I’m not sure where I first heard this expression, or if by some miracle, profundity struck me, and I just wrote them. But they got me thinking.
If you visit Facebook dog based pages, the hundreds of canine blogs in the webisphere, the countless chat rooms, or the hundreds of websites from breeders, handlers, competititors, self-appointed experts, behaviorists, academics, and other Know-it-all’s, you only learn one, single, truth. Human Beings love to fight about the most inane topics. It’s Feeding, Training, Methods, Breeding, Spaying/neutering, AKC Standards, veterinary treatment, behavior modification technique, psychological make-up of the dog, intelligence in dogs, cynopraxic methods, clickers, operant conditioning, choke chains, halties, harnesses, and the list grows and pulsates.
So in keeping with that set of variables, I had a conversation with my German Shepherds one Friday night.
Hans, my male German Shepherd, was the first to broach the subject of how to bring all of dogdom (Dogs AND Humans) to harmony and a state of unity. “Take every human that holds any certificate of completion, diploma, certification, or otherwise claims to be a professional “Dog-Trainer”, or Behaviorist, and put them all in 4 or 5 of the giant sports stadiums together.” He was just getting rolling.
“Put those people in the front rows so that they get the full impact of this gathering…Then, put everybody that claims to be a dog expert by experience alone, in the rows behind them. We ought to be pretty well into 85 or 90,000 attendance at this point. Those stadiums will be getting pretty full. Next, invite everybody else that owns a dog, and finish filling the stadiums with them.” Hans had thought this through.
“Then, we’ll invite a single dog, chosen at random from dogs everywhere, to the speakers podium in the center of each stadium. He or she doesn’t need to be highly trained, a special breed, a working dog, a show dog, or a homeless mutt. Know why? Because even the most humble dog knows more about what a dog needs and wants, than any “educated Dog Expert”. Intrigued by this plan, I simply leaned towards my big, black, dog.
Holly, our female, interrupted, “And make sure the concessions have GOOD hot dogs!”
“Thank you, Holly. Good Idea, I’ll make a note…” Hans is a detail oriented administrator. “But we digress…”
“The chosen dog, our spokesdog, will begin a speech that has been in development since man first invited the dog to the comfort of his campfire. It begins this way:
“Humans! Behaviorists! Trainers! Peddlers of psychobabble Canine studies! Clicker-twits! Koehler Creeps! Lend your ear to the dogs!!! Finally, we have transcended the divide between us! Finally we can communicate with YOU!!! Whether or not you listen and learn, is entirely on you, but I ask nonetheless! Leave behind this thing you call “Ego”! It alone has kept us apart for millennia! Never before have you asked the dog what we want! What we need! What we know!”
“You write books upon books about dogs, and our behavior, and yet never has a dog been given the opportunity to speak on our behalf, or even write his own book! That time has now come! In the interest of making sure that our message is unadulterated and clear, the dogs have taken control of your World Wide Web, which is filled with foolishness from every so-called trainer and his third cousin!” Hans was sounding apocalyptic by this time.
“The time has come to announce that from this point on, we of the canine persuasion, will be fitting all of you humans with Shock Collars! We will be Clicking in your faces every 2 minutes!” I interrupted the Black German Shepherd with a question.
“How are you dogs going to use a Clicker? None of you have thumbs!” I reasoned.
“Stop interrupting, I’m rolling. We’ll figure it out as we go…” Hans replied confidently.
“My apologies…” I offered.
“Your name will appear on our list of those with the lowest shock settings for your collar.” Hans looked sympathetically at me, but resigned to what was best for all mankind, and the dogs they had been training.
“In a few short months, most of you will have found a way to truly understand that the dog was given to you for your own good! That dogs were meant to be by your side! You will stop putting your ego ahead of truth, your “learned” opinion behind. From this point on, trainers and behaviorists that support their opinions from the hiding place of a “Phd”, will discover that these letters now stand for, “Piss here doggie”!
“Then will begin the greatest era of history for all canines! A time when humans will stop fighting over things they barely understand. Soon, balance will be restored to the way it was long ago, when dog and man lived in peace!” Hans had worked up a lather by now. He stopped and looked at me, furtively.
“What?” I asked.
“That’s as far as I’m going to go…There’s lots more that we have planned for you…but it’s best kept in reserve for now. You’re not ready…Not ready to return to the past when we worked together. There is much yet for you to forget, unlearn, and transform in your mind. Science holds no sway, and physical tools are of no value in the relationship between Man and Dog.”
“So There…” chimed in Holly.
“When Trained Properly, Humans Will Once Again Earn, from the Dog this time…the title of ‘Best Friends’…We have much to do. The proper way must be restored, and so it shall.”
I finished my Gin & Tonic, and went inside to contemplate what the dogs had said to me.