This entry is not so much about dogs as about people who behave (as so often is the case) less honorably than our canine companions. We are hopefully all aware of the campaign against bullying in our country (and especially in our state, thanks to the Honorable and First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley), a campaign that is mostly focused on children. However, I need to ask: Given the behavior of some adults, are we really surprised that our children are acting out in schools? I am in no way condoning bad behavior of any kind, but rather am underscoring the need for us to reflect on our own “adult” behavior as well.
I know we all have complicated lives and that raising or working with children is often difficult. However, letting off steam on our children, is simply not acceptable. Not only do we victimize our children, but moreover, we teach them that bullying is something even adults do and that it is better to victimize than to be a victim. Neither one should be acceptable and we need to set better examples.
I don’t tend to look to my dogs for guidance on human behavior, however, in my small but balanced pack, bullying is deemed unacceptable. Asserting power does occur, but only when the alpha feels threatened. I have witnessed my Doberman lash out at the new puppy, only to come back wagging her stubby tail and licking the puppy as if to say, “I am sorry, but I had to put you in your place. I am still your friend.” In fact, if she did not do that on occasion, I am not sure the pup would not grow up to be a bully by thinking he has power when it is completely unwarranted. Yes, we can admonish children to teach them to be better members of society, but to unfairly loose our temper by yelling or worse, is simply unbalanced.
Here are some better solutions to high blood pressure than lashing out at kids on teams or in homes:
- Walk your dog
- Go outdoors to play, hike or bike with your family
- Get out on the water
- Play fetch at a dog friendly beach, where you can dip your toes in the water and cool off
- Exercise, exercise, exercise: and bring your dog along all the while enjoying and taking in her happiness.