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Life Unleashed: Excerpt from the Bad Dog Diary could teach pet owners a great deal

| Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, 1:06 p.m.
Andrea Lamping
Andrea Lamping

Dear Diary,

What a ruff day!

First, I woke up from a restful slumber. I was quietly resting on my human's pillow when the fragrant smell of frying bacon wafted into my nose.

I wandered out and began to help myself to a few slices. Then, out of nowhere, my human began jumping around obnoxiously and stole the bacon right from under my tongue, saying something like, “He is normally so obedient but, the minute he sees bacon....”

After breakfast, it was time for my human's walk. Every day, I have to coax him to spend time outside and when he finally does, he is always lagging behind — jerking and complaining.

Do I ever get a “thank you” for the exercise or maybe a “So grateful you warned me each time a vicious chipmunk was within mere feet of mercilessly attacking us.” No.

And you know what really crumbles my biscuit!! Almost every day around the same time, my human runs off.

I go to the window and yell for him to come back inside, but he is out of sight before I can stop him.

While pacing the floor, I remembered he always comes running when I chew his shoes so I grabbed a tasty leather boot and gave it my best. Still no human.

I tried a black shiny pair. Good overall flavor and texture, but still, no human.

Finally he gets back from doing dog-knows-what and he has the nerve to get mad at me!

So, I pout… until he finally apologizes. A treat offering is made as a token of sincerity and all is forgiven.

You know what they say: There are two sides to every story.

Your dog may see things much differently than you as to what constitutes good and bad behavior.

Pets might find it odd when we mimic their wolf relatives in a misguided attempt to assume a leadership role.

You are not a wild alpha wolf and they are not going to spontaneously achieve English fluency, so it's time for a new way to communicate.

Though, if they could speak English, they would say, “I am a canine. I am of a highly adaptable and intelligent species that has evolved over many years, assuming a range of forms and functions solely to cater to every human whim throughout history, all while maintaining an example of loyalty, diligence and pride. My ancestors were hunters, trackers, herders, protectors, and warriors.

“Pardon me, if I don't recognize the urgency in fetching your bedroom slippers or balancing a piece of cheese on my nose.”

The life of a canine used to be far more interesting than that of the common house pet.

Dogs crave adventure and purpose. So, quite simply, respect your dog, educate yourself about his needs, and when training issues arise, always seek to understand the biological and psychological influences on his behavior.

Andrea J. Lamping trains dogs in the greater airport area, including Sewickley, Moon, Robinson and Hopewell. She can be reached at 724-984-7829 or visit her website at www.moon-walkers.com.

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