So.. What IS it Worth?
In today’s Albert Lea, MN Tribune Tim Engstrom wonders:
But if you are the owner of a trained dog, don’t you sometimes feel society gives little reward to you for the time and money you invested in obedience school? Don’t you wish the graduation certificate could function as a permission slip to bring your dog in stores or at least more stores than at present? Or even into government buildings and places such as trains, bus stations and shopping malls?
Today, we as dog owners find ourselves in an untenable situation. At the same time that the number of dogs living in our country has dramatically increased (by approximately a million animals a year since 2000 according to the Pet Food Institute) the number of places we are allowed to take them has dropped precipitously.
The current politically correct, obsessively all-inclusive environment is the root of the problem. When we reward everyone who just shows up, we cheapen the achievements of those who did much more. Worse yet, we also create a society where extrinsic rewards are the focus. Unlike the fleeting rush we get from extrinsic rewards (like money and ribbons,) intrinsic rewards (like the feeling of achievement one gets when hard work is rewarded) give us a deeper, long-lasting sense of accomplishment. And since they are internal (self-rewarding) rather than external (must be given by others) intrinsic rewards are available at any time and in any place.
We have come to expect the extrinsic rewards of instant gratification’s drive-through speed and convenience in nearly aspect of our lives. And in a world obsessed with instant gratification – programs that emphasize (correctly) that training your dog is a lifetime pursuit are not likely to thrive….
This politically correct, all-inclusive, one-size-fits-all view of the world is – in reality – utterly intolerant of true diversity. It’s not politically correct to allow some people to have more rights to public access with their dogs simply because they are responsible pet owners who train, socialize and clean up after their pets. Current ‘wisdom’ says that we simply must reduce access privileges to meet the limitations of the lowest common denominator – those who can’t be bothered.
So, bit by bit and piece by piece, the rights of responsible pet owners everywhere are stolen chipped away by entitlement-driven, feel-good pet owners who put more effort into choosing a pair of shoes than in making the decision to take an innocent life into their hands. And for some reason – we sit back and let them do it.
Your dog, your rights. What are they worth to you?