John and Sally in Cincinnati love their three dogs: Cupcake, Rusty and Kipps. They love them so much they let them sleep in their beds, sit on all the furniture, and even walk on the kitchen counters.
“Cupcake was the funniest,” John said. “She’s a Llasa Apso, and her long hair would sweep along the counter as she licked the plates and cups we had waiting to be washed. It was adorable.”
“Rusty was funny, too,” Sally added. “He’d jump on the bench chairs and then up on our breakfast table. Sometimes he would pee up there and it would go all over the plants on the ground. We laughed and laughed.”
“It’s true. We admit it. Our fur babies have the run of house. We don’t discipline them because we love them too much. When you discipline a dog, they lose their spirit. They lose their life force. They are much happier when they can run free and go where they want.”
As they talked about their non-approach to dog rearing, Kipps, the German Shepherd, wandered into the garage, opened the car door and started the car.
“I think your German Shepherd just started your car,” I said.
“Yeah, amazing right?” John said brightly. “I mean, we didn’t even teach him that. One day he jumped up there and started it. I think he was watching us when we were driving him to the dog park.”
As we talked, Kipps pulled the car out of the garage, stopped at the end of the driveway and put on the blinker.
“I think he’s driving away,” I said.
“Oh, it’s all right,” Sally said. “He doesn’t go far. Plus the police watch out for him. They bring him home if he starts running red lights and stuff.”
“I hate to be a Negative Ned, but it seems like your dogs are running the house. Wouldn’t it be better if you gave them discipline and direction? Aren’t dogs pack animals that respond to leadership?”
“No, no, no! That’s all wrong!” John said. “That pack animal baloney was cooked up by TV dog ‘experts’ like that Dog Whisperer fellow. Dogs are NOT pack animals. They are full of LOVE! We love that they can express themselves here without fear! In fact, to give them full room for expression, we moved out. Sally and I live in a trailer in the back yard!”
Cupcake and Rusty barked loudly as if to tell John he was getting too loud. Cupcake was running through the channels trying to find something to watch on cable, while Rusty amused himself by hanging from the ceiling fan until sparks began to fly out and catch the drapes on fire.
“John and Sally, the room is on fire. I think we better call the fire department!” I yelled over the roar of the fire.
“No way, it’s just a small blaze. Don’t send your negative vibes out to our dogs, man! You are starting to upset them.”