"The Peeing Post"
Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature
Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen
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Dear Dog Friend,
It's still too hot for an old Viking like me. (I reserve the right to complain about the heat, as I did not complain about the winter cold...).
I spent a couple of hours at the big dog show in Kamloops, BC this weekend and noticed that I should be a Basenji in my next life: all dogs were panting and suffering in the heat, just not the Basenjis - they did not care. Not a single one of them panted once!
Anita and I have been knocked out of business for a couple of weeks. By forest fires. Forced evacuation with just a few minutes' notice before the smoke came down over the houses and made it impossible to breathe. We succeeded getting the computers and the most important business stuff with us - but not enough to carry on while we were gone. Some 32,000 people were evacuated, several hundred homes are so totally wiped off the map that you cannot even see where the cast iron stove once was...
Getting allowed back was a mixed blessing. It was a relief to see that the fire stopped with nothing more than the highway separating it from the gas station just 3 houses away... The smoke has been very tough to deal with, but it is finally now down at levels that do not make us sick any more. It wasn't really the kind of summer break I would want again...
Anyway - I hope you enjoy the summer under some more pleasant circumstances!
All southern BC has been put on another two weeks (and possibly more) State of Emergency, - as well the government has prohibited all access to the back country. This means that our September camp is cancelled too... Since I do not know when this emergency will end (it won't be until we get some significant amounts of rain), I am not in the mood of planning any other camps for the Fall, except on private invitation.
Raw food suppliers
In my new e-book "Raw Food For Dogs - the Ultimate Reference for Dog Owners", I make a reference to a web page that sould be a list of raw food suppliers. I would like to make that reference list of raw food suppliers useful for all of us. The page is at http://k9joy.com/education/foodsuppliers.html. It is still blank. I do have a few references I want to put in, but I would much prefer to have your opinions on some of your suppliers you know about.
So, would you do me and everybody else the favor of going to http://k9joy.com/education/foodsuppliers.html and click on the form that inquires about the raw food supplier you use, then fill in the information, so that others can know about your opinion about this supplier?
Thank you! I knew you would...
Returning to Imprinting
A little while ago, I got a letter from Jane, who is a good friend of mine. Last year, Jane and I had some communication about her new dog. She got it for all the "wrong" reasons, as I have explained over several issues of The Peeing Post. Jane's problems were very obviously related to a bad Imprinting on humans and lack of Socialization. The dog came from a kennel where it had very limited contact with people. But it was cute and miserable. A real "rescue" candidate. And Jane is a woman with a heart of gold... But a human, nevertheless!
She took the miserable dog home and started to take care of it with all the love she could give it. It couldn't handle much of all that love, though. The dog had problems. And now Jane had problems. Jane and I had some serious correspondence about it.... (well, you know what I told Jane about this - without reading my e-mails to her...) but Jane made her decision based on her emotions. I don't blame her. At the time, she was already too deeply connected to that "little shit", and there was no doubt that it would have a better life with Jane than back in the kennel! Still miserable, though - but less miserable...
Result: the dog was not returned as I recommended, out of care for Jane and the dog she didn't get! I understand the decision, but I also know from experience what the consequences of such decisions are.... And I know that people refuse to accept that this experience will also one day cover them! But it almost always does... I have yet to know more than about one handful of very special exceptions.
Here is Jane's moving letter:
I have been thinking of you and Anita and the dreadful loss of Bettemuir. I must say you had me in tears over the last Peeing Post describing the last weeks with your dog. It reminded me of the incredible emptiness I experienced over losing my Daisy (a Lhasa Apso) last year. I too had to carry her outside for her last pee of the night -- I too slept on the couch downstairs next to her to hold her during the night. It was an obvious but still very difficult decision to come to. I held her while the vet put her to sleep. I chanted over her the whole time, even as she passed away and for the time I spent alone with her after the deed was done. It was overwheling at the time but the closure I needed. (I am in tears now as I write to you even).
This article is very important. I kept the "rescue" dog and I find I am now regretting it. When my Daisy had puppies I did everything you said a breeder should do and her puppies have been delightful companions to all their owners -- no problems. They were housetrained long before they left their mum (they were trained when they were still restricted to the paddling pool) and no one had to go through any messes. So what you say is perfectly true.
I wish I had listened before I committed to taking on Maggie. She's sweet, quiet, and totally bonded to me out of sheer loneliness. However, there's no way I could let her off the leash, and I have to make sure she doesn't get too freaked out by men -- she was not abused, but neglected and now finds men overwhelming. I can only strongly agree with this issue of "The Post".
My next dog will be chosen with all due care as you've outlined. When my own dog had her puppies I had very little idea about breeding - but common sense told me to handle the pups a lot, have all the neighbours over a lot and make sure that humans and puppies alike had a helluva good time. Unlike Maggie, who I got from a reputable breeder at age 5. No socialization at all. What a disaster. I'm too attached now to part with her - but never again!!!
When I get letters like this, I cry. I feel so sad for everybody involved in this misery that has no happy ending for anybody. What Jane has achieved is a commitment for herself and the dog to a life that is far from the enjoyment she could have had with another dog, had she not chosen to keep this one....
That other dog that she could have got, may not be alive anymore...
The "rescue" concept - is it for you?
It makes me think about this whole "rescue" concept. I do not like that dogs in shelters are put down. I like even less that they are dumped in shelters in the first place - and I like much less that this almost always is a result of people getting that dog for the wrong reasons, without having a clue what kind of responsibility they assume by adopting a dog.
The big question is: How do we stop it?
Some people (out of a kind heart which I have nothing but admiration for) make the consequence of this become a commitment to only acquire a "rescue" dog, instead of getting a mentally healthy puppy from a responsible breeder...
