Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dogs I'm glad I don't own

I'm glad I don't have a sheltie. It's an attractive breed. I thought about it when I looked for the perfect dog. Now there is a sheltie on the street where I stay in Yellowknife, and I'm glad it's not mine.

The sheltie is always running. Always. It goes for "walks" with its person. The person rides a bike, and not slowly either. The sheltie runs like a maniac beside the bike but still pulls on its leash to go faster or to go check out other things. Then they get home, the sheltie gets tied in the front yard, and it runs back and forth along the fence like a maniac every time something walks by. I don't know what it would take to get the energy out of that dog, but I'm sure glad I don't have one.

I'm also glad I don't have a retriever. I've never even considered a retriever, because their "I love the whole world" attitude annoys me. I don't love the whole world. More importantly, what good is it that someone loves you, if they love the whole world anyway? I want a dog who loves me and only me of all humans. Even if I'm buying her love with food.

But the main reason I don't want anything like a retriever is that a retriever is a very large duck-hunting dog. No, really. I'm not sure why people with little kids buy retrievers. Because it's "good with kids"? There's no such thing as a dog that's good with kids. Some kids are good with dogs, not the other way around. I'm sure someone somewhere has had their baby eaten by a retriever and could tell you they're not good with kids.

So yeah, I'm not sure why people who have little kids and never walk further than around the block would buy a very large duck-hunting dog. I'm guessing they've never seen field trials for retrievers. I have. It involves making the dogs run through swamps and standing water all day. The dogs get absolutely filthy, but they sure don't get tired much. You have to keep at it for a very long time to wear them out. And then you still have a filthy, wet dog.

So then people take these very large duck-hunting dogs and think they're gonna walk them around the block once a day and it's all good... it's not. They're very large dogs with lots of energy. They pull on the leash, because they're not walked enough. The more they pull, the less they get walked. Then they find water or mud, get dirty and smelly, aren't wanted in the house anymore, and end up spending the summer on a chain in the backyard. Not getting any walks at all.

I'm sure glad I don't have a retriever, but I'd be more glad if other people didn't have them either. Unless of course they do a lot of duck hunting.

For the same reason, I'm glad I didn't end up getting a spaniel. My short list of dogs was either one of four breeds of spaniels, or a shiba. I'm thinking the spaniels would have been a lot more trouble than the shiba.

Altogether, I'm pretty glad I don't own a dog that's not a shiba.

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