I love blueberry tea with honey on a bitter cold day like this! So hot and sweet and so full of promise that spring will soon bring us balmier days that are at least forty degrees warmer than it is this morning. As a sidebar note to that … each and every silly soul on Facebook who is wishing for global warming should do enough homework to understand that more extreme weather like this IS global warming, eh?
But then Facebook is full of such foolishness! People often don’t pay attention and ‘like’ posts meant to mourn the loss of a person or pet. Even worse, heated debates can be pulled out of thin air and cause serious rifts in any online community. Saddest of all of course is that often the adults are really not setting any sort of social networking role model for their children.
Yet for all their warts and wrinkles … sites like Facebook and Twitter have changed the fabric of everyday life. At their best they keep us more aware and informed in a more immediate way that was utterly unheard of when I was a young adult. There is no question that these sites have opened up new lifesaving animal rescue possibilities. They have allowed our favourite astronaut to inspire us by sharing an intimate view of our world from space.
In other words … not even the sky is the limit anymore! But .. here in the real world the old adage about all that glitters also holds true. What does that mean in realspeak? Simply that one still has to sort the wheat from the chaff.
And nowhere is that more important than in the animal loving community! Not all dog trainers / dog food diets / breeders / rescues / etc are created equal. Why is that important? Because at their core … all of these services are being provided for living, breathing sentient beings … not things!
More importantly … at least in this province … most of these services are not actually all that regulated. Yes … business books can be audited and yes … retail premises may be inspected for cleanliness. But as of this writing, there is nothing to stop any pet store from selling shock collars over the counter. Trainers that use “results based” methods are not required to explain the nitty-gritty of fear based training to their customers.
And not even the best packaging can guarantee that any sort of food might actually be GOOD for the pet that you are trying to take good care of.
Should these things be regulated? You bet! And in time they will be .. but right here right now it is still buyer beware! So how is a kind heart to know what to do? What trainer to pick? What diet to feed? What protocols to follow?
That answer is so simple a stump could understand! Start with the premise that pets are companion animal who will hopefully share our lives for years and years. Really … everything else simply flows from that! Would you bully a friend into submission? Take away their spirit with a shock collar? Would you hurt a friend with a prong collar when there are better and kinder harness options out there? Would you let a human child go to classes without talking to other parents and checking out the program?
And would you ever in half a hundred years expect to have a healthy pet by shopping for their food in the bargain bins? Without ever checking the dog food ratings? Without investigating the options?
After all … it is not as if there are no options to choose from in this province! We are lucky to have effective positive dog trainers such as Sylvia Jay and Jane Smith . Although places like Pet Valu still sell shock collars to one and all, there are plenty of pet supply stores that carry good harnesses and good food. Gosh … we even have the incredible resource of Planet Paws to help kind hearts on the right nutritional path for their best friend!
How does one find the right trainer / breeder / rescue / pet supply store or any other pet related service? Really there is no magic formula .. but if you start with the premise that you do not want to hurt the ones you love, you will at least be on the right path.