I don’t know anyone who is a perfect dog owner. I know people who do an amazing job with their dogs from a training and behavior perspective – and who feed their dogs really crummy dog food. And conversely, I have friends who spend a fortune on top-quality food for their dogs – that is, their terribly under-socialized, untrained dogs. It seems like we all have an Achilles heel when it comes to managing our dogs’ emotional, intellectual, and physical health (or our own, for that matter! But that’s another story.).
I’m far from perfect myself. There are weeks when I’m so busy with work that Otto gets very little individual attention or exercise. I feed him high-quality kibble, but keep talking about shifting him to a raw home-prepared diet or at least a commercial frozen raw diet. Sometimes I get impatient or am surprised by some naughty behavior and yell at him – and usually, by saying his name loudly and harshly, just as Pat Miller taught us not to, in “Say My Name,” in the January issue of WDJ.
I can’t hope for perfection, but a well-trained, well-adjusted, confident, fit, healthy dog is my goal. To that end, my canine resolutions for 2011 include switching Otto to a raw diet full-time and competing with him in agility. (This latter will take a lot more time and commitment than just the one class we’ve taken so far.)
Do you have any goals for you and your dog or dogs this year? Any that you’d care to share? They might inspire others to think about and develop some goals for improving their dogs’ lives, too!