He is my companion, my friend, my walking buddy, my biggest fan, my ears when I can’t hear, my nose when I can’t smell, my protector, my chaperone,  my alarm system, my best food critic, my lying on the couch watching tv pal, my hero, (he saved my life not that long ago when I had an accident) and I love him with all my heart.

I am his pet parent, his advocate, his ambassador, his mouthpiece, his friend, his companion, his walking buddy, his caregiver, his provider, his chef, his housekeeper, his shelter, his provider of all things good, loving, and safe. His love, devotion, and loyalty belong to me.

Of all those words, all those things that we become when we’re pet parents, what stands out for me in many situations is advocate, ambassador, and mouthpiece. These are things your dog needs you to be for him. We protect our dogs from everything, yet we fall short when it comes to speaking up for them.

How many times have you taken your dog to the veterinarian for an exam and a tech comes in and tells you they will bring your dog back and proceeds to take your dog out of the room to where? For what? To take blood? To give your dog a vaccine? Why can’t they do it in the room with you? Are they doing something you shouldn’t be witness to?  SPEAK UP!!

It’s OK to say you don’t want your dog taken to another room. It’s OK to say that you want DR. Soandso to administer the vaccines in here, with me in the room.

I have done it. I have said it. And my dog is not taken away from me, ever! Try it next time.

How many times has a veterinarian or tech told you that your dogs need multiple vaccines? Do you have any idea how dangerous that can be? I’m talking life-threatening. Just because you are at the VET doesn’t mean everything is done with your dog’s wellbeing first and foremost. Sorry to tell you that, but sometimes it’s true. In your heart of hearts, many of you are now thinking about times you regret not speaking up. Recently. It was made known to me that a Yorkie in the Carolinas, was given multiple vaccines and died later that day! You must be your dog’s mouthpiece. Say what you think. Why can’t you have the vaccines done on different days and make additional appointments?

Let’s talk about the groomer. Has your dog ever come home from being groomed and keeps sitting down, or licking their private areas? Do they seem like they just can’t find a place for themselves to relax? Is your dog shaved so closely under their tail that they are extremely uncomfortable and has difficulty walking without stopping or turning around? Did your dog ever have razor burn from being shaved in the wrong direction? Can you imagine how miserable that feels? I hope you talk to your groomer if this has happened to your dog, or find another groomer with more experience.

How many times have you been on a walk with your dog or taken your dog somewhere with you and someone just comes right up to you and pets your dog without asking permission? How often does a child run up to pet your dog without asking first? How many times has someone allowed their dog to come up to your dog without asking if it’s OK? Has anyone ever tried to give your dog a treat without talking to you about it first? That happened to me in Lowes.

Keep in mind that anyone who pets your dog probably pets everyone else’s dog in the immediate area. Dogs “catch things” from other dogs, but people can carry contagions, viruses, fleas, and pink-eye, just to name a few, on their skin and clothes and pass it from dog to dog…and then probably your household. Additionally, not all dogs want to play with all other dogs. Your dog may be intimidated or frightened by the sudden approach of an unfamiliar dog.

Why are we so inhibited when it comes to our dog’s well-being? Are we afraid to hurt a stranger’s feelings? Will the vet or groomer be offended or made? Sounds ridiculous said out loud. In all scenarios, your dog’s well-being comes first! Of course, we want our dogs to be social, I get that, but it doesn’t mean that EVERYONE must pet or play with your dog. It’s disruptive, disturbing, and not always welcomed when a stranger sticks their arms out at your dog. If you agree, then SAY SOMETHING!  Here’s a phrase I use all the time and it works well. “He’s in training for service, so please don’t pet him”. Simple, easy, and not rude at all.

Your dog will thank you!



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