationship that we can have with them. While we are no relationship experts, the common sayings explains it all “it takes two hands to clap”, “in a relationship, it’s give and take”. Having a strong relationship with our dogs is what most of us search for. That soulmate, the buddy that will always be there. And all those of us with a dog, knows that having a strong relationship with your dog is not so easy. Not many of us can say that our dogs will go to the end of earth with us. Similarly, our dogs may also know that not all of us will go to the end of our lives for them. If we seek a strong relationship, we must first and foremost be willing and ready to put in what it takes to get there, for the dogs are always ready.

If you are like us, trying to build a strong and solid relationship base with your dog, you need to make considerations before you jump into decisions. Consider a daily basic level, if you are angry at your dog for something that he did, is your anger going to solve anything. If you are switching your job, is it going to affect your dog’s life and how are you going to counter it. If you plan to move away, is the move good for your dog. If you are bringing someone new into your life, have you make the necessary arrangements for your dog. Many people assume that as long as we do not desert our dogs, as long as we take them with us wherever we go, there will not be any problem. While we may know what and where our changes bring us, your dog has no idea. Many dogs develop reactive issues, separation anxiety, health issues, connection issues, because of the decisions we make. Dogs always do what works for them even if it is a bad move. As owners, we need to make what works for us, work for them positively. 

We are free to choose what kind of owners we want to be, we are also free to decide on the kind of lives we want to give to our dogs. But we must always remember whether we like it or not, for the better or worse, the decisions we make, the roads that we take, affects our dogs and we are responsible for that. If we can’t be responsible to a dog, what else can we be responsible to? 

Without passion, there is no dream.