Sunday, June 29, 2008
taking care of the girls
Our neighbors across the lane are on a week long trip to Florida, and I am feeding and watching out for their two gorgeous year-old golden retrievers, Miley and Lily.
The neighbors ostensibly got these dogs as a birthday present for their daughter last summer. But the daughter, now 12, was fearful of the dogs, who did what all puppies do, they jumped and tumbled and licked and tried to rub all over her. So she has almost no interaction with "her" dogs.
The dogs are well cared for physically. They have a large shed to keep off the rain, wind and snow, a snug dog house inside the shed, and even a heat lamp in very cold weather. They have plenty of healthy food and clean water. They also have a nice big yard in which to run, and each other with whom to play. But as far as the rest of us in the neighborhood can tell, they get very little attention, petting, and little affection or play with humans. They don't even get proper discipline to teach them sit and mind and not to jump. Consequently the dogs are starved for attention.
When I feed them, I spend a little bit of time playing with them sitting on the porch steps with them and snuggling. But it's a dilemma -- because if I give too much attention, then when their family comes home, they get less rather than more attention. And I most certainly do not want to create a situation where they will try to get out of their nice safe yard to come and visit me.
I've seen many dogs with far more miserable existences, tied up to chains or shut in small pens - or worse abused - but still it a shame that not all dogs can't have the proper balance of affection, attention and discipline in a healthy and safe environment.