A dog’s life…

We lost Ziggy to cancer last week. Over the past few days, I have been thinking about her life with us. My conclusion is that it was fantastic, both for her and us. She lived life to the full. In the six years with us, Ziggy had a ball. There was never a dull moment.

So, what makes for a great dogs’ life? This is something, as a canine behaviourist, I think about a lot. So, I thought it might be nice to talk about this a little.                         

All dogs need basic things. It doesn’t matter whether they have been rescued or got from a breeder. Of course, anyone who had read my witterings will know I believe, strongly, in rescuing dogs.

Dogs don’t ask for much. They need food, shelter, exercise and a safe environment. Not much to ask for is it? Of course, they need much more than that.

Our dogs are sentient beings that deserve the best life that we can offer them. This reaches far beyond the basics of food, exercise and shelter. Our dogs need our love, empathy, quality time with us, quiet times, play, safety and cuddles; in other words, full involvement in our lives. They are beautiful creatures that deserve the best from us.

We should consider it a privilege to be able to share our lives with our furry companions. It is not enough to just fit them into our routines. When we run, we shouldn’t attach a dog to us or, indeed, cycle with them. When we are out with our dogs, they should be our focus. Put away the mobile phone and enjoy your time with them. Allow them to sniff, socialise, bark, get into mischief, play, roll in stuff, swim and anything else that we can think of.

I saw two examples today that underpinned the points I make above. I met one lady with her first dog; a pup that was being socialised and allowed to interact with people, other dogs and his surrounding. A joyful little creature. Another lady passed with her dog, she was dragging it along, not allowing it to stop – because she wanted to walk, whilst, of course, with her phone glued to her ear.

I could go on. I will stop at this point and leave you with a video of a dog, my Ziggy, living life to the full. We owe it to them…