This Barking Wednesday I want to share with everyone a very unique book I was given the opportunity to read. If you are a DOG OWNER this is a MUST read.
Some time ago, dogs became as interwoven in the American culture as baseball, apple pie and the Fourth of July. In fact, in most households, the dogs have even trumped evolution itself and jumped straight to being four legged humans where they are adorned with human names, designer outfits and fed diets that would confound even the best nutritionist. In most cases, we've granted them our human intelligence and our sacred human emotions as well. They are no longer dogs to us, they're family! Yet, for all that man has done to carve the wolf from the wild to create a surrogate human, today's dog is still a wolf at heart and the accompanying instincts borne from such ancestry defines how the dog approaches its world. The ontogeny of anthropomorphism, where we attach our human traits to our pets, is the most damaging and paralytic problem associated with dog ownership today. Believing in a fairy tale world where dogs possess the same moral consciousness and sense of altruism as attributed to humans has led to a drastic increase in leash laws, dogs being outlawed in a rising number of city and national parks, some breeds being banned in several states, an alarming escalation of aggression to humans, a rising cost in homeowner and business insurance, and a record number of clinically maladaptive dogs. This book is not a training book. It does not cover obedience topics such as heel, sit, down, stay, and come. Instead, it's about righting the ship of American dog ownership by changing our perception of our dogs. It is about the author growing up in the Alaskan wild under the tutelage and guardianship of a Special Forces survival instructor who introduced him to the ways of wolves and the similarities they shared with dogs. It is about the wisdom and splendor of nature and the many life lessons she provides. Mostly, it about developing a deep understanding of the authors of your dog's behavior; nature and the wolf. In doing so, you will truly learn who and what your dog really is and the whys and hows of its behavior. You will learn the tools that nature gave them to survive and coexist in both the mountains and in our homes. You will learn how activating and deactivating natural impulses and mechanisms in your dog will lead to the harmonious existence and the control you always dreamed of. Most of all, you will come to embrace the wild in your dog and the grace and the peace that is breathed into its acceptance.
When I started reading Embracing the Wild in Your dog. I immediately thought that Ryan was going to far into the wild for most of the dogs I knew. Then as I keep reading and read about interactions between people and dogs I started to understand the concept and how we as humans are trying to take the wild out of our dogs. I am just as guilty as the next person. I treat Diesel like a child not like a dog.
If you are looking for a book that will defiantly make you rethink what you are doing with your dog...this book is for you. In fact I am going to start reading it again. The book is packed with years of interesting events and lessons learned. I strongly believe that learning Diesel's natural behavior is key to a successful relationship with him.
There is one statement in the book that I will never forget
and will use to guide my life path.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "a fight is going o inside me," he said to the boy. "it is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, greed, superiority, lies, false pride, and ego." He continued "The other is good-he is love, humility, generosity, empathy, truth, compassion, and faith. It is going on inside of you - and inside every other person, too."
"The wolf you feed."
Embracing the Wild in your Dog by Bryan Bailey is a perfect holiday gift for the dog lover on your list.
Available on AMAZON