Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Are dogs really just ingratiating parasites?

If you’re a  Perfect Pet Sitter it stands to reason you adore pets, so some years ago seeing an article stating dogs were ingratiating parasites left me full of indignation - how could anyone say such a thing? However, I thought it reasonable to step back and take an objective view of the content to see if there was any basis for such a statement.

Bailey the Golden Retriever
Dogs have been around humans since records began. At first they scavenged around encampments, but the humans quickly realised the dogs alerted them to intruders or dangerous animals, and so started a beneficial, co-dependent relationship where dogs were encouraged by scraps to stay close and in return protected their human pack.

Could not resist Sie doing this!
When investigating the origins of the human/canine relationship, some interesting facts emerge. For example, canines in the wild interpret showing teeth as hostility, so did you know dogs had to learn not to respond with aggression when we smile and show our teeth? And if dogs have learned to adapt to human smiles that doesn’t make them parasites – it makes them smart!

Did you know why dogs today continue to act like puppies even when fully mature? The answer is because in the wild a puppy must learn to hunt to eventually become part of the pack and take on responsbilities. With humans as the provider our dogs are free to act like a puppies all their lives. They’re not required to grown up as they don’t need to provide for themselves. Living with us, with the exception of our specially trained human helper dogs, most of them have no responsibilities so they remain puppies in their soul forever.

A puppy Border Collie 18 months playing with Chilli
the Miniature Schnauzer who is the same age
Yes it’s true our dogs no longer have to worry about providing for themselves – but that doesn’t make them parasites.  Parasites cause harm to their hosts or at minimum take and give nothing back. Whereas we are repaid daily when we see our furpals living in ‘the now’ and playing without a care. This is a valuable reminder that fun and joy in your life is vital.

Sie and Chilli playing
Dogs give us their hearts and we frequently hear how they have sacrificed their own lives to save those of their human friends. They are happy just to be around us and provide us with company and unconditional love. Having them encourages us to exercise where otherwise we might sit in the house. And by getting us out and about, they even broaden our social lives.

Was there ever a doubt that our dogs could be parasites? Of course not. Human and canine is a two way street, we benefit from them every bit as much as they do from us as anyone who has shared their life with a beloved dog will know.

I have my own reason why the guy wrote the article, I think he was trying to be controversial to sell a book! 

Big or small, you can't help but love them all.
Who's a handsome boy?

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