Drug testing

How to Create Your Own Monster

"You've created your own monster, you know", my mother said ominously. My Rex cat, Houdini, had just burrowed his way inside my sweater for the third time that morning, letting out a squeal of indignation when I tried to resist.

Houdini has separation anxiety. But in his tiny little mind, separation means I've been out of his site for at least two minutes. Or I've closed the bathroom door and left him on the other side. Or he hasn't had his ears scratched or his belly rubbed in eons (about ten minutes.) Houdini follows me everywhere, like the most faithful of hounds, and craves my undivided attention almost as much as his next meal.

If all of this seems annoying, it's not nearly as bad as when the little fellow plunks himself down in front of me and literally tears chunks of his own hair out because I'm not paying attention to him. With Houdini, it's always been easier just to give in.

My husband takes all of this in stride. My mother, who (fortunately for Houdini) only visits now and then, thinks it's the height of absurdity.

Growing up under Mom's roof, I learned that dogs and children should obey, and cats just mind their own business. I adopted my mother's dog training philosophies successfully. Cleo (a fine-looking mastiff and our now-famous website mascot), is a perfect lady. She's a wonderful dog with the gift of self composure and not one to question authority. Cleo would never stoop to the kind of antics that are Houdini's specialty. Besides, she's too big to crawl inside my sweater.

So why does this particular pet behave like a spoiled child? Why do I give in to him? Is it because I forgot to have children? Mom swears that those little squealing sounds he makes don't come from a cat. "He's manipulating you", she tells me. "He's learned how to sound like a baby".

Maybe I've got what I like to call "lap dog syndrome". I'm referring how we treat smaller pets who are easily cuddled and coddled, are highly portable, and who look adorable wearing funny little outfits. Some might call it "empty nest syndrome".

Consider my Grandmother Rosie and her Toy Poodle, Cocoa.

Cocoa arrived long after Rosie's children had grown up and left home. Rosie knitted lots of little sweaters and hats for Cocoa to keep him warm and stylish. She kept a mixture of Coke Syrup and Pepto Bismol on hand to settle Cocoa's nervous stomach. And dog food could never pass his lips, so Grandma cooked fresh chicken for Cocoa every night before sitting down to her own dinner.

We had to spell out "c-o-o-k-i-e" and "P-e-p-t-o B-i-s-m-o-l" around the dog so he wouldn't get over-excited. And Grandpa Henry was obsessed with keeping Cocoa clean. This was one poodle who never had tear stains under his eyes, and whose little "tushy" was spotless.

Bear in mind that we're talking about the late 60's, when treating pets like children wasn't really "mainstream".

Today, it's commonplace. The pet industry is huge, and much of it caters to our desire to spoil our "children". So these days it's easier than ever to create your own monster. Besides bending to your dog's every whim, you can shower her with gourmet treats, dress her to the nines, and offer her a standard of living well above what many of the world's humans aspire to.

Today, Grandma wouldn't have to knit any sweaters herself, and there would be plenty of remedies made expressly for Cocoa's nervous tummy. Grandma wouldn't board her baby when traveling. Instead, she'd hire a professional pet sitter, or take Cocoa with her to a pet friendly hotel. The hotel might even have a dog gift shop, with lots of squeaky toys and delicious "c-o-o-k-i-e-s". And Cocoa would go everywhere with Grandma in his own little dog-sized carrying case, probably made from fine imported leather or snakeskin.

I wonder how many owners of large breeds behave this way? Are there other syndromes out there, like "macho dog syndrome" (a guy thing, no doubt)?

The truth is, all pets start out small and cuddly. No one is completely safe from creating their own monster, large or small. So thank goodness there are enough great resources available for anyone to become a virtual dog training expert. (Or cat, or parrot, or horse...)

I've learned my lesson with Houdini: It's much easier to teach your pet the rules from the start. Puppy training is easier than dog training. And un-creating a monster is a heck of a lot tougher than creating one!

But I'm weak. For now, it's easier just to give in. And besides, it time to rub Houdini's belly...