The thought is very noble - but I also know from personal experience with hundreds of students in my classes that very few people can actually live up to such a commitment and enjoy their choice!
One of the most cruel lessons I learned when working with the Danish Government's Search & Rescue dog education was the first rule of all rescuing:
It sounds cruel. Inhumane. At first. But when you think about it, it makes sense: the purpose for a rescuer is not to get his name in the headlines of the papers the next day, as one of the heroic victims that died in an attempt to save someone else, but to maintain his ability to rescue more people! There are never enough rescuers in a catastrophe situation. Each rescuer is a precious resource that is worth far more than the life of one victim...
On a smaller scale, this applies to all of us. Those very few who truly can enjoy their "rescue" mission of dumped dogs from the shelters should be blessed. But those who do not have the kind of personality for this should not feel obliged to be doing it also. Just because it is right for some people does not mean it is "the right thing to do" for everybody.
Here is a point of view I believe has some valid merit: In a case like Jane's, everybody would have been better off with "the wrong dog" (the one she kept) being put down and the other, more appropriate (but unknown) dog, becoming Jane's beloved companion!
Do you see the difference? In the current case, we have this result:
Now, if Jane had been "cruel" back then, we would have had this result:
In the first case, we get two miserable dogs and a miserable person. In the latter case, we get one miserable dog, one happy dog, and one happy person!
My point is only this: In both cases, we deal with one dead or miserable dog that did not find a loving home. The only difference is that we know who that dog is. But should that really make the difference? In the big picture, I don't see it. The difference is solely within our own emotional experience.
I know - this involves some very unpleasant decisions that do get highly emotional, very quickly! But the fundamental problem does not go away because we don't like to deal with it.
Although you might be able to make a rational decision about which of these two scenarios you would prefer, you would (if you are a sensible and caring human) have a very difficult time carrying out that decision after having bonded with the dog you know! Miserable or not. Jane is no exception. She is very human.
However (and this is an important part of my important conclusion), if you are one of those people who truly feel good, emotionally, by involving yourself in the "rescue" of abused and abandoned dogs, then the net result is different! It could actually be a net positive, due to the positive satisfaction you achieve of your need for your mission, provided you truly could make a huge difference for the dog you adopted.
But if you are a more "normal" person that does not feel that deep emotional satisfaction from "rescuing" a miserable dog, then don't let this "rescuing business" drag yourself down, emotionally, by making the wrong choice! Because, in the overall perspective of dogs, it really does not make any difference, other than for you!
I know - it is very, very, very hard to make decisions about this when we get emotionally involved. BUT THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS BEFORE WE GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED! In salesmanship, there is a technique called "the puppy close". It refers to a situation where you know the potential customer is going to love the product, once he/she accepts trying it. The classic reference is a puppy, hence the name of this sales technique. Give the prospective buyer the puppy on a free trial basis for 5 days, and you are certain that that puppy will not be returned... Good sales people know that we make decisions with our emotions and justify them with our logic later....
This is exactly my point when I continue to hammer on the Imprinting as the MOST IMPORTANT TEST you need to screen your choice of dog against before you choose it. I know too many people who have ignored the power of Imprinting, thinking that tender, loving care can replace it. THEY HAVE ALL BEEN WRONG! Jane is not number one. She is number somewhere-between-one-thousand-and-two-thousand dog owner that I know who has suffered from these problems... Their dogs included.
For the vast majority of people, it is not worth it. And you should not feel guilty by not adapting this "rescue" mentality when you pick the puppy that is right for you. Your "rescuing" does not make any true difference for the world. The difference is for you personally, not for the total balance of happy dogs compared to miserable dogs....
Thanks for sharing the story, Jane. If it can help just one person to make a happier choice, then I feel it is worth it.
Cheers and woof,
If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of The Peeing Post, I will be happy to know about them. (Please no anonymous contacts, though...)
If you have any comments or questions pertaining to this issue or in general pertaining to dogs, please respond - if I can find an answer for you, I will!
Even if your question is a "My dog..." question of a personal nature, I will be happy to give you as much advice as I can per e-mail, provided you will give me feedback on how you used my advice and what results you got - and allow me to publish the story. (If I don't get feedback, you get an invoice for my time...)
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P.S. I have an unusual question for you: Do you need cash?
I know - it sounds weird, and in a way, it is. But let me explain:
I got connected with a group of investors who want to buy personal mortgages. They are looking for people who sold a piece of real estate in the USA or Canada and did not get the payment all in cash, but took a chunk of it as a "seller-carries" type of mortgage that hold the property as collateral - after the bank's normal first mortgage.
Well, many dog owners own their own home, and when you do, you often end up with such a second mortgage (or a "buyer's note") in a previous home when you move.
Maybe you preferred to get your cash, but the buyer could not pay you, so you accepted the mortgage instead...?
If so, here is a chance for you to still get cash for that old deal! These investors will buy your mortgage (taking over the monthly payments from your buyer) and pay you a lumpsum of cash for the ownership of that paper.
If you are the owner of such a mortgage and you would prefer cash now instead of those monthly payments over the years, then I suggest you get yourself an offer on your mortgage. It's free and with no obligation. If you like the offer, you can accept it and have your cash in 3-4 weeks directly from the investor. If you don't, you just decline it and walk away, owing nothing to anybody.
Here is how you do it:
You go to the page http://novasoljudicare.com/mortgages and fill in the form there with the required information about the mortgage you want an offer on and the property it has as collateral. When you submit the information, you will get your offer, typically in a week. As I said, you can accept it or decline it - there is no price tag on getting the offer, and no obligation to anybody for getting it.
Even if you are just curious about how much your mortgage is worth...;-) just don't tell anybody...