What’s Love Got to Do With It?

For those who get the TMD newsletter, sorry for the repeat article, but I think it is worth saying again.. Happy Valentines Day to our Dubuque area training friends and dog lovers everywhere.

It is February, the month of Valentines Day, the celebration of “love”. Love is a word with many meanings and I’ve heard it used often in reference to dogs. But what exactly is the intent behind “I love my dog”?

Is it just the emotion welling up because of the feelings we get being around dogs? Or is it more than that?

Falling in love with a dog is easy. It is a reaction that requires little effort. How does one not fall in love with the adorable face of a new puppy, the joyous romping of a dog chasing a ball or the gentle demeanor of Fido curled up and sleeping?

But what about as time goes by? Puppies grow up, dog’s need consistent care and love tends to change. Hopefully, those feelings mature into actionable choices that are in the best interest of our faithful companions. To love a dog means to meet their needs. Not just the basics of food, water, medical care and shelter. But the essential needs for exercise, leadership and mental stimulation.

These are the things dog’s need more than another toy or a new rhinestone collar. Walking the dog regularly, being consistent about teaching good behavior and basic manners or teaching a new trick all take effort.They require us to take action and at times those actions may be inconvenient.

For our canine valentine, let’s make choices that enhance the human-animal bond. Not only choices that feed our warm fuzzy feelings, but ones that improve the lives of our canine friends. Take that walk even though the weather isn’t perfect, follow-through with fair discipline that stops the dog from jumping on the visitor at the door, join a new class or find a new activity that keep your dog using it’s brain. These actions are good for everyone and your dog will love you for it!

The art of love… is largely the act of persistence. ~ Albert Ellis