So.. What IS it Worth?

July 31, 2008 at 5:37 am 2 comments

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?

Entry filed under: cynicism, dog obedience, dog training, dogs. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Caveat  |  August 1, 2008 at 12:36 am

    They’re worth a lot to me. I’ve spent the last four years of my life fighting the Ontario ban and fighting the ignorance that led to it.

    Will we win? We should, becase we’re right – we know it and they know it. It’s a gamble but life is always a gamble. You have to try.

    Your post is right on the money. I think it started when the schools began to gear education to the lowest common denominator. They stopped posting class standings so the kids on the bottom wouldn’t feel bad. My question is ‘What about the kids on top? Don’t they count?’

    Everything is getting cheapened, including dog ownership – just read all the airhead pet columns in the media.

    Nobody wants to work for anything anymore or take responsibility for mistakes.

    Such a shame.

  • 2. Layla  |  September 8, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    That’s great advice for dogs. I find that many people are completely oblivious to the needs of their dogs or how to teach a dog to behave. It essential that you do what is best for your animal.

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