I updated the quotes in this Journal, Natural Rearing Notes and the main page of Spellcast Border Collies today. I decided to use quotes from the same author, Marcel Proust. I found this quote, which I didn’t use in the lay-out, but will use here:
“Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.”
A few days ago I wrote on keeping litter mates and how I didn’t think it was such a great idea. I made it a point to say that the woman I got Gel from, who keeps numerous dogs, didn’t fit into the mindset that I’ve seen so much of in the herding community. Now that she has an almost full-time job, however, and is raising two children, etc. I imagine she’s having some difficulty in keeping up with all the dogs she keeps. Either that or she’s superwoman and never sleeps. Anyway, she commented on my post, including a direct quote without asking permission to use the post or giving me credit. This is in violation of copyright laws and just plain rude. All images and content on this site are copyrighted material and may not be used in any manner without prior written permission.
She felt it necessary to defend herself and how she raises her dogs and wrote that it’s disheartening to hear that some people think if a dog isn’t taught all kinds of behavioral tricks and the owner doesn’t spend every waking minute keeping him busy, that there is not an intense bond. I don’t understand why she feels the need to defend herself, especially when I complimented her on how she brought up her dogs, unless maybe she feels that she’s not doing all that she could for her dogs.
My dogs are not taught tricks and I certainly do not spend every waking minute keeping them busy. I do spend a lot of time with them and enjoy training them. I take great pride in my dogs: they are smart, talented and well mannered.
Granted some of these people in the herding community are making a living off their dogs so having a lot of dogs in for training is part of their business and they do it on a full-time basis. That’s fine, I guess, but is the money making done at the expense of the dog? Is money making off animals ever an ideal thing for the animal? I suppose making money off livestock like sheep or cattle is a bit different than doing it with dogs. While I’m sure some dogs do just fine with limited human interaction, but I do not think the dog is as well-rounded as it would be if it were getting more attention, exercise and mental stimulation. If you have any kind of life or heaven-forbid work full-time, it’s awfully hard to give much attention to an individual dog if you are keeping ten or more. Lots of people have lots of dogs and they do fine with them; lots do not.
I suppose I may be best served to stop worrying or thinking about what other people do and just focus on my own life, but I am an activist and likely always will be. There is a lot of bad in this world, there’s lots of good too; and I guess I’m simply compelled to comment on both. I saw a lot of the same issues back when I was breeding and showing cats. People taking on more cats than they could manage in an effort to breed the next best of show winner and to breed and sell kittens. Their cats were more often than not kept in cages, often in a basement, garage or back room. Sometimes they got out for exercise, lots of time they did not. What a horrible life for a cat living in a three by three-foot cage in close proximity to its litter box which may or may not get cleaned on a daily basis. It isn’t much different for a dog, especially one bred to work, that lives most of its life in a chain link kennel.