Let’s play the “what if” game. If reincarnation is an option, would you return as a dog? I’ve heard people “I’d love to come back” as so-and-so’s dog. Man, that dog’s got it made!” 

Really? I always look those uninformed folks in the eyes and say “Geez, you better be careful what you wish for!” Before you commit to placing your soul into an animal with that short of a lifespan, the lack of options to control his environment, that painful mental and emotional frustration from the lack of ability to communicate with those he would most like to impress, and that much lack of good judgment in remaining loyal to those sub-humans who constantly inflict harsh physical and emotional abuse for reasons unknown, you better think twice. 

For those fortunate dogs that belong to people who understand the value of having a loyal friend and cherish their relationship with the family pet – “dog people” as we are known-life can be a blessing! This kind of existence will mean good food, proper health care, plenty of interactive communication with the family, and lots of exercises- all adding up to a very happy life.

For those dogs who belong to women or men who “over-dote” on pets, life can be a game of “gotcha!” The dog is never given specific parameters and is void of impulse control. He is allowed to jump on, bark at, nip, lean against, or bump any guests of the owner who are unfortunate enough to visit.

So “what if” that dog suddenly finds himself on the street, so to speak? Who will forgive him for his bad behavior? And how will he handle rejection? Your answer may be, “Hey it’s the owner’s problem. It’s not your dog.” Or you may say, “To each his own” or “Whatever works for them!

But if I can prove to someone that training a dog to be a good citizen could save that dog’s life, doesn’t that justify my butting into his or her business? Dogs are led to believe that life “on-demand” will not survive if suddenly thrust into a real-world situation. Lost and alone, challenged by other dogs and people-confused at the least- this dog’s chances are slim. 

I know every dog is happiest when he can fulfill his nature according to his breed, and that means helping him learn and earn the job for which he was bred. During this process, he will develop focus and impulse control. 

For years there have been so many theories on dogs and their dependent relationship with humans. It boggles the minds of those of us who seek the truth (Research data is updated yearly.)  So “what if” we accept the fact that dogs have 84% of our human DNA? (That’s correct-84% By the way, horses also have 84 percent, cows have 85% and mice have 88%) My dear friends, that is why they are used on research laboratories.

Exactly what do we do with this type of information? Does it make you feel closer to dogs? Well, DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, which carries genetic information. It makes each and every breed of dog who they are. To me, the major important connection between dogs and humans is the similar number of insidious illnesses and diseases we contract, such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, dental disease, heart, kidney and liver disease, and so on. 

Most of these major medical problems can be blamed on obesity. “What if” we had the ability to control what our dogs eat? Oh, wait! We do! We have control over every aspect of our dogs’ lives from the time we accept the responsibility of adding them to our families until they pass on. Being your dog’s wise leader may be a challenge, inconvenient, and expensive, but it’s the right thing to do…coming back as a dog-not the smart thing to do!

So “what if” we all started off the new year determined to make it memorable in the best of ways. Spread the word, my dear friends. Give advice and aid those who lack the knowledge to properly care for their dogs. Give them tips for options of training facilities, available veterinary care, and the names of local rescues and shelters. Remember we’re the “dog people” Our dogs are part of our lives, and we are blessed to have them. With this in mind, I wrote a poem a few years ago playing the “what if” game. 

“I wondered as a trainer how I would approach a wolf to convince him to join me as a companion. This is what I would do: I avoid his eyes and whisper softly, ‘Give me your trust and your mind. I will teach you about my world, and you will reveal to me your true and innocent nature. Do not test my tolerance for malicious behavior, and I will be consistent in patience. We have evolved and survived to this place in time. Let us be friends.”

May 2022 be your best year ever!

Pat Becker