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Why start a blog?

I have enough on my plate. Some days I feel overwhelmed and stressed by the number of things I have going on. It doesn’t help that I’m one of those people who feels guilty when I leave things undone. Maybe I equate my self esteem with what I can accomplish. Not sure. I live off of a persistently growing to-do list. It’s a good day when I can knock off at least three items on the list, leaving another 20 to 30 items behind for another day. That’s how to-do lists work. You bang off a few and add to it as you go. Except I never finish the list. It always grows and so I never feel that sense of accomplishment I seek.

What could make that worse?

So now, to that list, I’m adding a blog. This is with the full understanding of the commitment in terms of time and effort it will require. I needed to think about why I sought to do this. That’s because, like most of us, I don’t always see what’s directly in front of me. I don’t immediate always make sense of the rationale and logic behind my actions. You know, the forest for the trees thing. What should be blatantly obvious isn’t always to the observer.

Clearly there are the business benefits to blogging, but that wasn’t at the heart of the reason. That aside, I realized that I was doing it for the dogs. That’s right. The dogs. I know, they don’t read. More than for training I have a deep, genuine love for dogs themselves.

Peer into the eyes of a dog that experiences fear or nervousness, or a shelter dog who has known little of the love, comforts, and kindness that many family dogs enjoy on a daily basis and one cannot help but feel empathy and concern. If you’ve ever met an anxious dog, you understand. Perhaps you’ve known of one who has been tossed about from home to home, or shelter to shelter. Or maybe you know of one currently in a home but who will shy away or cringe and tremble at his owners approach after severe mistreatment. If so, then you’ve been exposed to dogs that have been through their share of abuses and neglect and you’ve shared in their angst, extreme discomfort, and sometimes tormented existence.

Our human capacity to care and extend compassion and empathy are qualities that, in my opinion, are all too rarely shared with fellow humans and lesser still with animals. The amount of dogs suffering due to mistreatment, abuse, and neglect is staggering. That much of this suffering is brought on due to human ignorance in how dogs learn, why they behave the way they do, and how they can best be cared for is often inexcusable.
Sometimes all a dog needs is a touch. The touch of a person who cares. Not a person who wants to control or dominate him. Not a person who seeks compliance and total obedience at any cost, but a person who recognizes the dog as a living, breathing life form worthy of love, caring, happiness, and a pain free existence.

So since I cannot comfort and ease the suffering of every caged dog or each dog left tied up outside for hours. Since I cannot alone prevent every dog being rehomed or returned to a shelter because their owners felt the dog was “too much” and dispensable, or prevent the death of an innocent dog because the shelter could not get him adopted and it was running out of space. For all these reasons, I write this blog.

My hope is that I can contribute something, whether it is through writing about training, behavior, or matters that will in some way help owners understand their dogs better. If I can get one person to see their dog through a different light, help another gain patience in dealing with their dog, and another become a more confident leader and guardian, I will have been successful.
With that said, I can be often humorous, irreverent, and contrarian, but always honest, straight forward, and open minded towards others opinions. I hope this blog helps you in some way.

Take what you need, leave the rest. But sometimes…give more than you take.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated”.
Mahatma Gandhi

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