Why size doesn’t matter

Big dogs aren’t necessarily smarter than small ones like me and little pooches are not apt to bark more than larger breeds. Size isn’t what is important because all dogs have our pros and cons.

Some men are turned off by miniature dogs because they think we are a reflection of their manhood. They’re embarrassed to walk us and even to pet us in public. But there are some benefits to having a small dog just like there are plusses to owning a big dog.

Little pooches can be easier on the wallet because we require less food and smaller doses of flea/tick medicine. We tend to live longer, usually between 12-15 years compared to large dogs, which often live between 8-11 years old, depending on the breed. However, dental problems and luxating patellas haunt us. Plus, our tiny bones break easily; therefore, it’s important not to let us jump off the furniture onto a hard surface.

Larger breeds such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and Dobermans are more prone to hip dysplasia, which can make them so lame that owners choose to put them out of their misery. But with proper healthcare, sometimes big dogs can live into their teens too.

All dogs, regardless of size, need daily exercise but owners who want a dog to jog with them will prefer a big dog. My little legs can’t keep up. But we can accompany our owners to more places because we’re easily transported. There’s a misconception that all miniature dogs yap. Many of us are extremely quiet. What is true is that some small dogs like to act bigger than they are. Their strong personalities make up for what they lack in size.
In the end, size doesn’t matter. What does is your lifestyle, your living space and your ability to love your four-legged friend.

– Trevor the Dog

Pets, Relationships and How One Can Improve the Other

We’ve gone dog crazy. Yes I said it. Dogs in purses, designer dogs, dog whisperers. Sheesh! I dig animals and all but uhm… they can’t sleep in my bed and I’m just not picking up poop. I can’t deny the benefits that pets bring into our lives. The companionship and the unconditional love and devotion they give are just too priceless to measure. And let’s just tic off a few of the documented health benefits:

  • Increased longevity after heart attacks
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness

Someone bring me a puppy please!

So when Dr. Suzanne Phillips over at Psych Central asked the question, “Can pets improve your relationship?” I was all over it. We know how their mere presence in our lives helps us physically and mentally, but how we relate to them, our capacity for forgiveness, our openness, and our willingness to let them be who they are, opens us up on an emotional level. Perhaps we should take note of the grace and compassion in which we treat out animal companions and apply that to our loved ones. We are so afraid of getting hurt. We are so afraid of people seeing who we really are, of judgement. Our pets are not. They let it all hang out. And maybe they do it out of ignorance and I’m willing to bet that the bliss of that ignorance is what we really want anyway.

Can we learn something from our relationship with pets that might enhance our relationship with partners?

Greetings
No matter how you feel or what mood you are in, you greet your pet with a positive, even animated, hello and often with a display of physical affection.

Expectations
With pets, maybe it’s your lack of expectation that makes the difference. You probably rarely predict that your pet will be angry if you are late. As a result, you don’t head home defensively angry in preparation for the reaction you expect to face.

Holding Grudges
When you do return home to find that your cats have redecorated the room with shreds of every tissue they could find or the dog has eaten some of the mail, you may well react with a choice expletive but you are not likely to hold a grudge. You are still going to be petting Donatello or cuddling with Thor the next day.

Assuming the Best

There is a natural tendency to forgive pets their trespasses – after all, the dog wasn’t trying to torture you by eating the mail. Was your partner really trying to torture you by putting it in such a safe spot it can’t be found?

Acceptance
Few pet owners personalize their pets’ reactions to others to an extreme that makes them so embarrassed that they fear their image is tarnished or they become resentful of their pets. The fact that the dog is licking every part of the arriving guest’s body is cause to pull him away or laugh it away. The cat that will not come out of hiding or the parrot that is screeching is left without judgment or excuses. That’s them!

For Better or For Worse

In most cases, pets are home to stay. People love and care for pets of every size, shape and disposition. “She’s not exactly a watch dog; she’s loving but easily frightened.” “He insists on sleeping on the bed – we have given in.” “She steals food from the other dogs, she’s pretty hyper, but cute.” Few pets live with the fear of being betrayed or with the implication that things are just not working out. Of course they don’t – but just consider how the absence of such fears enhances the trust and connection you feel from them!

So think about what you give your pet and maybe how — in addition to improving your health — your pet can improve your relationship!

– Aunt B

Source: Psych Central