Are You Helping Your Dog Be All that He Can Be?
By Author Laurie Plessala
While Rachael is taking some needed and well-deserved time off, she asked me to write a “guest blog” for her this week. I would do anything to help Rachael, but hers are not shoes that anyone can fill. So I’m not going to try. All I can do is write from my heart the way Rachael does, give the dogs in my life – past and present – a voice, and hope that you find some kernels of wisdom in our words.
For those who don’t know me, I’m Dog Lovers Guru (aka Laurie Plessala). I wrote a book called The Endless Path with my chocolate Lab soul mate, Gunny, several years ago. I say “with” because he is truly my co-author. He had a story to tell; we had a story to tell. So we told it. From each of our individual perspectives. We shared a life together and loved each other madly. But we didn’t always share the same opinion about things!
Gunny introduced me to the world as seen through a dog’s eyes. I’m doing my best to share that wisdom, just as I promised him I would. There are literally dozens of important topics to learn about when you raise a dog: breed characteristics, training, behavior, health, exercise, etc. My critique of many of the books and articles that discuss those topics is that they often don’t consider the dog’s perspective – or don’t give dogs respect for being wise individuals capable of making decisions that are in their best interest. The truth is, if given a foundation of trust and respect, I think dogs instinctively make better decisions than people a lot of the time.
If you want to help your dog grow into the happiest dog he can be, pull up a chair. If you never thought of raising a dog that way – helping him/her fulfill her hopes and dreams and enjoy more freedom – then you’re in good company. Until Gunny, I never thought about my relationship with a dog that way either. Now, I don’t know any other way to look at it.
My current dog is named Beau. He will be two years old sometime in January. This is the first dog that I have been able to raise from a puppy with the philosophy of supporting him in being all HE wants to be and having a relationship of mutual respect with him. I made lots of mistakes early on in his puppyhood; I just hadn’t “deprogrammed” myself of all the old -fashioned views about how to raise a puppy. But I’m on track now, and this week I’ll share with you some of those learnings, along with a lot of advice from Gunny.
See you back here tomorrow!