Friday, January 22, 2010

"You totally spoil Buffy!"

I do not spoil my dog.

Yes, we feed Buffy Fromm's, a gourmet holistic dog food and yes, we do mix her kibble with Merrick’s 5 Star Entrees. I mean really you’d get bored eating the same thing EVERY meal so we like to give Buffy some variety in her life.

And yeah Buffy has two beds, one in the living room and one in the bedroom and well there’s also her crate and pen. There are the two puppy classes Buffy went through, the variety of toys:

and treats:

Since its snowing we did get her boots. Look they put a lot of salt down in the streets that we walk Buffy and that stuff is bad for dogs feet. And look, she LOVES wearing them:

And sometimes I do carry her over puddles of muddy slush so she doesn’t get her paws dirty. That’s not so much that she’s a princess but I’m not a fan of cleaning her little muddy footprints in our condo.

Now you may be thinking, “Wow Tang, are you serious? You’ve got her all this stuff and done all these things and you claim that you aren’t spoiling your dog?” Well, I still argue that Diana and I do not spoil Buffy.

A kid is not spoiled because he is given an ipod touch for Christmas. He’s spoiled because his parents have not made him earn that gift through good behavior. Spoiling continues as they lets him play games on it at the dinner table and during church service. The difference is that Buffy never gets a treat from unless she does a trick, or does something like poo or pee where she is supposed to.

The food and the toys are simply monetary investments. The better quality her food, the better her health and the less we pay in Vet bills. The more toys she is used to having and chewing up the less she chews up our furniture. It's a lot easier to buy her a new toy then to get a new couch.

The puppy training classes at Barker’s Behavior (which you really should check out) has made Buffy a great puppy to live with. Dogs need to learn how to respect the boundaries of their owners, how to be polite to other dogs and people and most of all be safe. If we hadn’t went to those classes we would not enjoy Buffy nearly as much as we do now and we’d be like some of those nightmare dogs you see on It’s Me Or The Dog (which is a far superior show to the Dog Whisperer).

As great as a dog Buffy is, she would not be the dog that we love without her training.

Some people think we give Buffy too many walks but hey it paid off, by the age of 6 months our girl was potty trained with less then ten accidents. It’s not like Buffy demands walks of us, this is something we enjoy, do with her and for her and like the food in and investment in her quality of life and hey we could also use the exercise.

The amount of time we play with Buffy may seem like a lot but it's just as much for us as it is for her. We love spending time with Buffy. If we dedicate a day to spending time with her it’s part of what it means to be part of our family and we are happy to do it.

A spoiled dog pees and poos all over the house, does things that they shouldn’t because their owners don’t stop them. Spoiled dogs have no manners, jump all over people and beg at the table. These are dogs who have no respect for other dogs, other people and are basically allowed to do whatever they want. Spoiled dogs are reflections of lazy and irresponsible dog owners, not "bad dogs." Spoiling a dog borderlines on abuse and Buffy for all the love and attention we give her is not one of those dogs.

When I buy Buffy a toy or get her nice food, does she recognize that I’m doing these things because I love her? I don’t know. But it’s a way that I can tangibly express my love to her. Do I need a material gift to express that love? No, but it helps. It’s the same reason we give gifts to people we love. Sometimes it’s not so much the gift but the feeling you feel from the person, the look on their face that makes the gift meaningful.

And trust me the look on Buffy's face when she's happy . . . that would make anyone want to spoil Buffy . . . except for us.

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