Dog re­ally is man’s best mate

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

I LOVE our dog.

I hope you don’t read too much into this ad­mis­sion.

Jeal­ous fam­ily mem­bers say this af­fec­tion comes at their ex­pense but of course, this is not true.

Per­haps it’s just that the dog, an en­thu­si­as­tic bor­der col­lie called Sid, is a bet­ter lis­tener.

Hmmm. I re­ally could be in the dog­house mak­ing com­ments like that. Let’s just say I like to share the love. Sid takes me for a walk ev­ery day. This is a good thing be­cause I need the ex­er­cise and I prob­a­bly wouldn’t walk my­self un­less it was for some spe­cific pur­pose like go­ing to the pub. Hmmm. More trou­ble there. Sid is po­lite enough to al­low me out the gate first.

But when he walks me he sets a crack­ing pace, pos­si­bly depend­ing on how late we are on the daily rou­tine.

I have tried to re­solve this pace is­sue with vary­ing suc­cess.

Yes, I know, strong lead­er­ship is re­quired but this is some­thing on which I have not kept a firm hand so no won­der it is an on­go­ing is­sue.

A cou­ple of tugs on the lead and a “slow down Sid” pro­vides tem­po­rary re­lief. It seems bor­der col­lies are al­ways in a hurry.

I’m not what you would call a dog per­son. We never had a dog when I was grow­ing up. We had cats. When my son said he wanted to get a dog, I knew noth­ing about them and prob­a­bly made my first mis­take by agree­ing to buy a male bor­der col­lie.

They are won­der­fully loyal and in­tel­li­gent dogs but they need space prob­a­bly best pro­vided on a farm.

Per­haps if I had known more about dogs I would not have been so adamant about seek­ing ad­vice, about tak­ing Sid to what was called puppy preschool run by our vet and get­ting an ex­pert dog han­dler in to over­come the manic be­hav­iour which de­vel­oped from Sid’s dis­like of our next door neigh­bour’s mo­tor­bike.

The ad­vice has been in­valu­able and I would rec­om­mend other dog own­ers seek out peo­ple who re­ally know about dogs be­cause it will en­hance your ex­pe­ri­ence and that of your neigh­bours.

You might just end up lov­ing your dog, too.

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