Since Prince Charming died, I’ve discovered there are a group of people that don’t get what is going on with me . . . and they assume that they know better than I do about how to handle my grieving process. I call these annoying people Don’t Get It’s or “DGI’s” for short.
I’m learning that DGI’s are everywhere . . . not just trying to “help” me with my grieving process.
I was having a conversation with Charming Daughter on FB earlier today about how to tell if it’s too hot to take the dogs for a walk. She posted something about a 5 second rule – if you cannot hold the back of your hand on the pavement for more than 5 seconds, it’s too hot to walk the dogs.
Interesting information that’s really pretty handy because sometimes I struggle with the question if it’s too hot. They want to go and I want to take them but I don’t want them to get overheated or to do damage to their paws. Because you know that they will happily go on any adventure if I ask them . . .
During the conversation, one of her FB acquaintances hijacked the post and pretty much took me and Charming Daughter to task for even suggesting the alternative of taking the dogs to a dog park for exercise when it’s too hot for me to walk them. Apparently Annoying FB Friend is in Charming Daughter’s dog training class (Charming Daughter is studying to be a certified dog trainer) and is a self-proclaimed expert on all things dog training related.
It took all I had not to blast Annoying FB Friend . . . I didn’t want to get into an argument with a 20-year old on FB . . . I could hear Prince Charming telling me to let it go and to walk away from computer . . . I know I can’t win an argument like that and some of what she has assumed about me is true . . .
I told you that story to tell you this story . . . this is the letter I would have liked to post on her FB page . . .
Dear Annoying 20 Year Old Know It All Dog Trainer
You don’t know me and all I know about you is what I saw on the FB post earlier today that went all bad real quick. Yet you assumed that I’m some sort of newbie dog owner that needed to be “schooled” on the dangers of dog parks.
I’ve owned dogs for over 30 years and, yes, I consider myself an “everyday dog owner” . . . with the exception of my darling Luci, all of my dogs are shelter rescues . . . mixed breeds without any sort of pedigree paperwork. They aren’t show dogs. They aren’t “work” dogs. They are family pets. My current furbabies are Rocky and Millie and their only “job” is to keep me sane and functioning after the sudden death of the love of my life 18 months ago. Personally, I think they’ve done a fine job . . . but then I’m not a trained professional . . . what do I know?
I understand the responsibility I face as a pet owner to make sure the dogs are happy, healthy, well loved, and well behaved. I understand that their failings are my fault. Millie’s weight problem is because I tend to over feed her and give her more treats than she really needs. I’m also guilty of giving them tidbits of things I’m snacking on. Millie’s obedience problems are my fault. I didn’t work with her when she was a puppy and what training she has gotten is pretty haphazard. She came into my life when I was absolutely positive that I did not want a second dog and my XH got her anyway. She was supposed to be his dog and he was supposed to be responsible for her training . . . and when we separated six months later, Millie was left with me because he thought she was “too hyper” and he didn’t want her anymore. I’m thankful that Rocky is such a good boy and she likes to imitate whatever he is doing. But that’s not to say that sometimes Millie’s mischievous nature doesn’t rub off on Rocky and they end up on adventures. Rocky is my good dog, very obedient and very well behaved when it’s just me and him out in public. Like I said earlier, Millie is a bit of a bad influence and he tends to misbehave when all three of us are out in public together. They aren’t aggressive or mean . . . they are friendly, happy dogs that think that everyone is their friend. Again, totally my fault because I haven’t properly socialized them.
That being said . . . the dogs are certainly not mistreated. Before I could bring Rocky home from the rescue center, XH and I had to go through an interview process where they checked references and even had a conversation with our current vet and the vet prior to the current vet. We even had to submit to a home review so the adoption lady could see what kind of home we would provide to the dogs. We had to go through the entire process again – plus a visit with Rocky – before we could bring Millie home. We passed with flying colors both times. They get their shots like they are supposed to, they get their heartworm and flea treatment every month as prescribed. I make sure they have current licenses and, since Millie likes to destroy her ID tags and go off on adventures (thankfully never at the same time), I’m getting them micro chipped. Rocky doesn’t like loud noises like thunder and fireworks and I’ve been working with him to reduce his anxieties . . . and no my answer to the problem isn’t just to give him a pill. I am trying to figure out how to help him deal with the anxieties and make the situations less stressful for him. Rocky isn’t the first dog I’ve had with anxiety issues . . . the anxiety thing is something I’ve been working on for 16 years now with three different dogs . . . and I know what works for one dog might not work with another dog.
Over the years I’ve dealt with dogs with serious health issues that require frequent trips to the vet for monitoring. I’ve searched to find a “geriatric veterinarian” because the vet I was seeing at the time didn’t quite understand what was going on with my older dog. I’ve asked for a referral to an “internal medicine veterinarian specialist” because nobody could figure out what was going on with one of my dogs. I’ve struggled at times to pay for the treatment they need to fight their health issues. Yes, I’ve struggled many times with the decision of when to stop fighting and help them cross the Rainbow Bridge.
I know this doesn’t make me dog mother of the year and I don’t expect that this will change your opinion of me one iota . . . and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. These dogs are my family and I will protect them from anything that would do them harm . . . even if sometimes the person doing them harm is me. In the future, until you know for sure that someone is a “bad dog parent” do not assume that they are. And I’ll try not to assume that every 20 year old dog trainer isn’t an obnoxious snob.
Love and kisses
Pammie – and Rocky and Millie