Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dogs Have Feelings Too

Guapa is a mixed breed dog that we borrowed from our neighbor. She had been tied up on a short lease for one year. The family had to do this because either she would chew up everything in the yard or jump over the fence and take off. She had been given to them by a woman who became pregnant and could no longer keep Guapa. In her first home, Guapa lived inside and was treated like a human.

In our house (her third home), she has to live outside. Some neighborhood kids had been coming into our back yard, once spilling paint thinner on the steps of my studio out back. Her bed is on our back porch, surrounded by big plants. She sleeps on hay and has a special blanket. When it gets really cold her fur fluffs up incredibly. She gets walked out in the neighborhood twice a day. She has already been spayed and gets heart worm and flea medicine every month. We play with her and sit with her on the back steps as often as we can. She comes inside with me when I go up to my studio. She can't come in the house because we have two cats and she would try to eat them. We know she feels left out because we have two dogs inside the house. Sometimes if the weather is bad or we get too busy, she gets really sad. You can see it on her face. Last week when it was really cold and my son was visiting I think she got desperate and ran off one night. It took an hour for us to get her back. I'm not sure if the Dog Whisperer would say that she wanted attention, or wanted to leave us because we weren't such a nice family anymore.

Today is a better day. I'm going upstairs to my studio now and she will be able to spend the day with me. One really warm days I open up the balcony and she goes out to look over the neighborhood.

Guapa has feelings. It was terrible for her to be tied up. But so many people in my neighborhood tie up their dogs. Now that the holiday season has just passed, we see lots of people with pure bred puppies. So many people don't know that in Houston, if you don't give your dog heart worm medicine the dog will die in a few months. They also don't realize that if you tie up your dog they become less social and more aggressive.

If you want a dog

1. Get one at the pound or SPCA. Save the life of a dog. Those dogs who are not adopted are put to sleep (they euthanize them, they give the dogs something so the dog will die) Don't buy a pure bred. Most pure breds end up at the pound. Many are over bred and are more prone to disease.
2. Make sure they are spayed or neutered. Females go into heat every few months and at that time all the boy dogs in the neighborhood decide to visit.
3. Get heart worm medicine. In Houston go to SNAP or for even less expensive medicine go on-line:
4. If your dog is too spunky, remember that dogs under 2 years are often that way. Walking them daily helps calm them down (and helps your health too).
5. Don't tie your dog up for long periods. It makes them angry and mean.
6. If your drive way is in your fenced back yard, tie the dog for a minute or so while you move your car in and out of the drive way. Then let the dog loose when you close the gate.
7. USE A LEASH when you walk your dog. You may think your dog obeys you all the time, but all he/she needs to do is see a cat or a bicycle and they will be gone in a flash. If a car is coming it will be all over and your dog will get killed and you will feel guilty forever.
8. Don't give your dog human food. They don't do well with human food and it may make their life spans shorter.
9. Remember dogs really do have feelings. They love, hate, feel insecure, become angry, and sad. If you don't believe me, just check out the Dog Whisperers site.

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