? 2005, Carolyn Schweitzer. Lifelong dog-lover, power-shopper, and former family dentist Carolyn Schweitzer is owner and editor of http://www.great-dog-gift.com View the html version of this article (with cute photos) at http://www.great-dog-gift.com/dog_training_ 1.html The site offers a wide range of choices for dog gift shoppers, plus shopping and gift-giving tips. She's always looking for new dog gift ideas and dog stories to share with her readers in her free monthly e-zine, "Cold Noses News". You can reach her by email at netbrainer@verizon.net

In The News:

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. has confirmed that five of its 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fakes.
50 years ago today NASA’s historic Apollo 7 mission splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after spending almost 11 days in space.
A newly described fossil of an extinct mammal relative and her 38 babies is among the best evidence that a major development of the evolution of mammals was trading increased reproductive ability for bigger brains.
Days after legendary physicist Stephen Hawking's final paper was published, a great number of his prized possessions will go up for auction, including some of his most important papers, including his doctoral thesis, a copy of "A Brief History of Time" and the script for one of his appearances on "The Simpsons." 
It was said to be a "near-suicide mission," and a previous attempt saw dozens of men killed and captured by the Nazis.
Scientists may have made a major leap forward on the path to growing a fully-formed human brain in the lab. According to a new report published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, researchers at Tufts University have now grown a 3D tissue model of the brain using human neurons, providing them with a better opportunity to study abnormal brain cells.
A 100-year-old letter from World War I has been unearthed, with the finder noting it is a "beautiful and special letter."
Graphic photos show a pair of great white sharks devouring a whale in Cape Cod Bay.
A deep -sea cucumber known as a “headless chicken monster” has been filmed in the Southern Ocean for the first time using camera technology developed by Australian researchers.
Billionaire Clive Palmer’s Titanic II project will open its European headquarters in Paris rather than London because he wants the office in Europe.

Biting & Nipping Behavior Can Kill Your Dog!

Dog bite injuries are alarmingly the most common condition that... Read More

A Pregnant Stray Cat Adopted You ? And Now What?

It happens all too often. A family or cat friend... Read More

Does Your Dog Bite? How to Protect Your Dog and Yourself from Liability

MuttShack Foundation for Animal Foster and Rescue, claim that dogs... Read More

Picking Up A Horses Hoof

The idea of picking up a horse's hooves can intimidate... Read More

Which Parrot is Right For Me?

Which parrot is right for me? This is a question... Read More

West Highland White Terriers- Fascinating Facts

West Highland White Terriers began their history as the undesirable... Read More

Why Crate Train My Dog?

A few years ago, before I decided to stay home... Read More

Vet Check - Well-Bird Check Up

I know there are differing opinions on the subject of... Read More

You Must Train Your Dog From A Young Age

The best thing to do is to start training your... Read More

The Top Ten Reasons You Can - And Should - Hold an Equine Educational Event

Boarding, Breeding, Training & Showing Stables:1. You need to fill... Read More

Characteristics Of The Boxer

Is A Boxer Right For You?Country of Origin: Germany ... Read More

The Artful Dog Shopper

I am a dog lover by nature. I have just... Read More

Reincarnating Pets

It is always sad when a beloved animal family member... Read More

Universal Principles For Successful Dog Training

Dog training is not rocket science and is not as... Read More

Dog Vaccinations: Doing Shots

Vaccinations play an important part in the preventive healthcare of... Read More

Choosing the Right Dog Breeder

When looking to purchase a purebred dog, you need to... Read More

Train Your Buddy To ?Walk? & ?Dance? - Warning: Not All Dogs Can Do It!

Standing and walking on the hind legs are tricks that... Read More

Safety in the Fresh Air and the Outdoors for Your Cat - How To Build a Cattery

Animal welfare organizations and humane societies have been very successful... Read More

How to Teach YOUR Cat to Use a Litter Box - Secrets to Litter Tray Success

Even the most dedicated cat lover has little patience with... Read More

A Look at Discount Bird Cages

Buying a pet bird can be quite an investment. After... Read More

Toy Dog Breeds

Toy dog breeds include greyhounds, terriers, pinschers, pugs, chihuahuas, pekingese,... Read More

Responsible Dog Ownership

With all the companionship and love that our dogs give... Read More

RecoveryPets.Com vs. Other Pet Registration Services

For those pet owners who do not know what a... Read More

Preparing For Your New Dog - What You Need to Know Before He Comes Home

Preparing yourself and your household before, during, and after your... Read More

Dog Health Conditions and Terms You Should Know... Part 2

Cryptorchidism is peculiar to male dogs and a condition present... Read More

induction street lighting induction street light fixtures Pete's produce ..