In the 1992 presidential race, James Carville coined the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid” for the Clinton campaign. Sitting President George H. W. Bush lost.
So, let me clear, “IT’S ABOUT THE DOG, STUPID.”
Once you accept stewardship for a canine companion, the dog’s needs, wants, desires and wishes come first.
A few years ago, I took Booker T. Washington to Moab. We stayed in a pet friendly hotel where he had lots of room. There was a fenced in “back yard” with a view of the river. But, he hated it. It wasn’t his home. I’d go horseback riding or wine tasting and he’d sit next to the door and wait. Booker hates traveling. Booker prefers to hang out on his own sofa
Faith, my Bernese Mountain Dog, had two heat strokes a few summers ago. Going outside when it’s over 75 degrees isn’t an option for her. Therefore, in the summer, we walk in the early morning or the late evening.
Gus moved in with me three years ago. Before that, he spent three years in a puppy mill. When unfamiliar dogs and people approach him, he tucks his stubby tail under and backs away. It’s my job to allow him to meet people and dogs on his terms.
Like people, some dogs are interpersonal. Some dogs are comfortable in a crowd. Some dogs are trained to support people in those situations.
But, most aren’t.
With free summer concerts and parades, I often see dogs panting and drooling next to people on blankets. They’re hot. It’s loud. It’s not right
When you accept stewardship of a dog, it’s your job to ensure his/her comfort. Your wishes are secondary.
It’s about the dog.