Friday, September 14, 2012

Relationships are where it's at

Denise Fenzi blogged about deprivation in May and recently shared that blog on Facebook. I pondered it when first published (the first comment is mine) and explored it more deeply this week. The story of  Jaycee Dugard touched me deeply. Kidnapped, raped and held for many years,  she missed, and grieved for, the man who captured her once she was free. She felt loved.

Obie the obese Daschund has been making news around North America. Obese because his owners loved him and indulged his begging for food. He struggles to walk. He's five years old. He's in a new home now trying to lose weight. He felt loved. 

Some dogs seem a little disconnected from humans. A dog may be frantic to say hello but sometimes they paw, maul and race off again with little effort to acknowledge the human. I'm not sure if these dogs feel loved; I surely don't during our interactions. 

People do the strangest things in the name of love.  They punish, they control, they indulge. At times, they flat out abuse. 

"Spare the rod; spoil the child", the horrors of "Millionaire Dogs".  Punishment does not build anything. it can surpress behaviour but it's not laying a foundation to any kind of relationship or behaviour. 

Dogs (and people too I suppose) need structure, purpose, routine but they also need real, meaningful connections that I, in pithy moments, like to think of as love.  Relationships are where it's at. Apparently even a bad relationship is better than none for many dogs and humans. Scary. Profound. Build your relationships well.

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