Going for the Blue

Going for the Blue by Roger A. Caras

Book: Going for the Blue by Roger A. Caras Read Free Book Online
Authors: Roger A. Caras
Tags: PET000000
thundering encounters, the dog is innocent, just too
     big for the space allotted to it.
    The underexercised dog is likely to become obese and increase its propensity to break wind. Breaking wind under such circumstances
     can tarnish your silver and stop your watch. You can always tell when it has happened—you get a vertigo attack, including
     double vision, or a migraine. Either way, the dog smiles. A bored dog, even if he is smiling, is likely to create an unsatisfactory
     condition in the home.
    Another family has little spare time; both adults work, and they have limited discretionary funds for even routine professional
     grooming. They get a Bearded Collie or a Keeshond and gradually stop playing tennis and going to wine tastings. There is no
     longer any time for things like that. And eventually other outside activities involving extra funds are eroded.
    The subject of conditioning can’t be stressed too much. Snickers lives in a town house but gets constant work and play routines.
     She has plenty of time with a tennis ball and a Frisbee. That is not only healthy but also gives the dog quality time with
     members of her human family. Judges often comment on her solid body and excellent tone.
    There are a number of different ways people take an interest in (fall in love with) a breed of dog. Rhonda, an incipient dog
     lover, came to the farm, fell in love with my Whippet, Topi (how could she not?), and decided that she had to have one, too.
     And along came Snickers. There is that way. People also fall in love with an exciting performance in a motion picture or on
     a television show: a Border Collie in
Down and Out in Beverly Hills
(that dog, Mike, was the sire of my Border Collie, Duncan); a Dalmatian, obviously, in
101 Dalmatians
; a Saint Bernard in
. There have been scores of others. Surely King and Rin Rin Tin had a great deal to do with the popularity of the German Shepherd,
     and Lassie helped elevate the Collie to tremendous heights. Publicity works for animals as well as it does for people.
    And, too, there are fads, the
breeds, the-thing-to-do breeds—get a Komondor, for example. But be warned: Fads are not the way to go. They never have been.
     The dogs representing these breeds may be wonderful, generally, but when one comes to live with you, it is necessary for the
     two of you to suit each other in a number of different and often special ways. The relationship between you and your pet is
     not unlike a human friendship. You have other people in your life; your friend does, too. Yet, together, you two have something
     that is unlike any other combination on earth, something that is yours alone.
    Avoid fads; they can lead to heartbreak. If everyone on the block has a particular breed of dog, surely you shouldn’t get
     one, too. It is just plain common sense. If a breed is a fad, it is almost certainly being overbred, with the inevitable puppy-mill
     carelessness that entails disaster. It is quite possible to locate dangerous Labradors, stupid Goldens, and nasty examples
     of just about every breed. All you have to do is find some puppy-mill puppies in a pet shop and learn firsthand just how much
     bad breeding can do to fine dogs. Labradors, incidentally, are not dangerous, nor are Goldens witless, not unless they are
     bred that way.
    So there we have some unavoidable considerations. If you have a hankering for a Saint Bernard, you may have to choose between
     that breed and a Porsche convertible. A Lotus would just not work out with a Newfoundland. A Rhodesian Ridgeback half crazed
     for the want of exercise can be a real downer in an apartment-house elevator when an elderly couple tries to join you in your
     descent. Here is where you must bring your powers of analysis into play. You all want to be supremely happy together, but
     the structure of the arrangement that will make that possible is the human partner’s responsibility. The dog doesn’t buy you.
     You are asking the dog to

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