Expecting people to change is like hitting your head against a wall.
This is mostly said to those who are expecting loved ones to change.
But this is not my problem.
My problem is expecting strangers to not be dicks, or heartless.
Where I live here in Urla, Turkey, there are loads of street dogs. Especially during warmer weather, they bark what seems like non-stop.
A lot of the local residents boast proudly that it is ‘tradition’.
They even get mad when people (foreigners and other locals) suggest the barking is excessive: “If you don’t like it, go live somewhere else.”
Fuck off, basically.
That might be fair enough.
And I guess one could debate between letting dogs run wild in the street or having pounds where, ultimately, dogs who are not claimed, get put down.
However, if a person or family chooses to buy or adopt a house-dog, that’s another thing entirely.
It’s usually the people who are quick to tell anyone who is complaining to fuck off who neglect their own dogs.
This comes back to asking, Is your reason ‘why’ strong enough?
I love dogs (more than people) so I walk our dog every day. I give her lots of pats. I enjoy her.
But I’m not suggesting an owner needs to be the most enthusiastic dog-lover in the world.
There should be, at the very least, attention paid to the animal…
- Acknowledging it exists would be a good start.
- Giving some human contact.
- Taking it for daily exercise, morning and night.
- Giving it enough and regular food.
And – if it’s barking, go out and see why:
- Is there an intruder?
- Is there a visitor?
- Is a young child in distress?
- Is the dog hurt?
- Or is it just vying for attention?
If it just wants attention, this means 2 things:
First, the owner needs to check themself with this tip from Cesar.
Second, give the dog enough attention so it doesn’t feel deprived.
Our neighbours give zero attention to their dog.
This is further evidenced by the fact that it only barks when they arrive at home and when their living room lights are on.
A few months ago the family was away for one week.
The dog didn’t bark once.
They don’t so much as look at the poor thing.
It’s a pit-bull but actually a nice dog.
I know there is a lot worse things going on in the world, but this is what I see every day.
Expecting heartless dog-owners to change is reasonable, but not realistic. Nor is it healthy.
It’s something I’m working on but it’s not easy.