All My Thoughts on Dog
I love dogs. I also love cats and horses. But since this is a page dedicated to dogs, I will talk about dogs… mostly! Dogs have always been in my life. As the daughter of two veterinarians, I grew up surrounded by a large menagerie, of which there was always a dog included. Just one, though, one at a time, replaced only upon the death of its predecessor. My dad, Dr Jay R Georgi, always maintained that “One dog, you have a dog. Two dogs, you have half a dog. Three dogs, you have no dog at all.” That said, I must admit I almost always have two dogs, with the occasional bout of a single, thrown in there to keep me honest.
Somehow though, that second dog always finagles its way into my heart and my home.
Dogs are… mostly… wonderful. Those few that are less than wonderful (it seems to me) would benefit enormously from what I call an “owner-ectomy.” My current dog, an 18 pound parti-color Cocker Spaniel, blond and white, is such an animal. Pippi went through no less than 5 owners before we picked her up at the SPCA (that’s where the best dogs are found, according to my dad, and I agree) Her problem? Her previous owners thought she was a fluffy cute little lap dog to snuggle with. She is that, and a gregarious, friendly, outgoing, love-dog to boot, but she is also an exceedingly alpha witch with a hunting instinct that will not quit. She needed action, plenty of it. She also needed to realize she was not top dog in the family. (That’s my job.) It took the better part of a year to turn this sweetheart around, but she is in no danger of ever returning to the pound. The difference? Owners. Pippi was always a wonderful dog. She just needed the right people.
(Pippi has died since this piece was written. She was 14. RIP, my darling friend)
We accept dogs in our places because I am convinced people need animals to function properly. Blame that attitude on my upbringing if you will, but something is really missing if you don’t have critters to love and love you back. That said, there are those who must realize that pets are not people and they don’t run the show. Do not anthropomorphize. It’s not good for the pet. People need to be the alpha in their pack, not the dog… NEVER the dog. I had one tenant (short-lived) who talked to his dog as though it were an unruly child. “No, no, Pedro, we don’t bark at the landlady, it’s not nice.” EXCUSE me? I honestly felt like pinning the dog to the ground and growling at it. Another dog would have. These folks left soon after this incident with their little hellion. And you know, it wasn’t really the dog’s fault. The owners did not have a clue what it meant to be a proper owner. So when I ask you to bring your dog around to meet before I accept it in one of our places, be forewarned, it is how you interact with the dog as much as meeting the dog itself that I am interested in!
I do not accept pit bulls and pit crosses at this time. This is somewhat unfair and I admit it, but our insurance companies say they will not insure us if we take in pit bulls, and the banks will pull our financing if we don’t have insurance. This is fully the fault of the inhumane attitude of those who continue to breed pit bulls as fighting dogs. It is wrong headed, wrong hearted and cruel. I have met pit bulls who have smart, capable owners who are obviously leaders in their pack of two, and the dogs are, god bless them, sweet, loving, kind companion animals, just as they are meant to be. But they are tarred with the same brush as their less fortunate brethren.
I also have to be very careful when accepting the following breeds: German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Chows, as well as cross breeds with these bloodlines. This is also an insurance requirement. The insurance companies don’t have Chihuahuas on this list; the wee beggar mentioned above, Pedro, was a Chihuahua. Go figure!!! Regardless of the breed, we now have implemented the “Ann Test” to decide if a dog is suitable for our apartments: It’s simple: If your dog does not like me, we must regretfully decline your application. The reason is thus: In an emergency, we must be able to enter your apartment. If even I (whom most dogs turn themselves inside out to greet with great joy) am unable to enter an apartment without the tenant there because the dog uses the “come any closer and I will turn you into breakfast sausages” threat, we cannot accept your dog.