Comments and opinions

I am going to try to address the subject of comments in this post in order to set some ground rules. I know that seems a bit controlling, but hey it’s my blog so I can do what I want!

If you would like to post a comment that’s great of course, BUT (oh no the dreaded but) I am writing this blog to share my stories, not for someone else to give me suggestions or advice regarding my dogs. Because guys, I don’t need your advice, seriously.

So who do I think I am? Some expert on dogs? Well frankly yes I am. No I don’t know everything about dogs, but after spending my entire adult life working with dogs I think I am qualified to be considered an expert. Besides, if I need advice I have access to professionals like trainers, behaviorists, and veterinarians who are colleagues of mine that I can consult.

What I don’t need is for you to tell me some story about your friend’s uncle’s dog that is an awesome dog that he trained by barking at it. Guess what? He just got lucky and has a great dog in spite of how he trained it. I don’t need you to suggest an awesome new food that someone who works at a big box pet store told you about. Guess what? They’re paid to sell you food. They are not veterinary nutritionists.

For close to 30 years I have been contacted multiple times a week by family, friends, and clients seeking my counsel on everything from training and behavioral issues with their dogs, to suggestions for types of leashes, collars, toys, chew toys, bowls, and yes what food and treats to use. I am also often asked for guidance regarding basic medical questions, mostly about symptoms, medications or whether or not a call to the veterinarian is warranted.

I am also going to ask you to refrain from asking me personally for advice via the comments page. If you need advice regarding your dog particularly in the areas of training, behavior issues or medical questions – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, seek out a local professional. Don’t ask your neighbors, or your co-workers, or your mechanic, or your plumber for advice about your dog. Ask someone who’s job it actually is to work with DOGS for crying out loud! You wouldn’t ask your veterinarian to fix your car, or unplug a drain would you?? And don’t ask people who work in pet stores either. They are there to sell you stuff, and they may love animals, but that does not necessarily make them qualified to advise you. Do you think they’d be working in a pet store if they had the type of training or advanced education required to warrant giving you advice? I am not bashing pet store employees, they are valuable for helping you buy basic supplies, but don’t think that because they happen to sound like they know a lot about dog food that they actually do. It’s called salesmanship. They may have even participated in a “seminar” by a pet food representative educating them about that rep’s company’s food. That is still called salesmanship. They’re being educated in how to sell that particular food.

If you need help sorting out who you should contact for help, I’d be happy to try to assist you in finding someone in your area who is qualified to give you decent professional advice.

Now my other bugaboo about comments. Anyone who gets into an argument with another reader through posts on the comments page, or uses the comment page as a platform for their own agenda will quickly find that your comments are not showing up on the feed. If you have a strong opinion about something and feel a need to vent, write your own blog, don’t use mine.

Like many of you, I do have strong opinions about a variety of dog related issues. It is possible that on occasion I may get on my soap box, but as I said in my first post, this blog is primarily to share stories about my crazy life sharing my home with a whole bunch of dogs, and I hope to keep it light for the most part.

As my father used to say “A wise man once told me – opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and they’re mostly full of crap.” Actually this is my variation on my dad’s variation on the quote, which as it turns out originated with Harry Callahan, the fictional character played by Clint Eastwood in the “Dirty Harry” movies.

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