Imagine being the size of a chihuahua amongst all those legs… it must be like living in the Land of the Giants!
When I started down this venture in 2008, there was an active blogging community that covered dogs. I was an idiot in those days and a far worse writer.
You got hits by being a pugilist. I punched. I got punched in return.
And it was okay.
But then the major blogging networks that held this fractious community together “went corporate, and all the organic aspects of this community died.
What we were left with just competition and vitriolic bellicosity.
I kept this up for as long as I could, but then I either grew up or just got tired of all the bullshit. It’s probably the latter.
I have yet to find a community in the real dog world that isn’t petty and dogmatic. Probably the only exception to this is my own Facebook group that is associated with this blog, but that is like the Island of Misfit Toys, where they are led by the ultimate broken jack-in-the-box (me).
I am never, ever going to be a super dog trainer. I don’t have the skills, and I’m not going to pretend that I have those skills anymore. I’ve tried to learn them. I just don’t have it.
It’s the toughest thing in the world for me to admit that I cannot do something.
Not everyone can read historical documents or peer-reviewed articles either.
That’s what I tell myself.
You may have noticed that the scope of this blog has changed a lot in the past few months. I am trying to find my voice again, and I think I do better as a story teller than what my grandpa called a cross between a prostitute and an encyclopedia: “a fucking know-it-all.”
I may lose readers if they don’t see the latest story about a dog bite or something stupid that a TV dog trainer did.
There still are places where you can read that stuff.
It’s just not me.
I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. I don’t think anyone from that community still talks to me or links to me from the early days.
I have a few readers who have stayed with me for the long haul. They’ve seen my various evolutionary epochs.
And I now am the point where it I don’t think I will ever go back.
The conflict that exist because of the problems of the modern dog fancy have been solved in the grand scheme of things. In North America, the main multi-breed registries are essentially ignored. In Europe, there is just so much public pressure for reform that it will happen. It will happen as the older generations die off.
In the mean time, a lot of damage is going to be done, but because the people who are okay with the damage are so certain about their views, it is a waste of time deal with them.
Allow the attrition of the generations to take care of this problem.
I find myself falling into an anhedonic state when it comes to these issues.
But I also know the rightful place for me is in the wilderness.
The battles of dog people will go on.
I’m checking out.
This post is sponsored by State Farm®.
Having good neighbors, as we all know, can be a roll of the dice.
Our first week in our new home, we waved to people passing by, but no one said much. I wondered how we were ever going to get to know anyone. Later that week, my often-shy daughter barreled out the front door and down the driveway when she spotted a girl about her age walking her Golden Retriever down the street. “I have a Golden too!” my daughter said, and it was the start of a beautiful friendship.
Over time, I got to know many of my neighbors: Rooney’s mom, Grizzly’s dad, Barkley’s twin boys- wonderful people, the whole lot, and the fact that they are also dog owners is a happy bonus as well as the reason I met them in the first place. Our friendships formed starting with our common interest in pets, but those friendships have also extended beyond just the dog park. Which begs the question: is my dog helping me become a better neighbor, or am I just imagining things?
Are Pet Owners Better Neighbors?
Earlier this year, State Farm released The State of Neighbors Survey to understand what is happening in our neighborhoods. I learned, for example, that I fall in the third of people who are embarrassed that we don’t know all our neighbor’s names (though I can for sure tell you who their dogs are.) I also learned that it’s not just my imagination: pet owners really are more active in their neighborhoods.
I’m sure we can all come up with our own personalized list of neighborly characteristics: doesn’t practice the tuba at 10 pm, doesn’t use your wifi without asking. One thing is clear from the State Farm survey: people long to be connected to their community and their neighbors. And clearly, pet owners do that very well. So yes, while finding good neighbors can be a roll of the dice, having a pet in your corner can help even out the odds.
We live in a day and age where people feel increasingly disconnected to what, or who, is around them. Pets help bring us back into the circle. So what’s the easiest way to get a group of like-minded folks from the hood to come together and have some fun? A Neighborhood Bark Party, of course! Gather your supplies, find a place to gather, and plan for some fun. To help make it even easier, here’s a checklist to help you plan your own Bark Party:
To help you get started, we’re giving away a Bark Party gift basket to get your party off on the right foot!
To enter, just comment below with your name and how your dog has helped you be a good neighbor- entries are collected using the Rafflecopter app below so be sure to enter there!
Terms: US only, one entry per person. Contest ends midnight PST, 11/16/16. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternate will be selected. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by State Farm®.
PetsitUSA’s newest featured pet sitter is Cool Dogs Petsitting in Richmond, VA! If you are in the Richmond area, you can find their listing here. Cool Dogs offers many services, including:
- AM, Midday, PM visits and sleepovers
- Bathing and Brushing
- Pet Photography
- Pet First Aid Certified
You can find more information at their website.
Thank you Cool Dogs Petsitting for being a member of PetsitUSA!
you'll hear about a raid or bust then want to find out more but all you get is a paragraph or so…recently there was a bust and the aspca handled it but all they posted was a paragraph and no details whatsoever.
BAD RAP Blog
Small enough to snuggle inside a soldier’s helmet, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier with a big heart was the embodiment of the phrase “man’s best friend” in the eyes of the 5th Air…
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No matter which side of the political spectrum you favor, make sure you go and vote today (if you haven’t already). This election is too important to stay on the sidelines. Thanks to the Target Facebook page for this adorable reminder. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!