The common term used by a person with a dog to describe themselves used to be ‘dog owner’. Then it became ‘dog carer’ and ‘dog guardian’ and there’re a few new terms now floating around. Some of these new terms are actually better as, after all, ‘owner’ is not always representative of the relationship we have with our dogs as part of the family.
Regardless of the term, it seems that some people still don’t get it. A case in point is posted on Mia Mattsson’s blog. Mia is located in Italy and just rescued a dog from a family who has been ‘dog owners’ to Jazmin for seven years. In this blog, Mia highlights the reality that dog rehoming organisations face the world-over.
Dogs are not a commodity, they deserve love and respect. My dog, Mr Wiggly (pictured), is from the Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne. It’s thought he spent two years on the street before joining my little family and when he joined us he had sores between his feet, didn’t know to eat out of a bowl, wasn’t toilet trained and was completely fearful of men (except, interestingly, he wasn’t at all fearful of my dad and a couple of my close male friends).
With love and encouragement, Mr Wiggly is a changed little man. He now willingly jumps on all laps including male laps, is toilet trained, knows his food comes from a bowl and is healthy and happy. He’s incredibly affectionate and loves to be attached to anyone (or another familiar dog) at any one time, which goes to show the capacity of dogs to forgive, trust and form functional bonds with humans and other animals. He brings me and my family and friends great joy with his clever tricks and amusing antics!
Like all members of my family and my ‘other’ family of friends, Mr Wiggly is an integral member and one who could not be replaced, disowned or given away due to my changing circumstances.
Mia Mattsson’s post on the rehoming of Jazmin can be read at http://miamattsson.blogspot.com/2009/11/jazmin-has-broken-heart.html