Breeders. Owners. The Blame Game.

The Blame Game.  I’m not talking about some song title by some rapper.  I’m talking about a less-than-admirable human trait that makes me SO happy I am a dog.

My human was reading a thread on Facebook the other day and what started as an innocent conversation about dogs and health, quickly escalated to a round of the Blame Game.  The Blame Game occurs when a dog is hurt or worse dies, and everyone is feeling horrid.  We dogs do that to you humans.  You love us SO much – you cannot bear to see us sick and when we must leave you, you feel your heart is shreaded and will never be the same.  So in lots of cases, the Blame Game begins.  Humans must blame someone else for WHY they are feeling horrid – usually when the hurt or death occurs in a young dog.  But what humans seem to forget is that the world is made up of average people.  Average people who LOVE dogs.    And those average people do NOT want to see dogs hurt. Or see dogs die. 

 Yes, there ARE humans who don’t really LOVE dogs – and they abuse them, or breed them PURELY for profit.  But thankfully, those humans seem to be in the minority. Most people are AVERAGE.  They do the BEST job they know to love and care for their dogs or to breed dogs.  Most people do NOT want to see a dog hurt or to see a dog suffer.  Keep reminding yourselves that.  Yes – a breeder CAN breed two dogs KNOWING that there is some health risk in the dogs she/he has selected.  Those are the gamblers. And it doesn’t mean it’s the “right” thing to do.  But do they REALLY want to see a dog suffer?  I don’t think so.  But they think they can beat the odds. Can an owner contribute to a dog’s health problems by feeding poor quality food or exposing the dog to a toxic environment – like pesticides on their lawn?  Yes.  But do they do it so their dog will suffer?  Doubtful. 

Keep in mind that the Blame Game is NOT limited to breeders and owners.  In fact, breeders also blame other breeders.  If a litter has a problem, the owner of the dam blames the stud dog.  And vice versa…But remember – they BOTH love their dogs!

Humans also suffer from guilt.  In fact they are even better at it than we dogs. Sure – I can LOOK guilty right after I do something bad – like when I steal something from the counter.  But 30 seconds later, my guilt is gone.  But you humans carry around guilt.  Did I feed the dog the wrong food?  Is that why he has cancer? Did I walk him too far as a young puppy?  Is that why he has joint problems?  Did I not expose him enough to people and dogs when he was little?  Is that why he is fearful?  Should I have used this dog in my breeding program, even though his hips were mildly dysplastic?  Should I have run the latest DNA test? Did I get my puppy from the BEST breeder?  Did I sell my puppy to the BEST owner?  Humans are experts in guilt and then it’s a slippery slope to blame if things do not go well…. Even though – the bottom line – they ALL DO love their dogs!!!!
Good dog ownership and dog breeding boil down to knowledge.   The more you know, the more LIKELY you can have healthy dogs who live long happy lives.  Knowledge IS critical.  But even then – the reality?  You can take a dog in PERFECT home, with PERFECT owners, who feed PERFECT food and who was bred by a PERFECT breeder who did 100 health checks, and studied 100 pedigrees and guess what?  The dog can still have problems.  And that’s the truth.  It’s called nature.  You can blame God – but then remember who gave you dogs in the first place!

Humans need to work together – owners and breeders.  Remember you BOTH love dogs.  Share knowledge.  Prevent problems together.  And continue to do the BEST you can do. Blaming is not helpful.  It just hurts an already-hurting situation.

So that’s my rant for today.  My human was going to actually write this in that thread the other day, but then she decided I should do it.  She figures if people don’t like this message and complain – she can BLAME me!  After all, I AM just a dog!
©  Linda Wozniak

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